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15 Things You Must-do Before Planning Your Wedding

15 things you must-do before planning your wedding

So, you’ve made the jump and said yes to the man or woman of your dreams. What’s next?

You’ve heard the horror stories from your friends how it ended up not being the day that they had imagined, and you certainly don’t want that happening to you.

For me, 2 hours before the church wedding we found that the veil that supposed to cover my face for the ceremony was too short. The veil only came up to my nose! What a disaster!! Fortunately, I had a great team with me and within an hour I had a new veil. Phew!

Here are 15 things you can do to avoid any wedding calamity.

1. Discuss with your partner on what your expectations are

Normally, different people want different things for their wedding. You may want an elegant wedding at a 5-star hotel, but your partner may want to have a wedding in the hills with Jägerbomb shots as a welcome drink.

It’s best if you come to an agreement before you start planning. Is it going to be simple or extravagant? Out-of-town or Colombo?

This will help you avoid fighting with your partner at the wedding planner’s office.

2. Discuss with your parents on what their expectations are

Now your wedding day is one of the best days of your life and it’s the one day that it’s all about you. But really, is it only about you? It’s usual in Sri Lankan culture that the wedding is also about the parents. Especially if you’re an only child or the first child getting married. Talk to your parents and get an idea of what they have in mind. Are they going to invite the president as a witness? Do they want to invite 1,000 people so you have to break it into two functions?

If it’s not along the lines that you as a couple are looking for at a wedding, you will have to have that tough discussion with them too.

Another thing is the budget. I commend those of you who are paying for the wedding yourselves. For those whose parents are footing the bill, it is essential that you get an overall budget, so that you don’t end up overspending.

3. Talk to your boss

If you’re working for yourself, for your family, or not working at all, wedding planning is going to be a lot easier for you.

If you are working full-time, talk to your boss and let them know what your plans are. How much leave they can give you before the wedding? Are you able to leave early on some days or late on some days to attend wedding planning meetings?

With my office being 30 minutes out of Colombo, meeting vendors was difficult during the day. Luckily, I had relatively flexible hours so I was able to walk in to work an hour late or leave an hour early if needed.

4. Have a confidante

Points 1, 2 and 3 may not go as smoothly as you would have hoped. You will need that one person, or five! to help you make it through the drama. This person should be able to calm you down and motivate you to get you through troubled times. I had two, my fiancé and my best friend.

How To Plan Your Wedding

5. Select one person who is going to help you run your wedding on the day

One of the best memories I had on my wedding day was my best friend who I had designated as my “Wedding right-hand”. Her job was to be there to handle any problem during the day and coordinate with the wedding planners. I had planned for orchids in my hair, and we had made the mistake of ordering too little. We were also running late!

We had 15 minutes to get some more flowers before we had to leave the church. My best friend saw that we had extra orchids in my bouquet, and went on to call the hotel maintenance. With 5 minutes to go, she was pulling orchids with pliers and handing it over to the hairdresser, with maintenance guy standing behind her slightly confused. I was nicely sitting calmly knowing that she was handling it.

6. Have an efficient wedding planner

You must choose a wedding planner who is not only creative but one who is detail-oriented and great at problem-solving and time management.

When I was going around wishing people, I found out that one person had turned up even after declining saying they weren’t. Which table did they sit at? I had no clue! I didn’t have to worry about it thanks to my incredible wedding planner and team.

A wedding planner can be an event planning company or one of your friends who have planned their own wedding. It can be whoever you are comfortable with, and who will have your best interests at heart.

7. Find your wedding inspiration.

Find that one thing that inspires you, may it be a photo of what others have done or something you have seen before at another wedding.

I found a simple picture on Pinterest and it inspired me for the color theme and the entire look of the wedding. I was lucky that my Fiancé was on board with this theme. And it was he who helped me dial it back a little to make it more simple and perfect.

Having this photo as a base, it was much easier for me to create all our stationery and color themes for flowers and retinue.

