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How To Plan Your Own Wedding: 21 Essential Tips

How To Plan Your Own Wedding: 21 Essential Tips

It’s often said that your wedding day is the most important day of your life. To make sure that’s true for all the right reasons, you’ll need to get the planning of it absolutely right. While this is usually achieved by bringing in a dedicated planner, that costs a lot of money.  

Rather than spending up to 15% of your total budget on a planner, you can learn how to plan your own wedding instead. There will be a lot of work to do, but wedding planning doesn’t have to be all that difficult. With our complete guide to planning your wedding step by step, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle everything the process throws your way. 

The benefits of planning your own wedding 

You can have the perfect wedding entirely on your terms if you plan it all yourself. Even though there’ll be more for you to organize, it’s worth doing to see your vision come to life in time for the big day. 

Your wedding ceremony should be based on your personal wedding inspiration and be able to accommodate all the people you love. You and your partner will be the very best people to make that happen. Not to mention the fact that, in doing so, you can save a substantial amount of money. 


20 Top tips to plan your own wedding

From sending out your save the date cards to picking the perfect wedding band, there’s a lot of small details to consider when you’re getting married. If you’re doing a DIY wedding, it’s important not to let anything slip through the cracks and ensure you follow all the right steps to planning a dream wedding. 

To make planning your wedding much easier, we’ve created a wedding checklist. It contains all the guidance you need to get everything sorted in time. 

1. Start with a budget 

Our first pro tip is about wedding budgeting, which is one of the most difficult things to get right. Inevitably, you will probably spend more money on your wedding than you initially plan to, just because costs in the wedding industry tend to be so high. However, it is possible to have a budget wedding. 

To keep costs down and ensure you don’t go over budget, create a budget breakdown right at the start. This should include things like venue budgets and food and drink budgets, as well as lists of low-cost vendors. 

2. Delegate responsibilities 

Keeping wedding etiquette in mind, you’ll next need to delegate responsibilities. To make this task a little easier to complete, it’s worth creating wedding day timelines and working out what tasks will need to be done to ensure each part of the timeline goes off without a hitch. 

Once you have an idea of the tasks, you can start assigning them to people. They could include arranging makeup trials and ordering flowers and decor, deciding where to take the wedding photo, and communicating the wedding day schedule with the guests. 

3. Use a planning book 

In the absence of a professional wedding planner, wedding planning books will be your best friends. They will help you to navigate the planning process from start to finish. Plus, with a planning book, all of your notes, to-dos, and completed tasks will be in one place, so you’ll never lose track of when you ordered the wedding cake or which wedding flowers you decided on. 

Wedding planning apps and similar online planning tools can also be helpful. However, with a planning book, you can organize all the information exactly how you want it. 

4. Work together 

The key to successfully planning your wedding is to work with your partner throughout the process. Ultimately, it’s a day to celebrate both of you, so it’s important that you’re both involved from the very beginning. 

To make sure everything runs smoothly, you’ll need to face the big decisions together, like if you need to change the date. But, these aren’t the only decisions you’ll need to make as a team. Things like booking your venue, planning pre-wedding events, and selecting your church minister will all be key to setting your wedding off on the right foot. 

5. Decide on a style 

If you decide on a wedding style from the outset, it will be far easier to make important choices throughout the planning process. Say, for example, that you wanted a very traditional wedding. This style decision will help to dictate the dress, flowers, stationery, and more that you select for the big day.

So, choose your wedding style sooner rather than later. And, if you’re struggling to decide what sort of thing you’re after, you can browse weddings online to see if anything catches your eye. 

6. Find inspiration

As well as looking for style inspiration, you can also look to the online world and magazines to find other unique wedding ideas that will make your day that much more special. Use mood boards and look at glossy photo shoots to spark inspiration. Ironically, the best way to create customized plans for your wedding is to keep an eye on ideas that have worked before. 

7. Set a date 

Take a look at your calendar and, bearing in mind how much work you’ll have to do between now and then, set a wedding date. Ideally, you shouldn’t set a date that’s too close because you need to allow yourself plenty of time to plan. Nine months to a year is likely to be sufficient, but give yourself longer if you’re planning something big. 

8. Book a venue 

Your wedding venue and ceremony location are key. But, before you can book anything, decide whether you want a local wedding or a destination wedding. And, don’t forget to book the reception venue, ideally in a nearby location. 

