Planning & Designing.. Planning your own wedding? Yeah. I get it. It is a lot of work, but you can do it! All the power to you!
2020 has certainly turned our lives around. With lockdowns happening all over the world and restrictions being imposed on social gatherings, you may have had to make major adjustments for your big day, such as opting to plan it yourself.
While there are undoubtedly big perks in hiring a wedding planner, organizing your event is also fun and could make your special day the best ever. To help you plan, we’ve listed down some expert tips for your once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
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Did you have to push back on your original date because of the pandemic? Think of it as a blessing because it gives you more time to consider planning your own wedding. Yes, of course, it is a sad to postpone, or to push your date much further in the future, but on the other side, you can chill and really “enjoy” the planning journey! We are also sharing some of the “perks” that go along with a “long engagement”.
Usually we would say to stick to a budget, but this time around, we can reverse the process. If you have your “dream” or “ideal” wedding, you can now reverse engineer it and “save” up for it. It’s now reaching the goal, instead of the usual, “stick to your budget!”
Now that you have the extra time, you can save up and find other creative “sources” or “resources” to help with coming up with the budget.
If you are also considering DIY-ing a lot of aspects of your wedding, since there is a long engagement, you can schedule projects as you go along and save more $$ in the process.
LIST DOWN YOUR PRIORITIES
With your fiancé, identify the most important aspects of your wedding a.k.a. “the non-negotiables” (accepting what can be a DIY idea versus something you need to hire a person for!). Is it booking your dream venue? Hiring a favourite photographer? List down your top 3 priorities as a couple, and book those first. For the venue, consider a venue with outdoor options, this will help a lot with safety protocols. Your dream photographer is probably available far in advance, book them. Booking these “priorities” will give you that committed feeling. Now all the other details are just minor and you can work through them, given the long engagement, or even if you are planning a micro / intimate wedding.
If you have agreed to a micro + intimate backyard wedding, here are some tips that can help you.
PICK YOUR WEDDING THEME
Do some research before deciding. HERE’S WHY, if you are not looking into hiring a wedding planner, you will probably need to execute designs on your own or with the help of other people. Going through designs and guides will help you anticipate the “man hour/labor” involved as well as the number of hours needed.
Anticipating the work needed and the help you have available (especially if you are DIY-ing a lot!) to execute your theme, is something that you have to plan closely.
Good thing to remember is that, just because you’re planning your own wedding and have already DIYed a lot of things and already have everything planned, does not mean you do not need help. You will still need people to help you execute on the day of, because after all, you are still the bride.
If you opt out of hiring a wedding planner or coordinator, but need a server, set-up help and/or bartender, there are staffing companies like Staff Shop, where you can hire help directly and not worry about other things needed to be executed on the day of the event.
Creating a guest list is one thing, but since we are in the middle of a pandemic, you would have to consider several things like: who are you going to invite, how many guests should you have (make sure you’re compliant to guidelines), are your guests willing to travel, etc.
If you are looking into doing half in-person and half virtual, you might need to do more prep than you think. If you have someone that is familiar with the virtual event set-up, the better. There are AV companies that can help you live feed videos with audio, so that your virtual guests will not just be looking while the other guests have their backs against them. This will also help your guests, so they won’t be holding their phones or tablets up to FaceTime or Skype with other family members.
SAFETY PROTOCOL EXTRA TIP: Together with having your guests and yourself wear a mask and practice social distancing, you can also rent stanchions together with signs, to ensure physical distancing is practiced. To take things further for extra safety, you can also rent clear dividers (you can also decorate it!) that you can put in between tables. Another option is to provide clear face shields that they can still wear, should they need to take the mask off to eat and/or drink. Extra layers of defense, are always a good thing.
Check with your local government and public health officials about any guidelines, protocols, policies and/or regulations that you need to meet if you will be holding an event.
Don’t be too hard on yourself and get the extra helping hands where you can. Enlist some of your trusted friends and also give some responsibilities to your fiancé. You can ask guidance through a virtual consultation, as well as work with companies like Staff Shop, should you need help only on the day of your event (especially if you do not want to ask friends and family!)
If you’re opting for a backyard wedding, you will still need help on the day-of. It is important not to underestimate the work needed to execute even the simplest of weddings.
GET THINGS DONE VIRTUALLY
Thank God for the power of technology! You can cross some important items on your to-do list at the comfort of your couch. Some of the things that you can accomplish on-line are:
✔️ When planning your own wedding, when choosing the venue, you will have to do almost all the research, especially the venue as everything else will be planned around it. Round up top 5-6 and start contacting them. Check out wedding venues and even take virtual tours
✔️ Build a wedding registry, you can now send your registry links to your guests (or you can also set-up “monetary” gifts from sites like Honeyfund!)
✔️ Invite guests and send out electronic invitations OR you can also put together a wedding website (Say I Do can help you send out invites and your guests can RSVP and leave notes directly – making it easier for you to track things!)
✔️ Set-up a streaming service, if you wish for your wedding to go live online so other loved ones can join in virtually (Zoom of course is our fave! Just ensure to “test” your set-up, or assign someone techy to handle/arrange this!)
KEEP A MASTER CHECKLIST
Create a wedding to-do list to make sure that you don’t miss anything and to keep yourself on track. Lots of planning websites where you can keep your checklist (especially if you are on the go all the time) : Wedding Happy is one of our faves, also Google Drive always comes in handy.
You can also download our complimentary wedding planning binder here.
Planning doesn’t always mean that things will go smoothly as you want them to be, so be ready for contingency plans. This is an important aspect in planning your own wedding. ALSO, we want to say that plan B doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change everything altogether, it sometimes means redesigning or repurposing. If you need help, again, we do consultations to help you put together a redesign and repurpose what you currently have.
Remember that if you are serving alcohol, you might want to consider having a coverage, like a wedding/event insurance to give you extra peace of mind.
KEEP THE MAIN THING, THE MAIN THING
This is a total cliché, but also totally TRUE. Wedding planning (with no wedding planner!) and DIY can be so stressful. When you feel overwhelmed, remind yourself that it is not about how awesome your event will be. Your big day is about celebrating your union and commitment with the love of your life.
DISCLAIMER: We’ve rounded up suggestions that are pandemic friendly. Please note however, that it is still your responsibility to practice safety protocols, Covid-19 event guidelines and constant hygiene, and if need be, consult your local public health professional and abide by your government mandates. We do not guarantee that your event will be 100% safe, as all safety practices are ultimately up to you and your guests.
Still in the process of planning your wedding? We can help through virtual consultations (available worldwide and the initial consultation is free!), to assist you in building concepts and overall design, whether it be mood board building, or assisting with step by step guides for your set-up. You can also download our complimentary wedding planning binder here to help you get started!
We are a team of designers, planners and creatives; working together to create tips and guides using our expertise and experience, to help you plan, design and execute your wedding, event or celebration.