8. Involve your most important people when setting the date

The first thing you have to do is to set the dates for the wedding. This needs to be done at least 1 year in advance if you want to get the locations that you really want.

Make sure you check with your most important people who you want at the wedding like immediate family, their available dates or what dates might be best for them.

For me, one of my sisters was getting holidays from university in May, but then moving onto an internship where she was allowed to take a week off in July. We, therefore, picked a date in July, as I didn’t want to have the wedding without her there.

9. Create a checklist

I must admit, I am a master of excel sheets and checklists. Having them helps me know that I am on track. No matter how organized a person you are, it’s always best to have something written down. Trust me, as the days come closer, you won’t know if you’re sitting or standing! Having planned many a company event, I would say that planning our wedding was the most planning I have ever done.

Here are the two checklists that really helped me.

10. Put together a folder

Open a folder for all your wedding documents. I had it both printed and online where I could access through my phone.

There are often times you need to refer to something like color schemes to show to other suppliers and your checklist for what you need to do for the week. For example, your florist will want to know what color your bridesmaids are wearing in order to match the bouquet.

11. Prepare to be flexible

I know it’s your wedding and you want what you want! Hello Bridezilla!

But sometimes you have to be flexible when you have to accommodate what families want or you are working around a budget. At first, I really didn’t want to have wedding cake pieces at the tables. And guess what we ended up having?  Wedding cake… In the end, it turned out lovely though!

12. Prepare to be realistic

I had the dream of having a photo shoot at the place my fiancé and I met on our first date. I wanted a photo of the same table at my wedding saree. But with timing between the church and the reception, and the fact that the wedding was on a Friday evening, I finally let go of the idea.

How To Plan Your Wedding

Some of the ideas for your wedding you might imagine being amazing! However, it’s important to be realistic if you want your wedding to go smoothly.

Do you really need to send a fresh rose with each of the 500 invitations, where they need to be kept in a fridge before delivery? Maybe not!

13. Have a backup plan

What if something out of control happens? For us, we had a major catastrophic event happen in the hotel in the months before our wedding. My grandfather also became seriously unwell. Eventually, everything settled and we were able to have the event as planned. However, we did have to start thinking about what to do in case it didn’t. Think about what you would like to do in the event the worst comes true. Would you be willing to have the wedding earlier, postpone the date, or have the event as planned on a smaller scale?

14. Make a mental note not to compare your wedding with others

Your wedding day is all about celebrating you as a couple, it’s not a competition. Refrain from comparing what you have with what others have done. What others have planned to celebrate their day may not necessarily suit you and vice versa.

I remember having a long discussion about serving champagne as a toast after the speeches. I didn’t think this was necessary, and no matter what people said that it was “the thing”, I finally managed to convince everyone to leave it out. I am happy to say that it turned out to be a good decision.

15. Round up a team of friends to help you with errands on the wedding day

 In the final crucial week, we really needed some help with things like picking up the flowers on the wedding day. You may have friends to help you with planning before the wedding date, but its best that you get those who are not directly involved in the wedding, for errands on the actual day itself.

How To Plan Your Wedding

And so, dear reader, I wish you all the best for your wedding planning. It was one of the most fun (and stressful) parts of my life. My final advice to you is your wedding is not about whether your flowers are imported or if your nails match your dress. It’s the day you’re marrying your best friend and soul mate.

The 15 things above really helped me make it the most amazing wedding I could have dreamed of, and I hope it does for you too! Happy wedding!

Have I missed anything? Add a comment below and let me know. It will add more value to the post. Also, do you have any “lessons” you learned when planning your wedding? Share them below. Your comment can help someone planning their wedding right now!


Photo by Christian Diaz on Unsplash

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Talya Fernando

Talya Fernando

Talya Fernando is a businesswoman, wife, avid traveler and long-time dog mom. She hopes that in sharing her stories she can have a positive impact on others facing the same experiences.

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