9. Book vendors 

Try and get your wedding vendors or vendor teams booked as early as possible. Wedding photographers, in particular, will book up fast, and you don’t want to be left scrambling to find someone decent at the last minute. 

The earlier you book, the more likely you are to find good deals and discount rates on the vendors of your choosing. So, when you’re booking wedding vendors, sooner is always better. 

10. Work on your guest list 

Whether you want your guest list to include just close friends and family or you’re planning a bigger reception with out of town guests, too, working on your guest list early will minimize hassle. Set a guest count from the off and stick to it. That way, if people ask for plus-ones, you have a good reason to say no.

11. Pick invitations 

Shop around for wedding invitations and save the date cards that match the theme of the wedding. The sooner you send them out, the more likely it is that the people you love will be able to make it. 

12. Select your wedding party  

Choosing the perfect bridesmaids and groomsmen for your wedding party can help guarantee your wedding is one to remember. So, when choosing the bridal party, maids of honor, and best man, pick people who know you well and understand the responsibility that comes with the role. 

13. Create a registry 

Don’t wait to create a wedding registry, otherwise you might end up with gifts you don’t want. To make life easier for yourself and your guests, build a wedding website, too, and include the registry link on there. 

14. Shop for wedding attire 

Now, it’s time to start shopping around for wedding attire. This is a big deal so it’s important not to rush the decision. Instead, set up wedding dress fittings early on and start looking for suits and bridesmaid dresses before you think you’ll need to. 

It’s much better to purchase wedding attire at the start and have it ready when you need it than be left searching at the last minute. You can look for inspiration on social media if you’re struggling to find the right style and get ideas that could help you narrow down designers and stores.

15. Plan events around the wedding 

Your wedding isn’t just about the big day itself. There are also plenty of pre wedding events to plan for. These include the engagement party, bridal showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and the rehearsal dinner. 

Thankfully, some of the responsibility for these events can be passed over to members of the wedding party or family members. So, you won’t have to worry about planning even more events from start to finish. 

And, just remember that you can still have a real wedding without all of the additional bells and whistles. So, take some time to decide just how important these events are to you and whether they’re worth the extra expense.

16. Buy wedding bands 

The wedding rings you buy are meant to represent the unbreakable bond you and your partner share. As such, they must be perfect. So, shop for them as a couple and remember that you’ll both be wearing them for a lifetime. For the best look, purchase wedding bands that complement the engagement ring. 

17. Get a marriage license 

Applying for your marriage license is non-negotiable. Without it, you won’t be able to get married on your wedding day. So, get it at least three days before the ceremony. Just keep in mind that all marriage licenses will also have an expiration date, so it’s important to get yours at the right time. 

18. Select an officiant 

The officiant who marries you, whether that be in a church, a city hall, or somewhere less traditional, will be the person who solidifies the commitment you make to your partner. To find the right person for such a special job, you should interview several and decide as a couple who you like best. 

19. Make your seating charts 

You’ll need a seating chart for the ceremony and wedding reception. So, once you’ve received all your RSVPs and confirmed your venues, it’s time to decide where each wedding guest will be best placed. Try to keep people who know each other together, especially for the reception, and use name cards to avoid confusion. 

20. Coordinate speakers and readings 

Another important consideration for both the ceremony and reception is the question of who is going to speak and when. As you get closer to the big day, make sure you have all readings sorted and ask your preferred speakers to prepare a speech ahead of time. 

Then, incorporate them into the schedule for the day. With everything organized, coordinated, and purchased in good time, you’ll be ready to enjoy your wedding day and celebrate with the people you love.


Why Courses for Success?

Courses for Success offers over 10,000 online courses, all of which aim to help you in your personal development and career progression. Not only that, but you can also study them anywhere and at any time, and take them at your own pace, too.

You don’t need career diplomas or specific experience to get started. With every course we offer created to be as accessible as possible, you can be sure that all of them, from our coding courses and trading courses to design courses and developer courses, will help to boost your prospects, no matter who you are.

The wedding planning process tends to be intense, even with a comprehensive tick list to keep referring to. So, if you want to ensure you do the best job possible, it’s recommended that you do some practice before you start planning. 

With Courses for Success, anyone can complete a professional wedding planning certificate course and learn all the ins, outs, and tricks of the trade! You’ll have lifetime access to the course materials, too, so if you ever need to go back to something you’ve learned, it will always be right there for you.

If you’re at a loss for how to plan your own wedding, then give yourself the best start possible by signing up for an online course. Then, tackle the task head-on with our detailed wedding planning checklist!

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