Congratulations, you’re engaged! What should you do next? Wedding planning can be a bit confusing and stressful especially if you’ve never done it or know how it works. Here’s a guide to help you plan the wedding of your dreams and what to expect in the months leading up to your special day:
After you enjoy this special moment with each other, now is the time to let family, friends, and other loved ones know. After all, you want them to celebrate with you too. Here’s a little tip for you: skip the Facebook status change for now and send personal messages to your immediate family members or give them a call first.
One of the most basic wedding requirements—and often overlooked—is an honest-to-goodness marriage preparation seminar. If you don’t know where to start, you can try the one hosted by the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM). You can also check with your local church for an equivalent.
Before you start your wedding planning you’ve got to have the date pinned down. If you don’t know what date to choose, here are some tips for you:
● Something Sentimental — a date that has sentimental value, like when you first met or had your first date
● Availability - a date when your nearest and dearest can attend (if you have family and friends living abroad, you’ll have to give them enough time to schedule office leaves and book flights)
● Easy to Remember - some couples pick dates that come from a number sequence (e.g. 6/6 or 10/11)
● Ideal Weather - if you’re planning to hold your wedding outdoors or by the beach, make sure you don’t have it during the rainy season
Finding the perfect wedding venue involves considering several factors. Not only do you have to find something that is at an ideal location, but it also has to fit your budget and should be able to hold all your attendees too. Take time to visit each venue and get your feel of the place. Remember, though, that most venues will require you to pay at least 50% of the total bill to reserve it on the date you want.
Do you want your wedding to be outdoors? Romantic garden perhaps? Rustic? Vintage? Classic? What colors are you going for—the color of the year? A combination of your favorite colors? As a couple, now is the time to sit down and decide on the kind of wedding you want to have. This is important as it will dictate how a lot of the decor will look, from the chairs to the flowers to the table setting and more.
Discussing your budget is never an easy task, but it’s doable. You’ll need to maintain a detailed spreadsheet where you can track all your savings and keep an eye out for unexpected costs. It’s hard work, but if you can set a budget that you are comfortable with that is also practical, you’ll avoid overspending or spending for unexpected costs.
Most people think that you need at least one year of planning for a wedding, and while you do want a lot of time to plan your special day, it’s completely doable to get married within three months of your engagement. A wedding timeline will help you decide what factors are important to you, from vendors to special parts in the program and more. Coming up with your wedding timeline will help you plot those and make sure they are ready before your big day.
In this case, Pinterest is usually your best friend. Create a Pinterest account and save the photos you find on your Pinterest board. You can show these to your vendors so that they have a visual peg for how you want your wedding to look, from your bouquet to the table centerpieces and your wedding aisle.
Any besties who must be part of your bridal party? Some friends who must stand beside you on your special day? List them all, down to the ninongs and ninangs who have been part of your lives and have a significant impact on your relationship. When you’ve finalized your entourage, don’t forget to personally ask them to be a part of it. While they usually don’t say no, it’s still considered good manners to ask the people to be your bridesmaids, groomsmen, or principal sponsors.
One of the biggest headaches in wedding planning can be sitting down and creating a guest list. Who should you invite to your wedding? The best way to go about this is by first setting the maximum number of guests you will invite and then listing down the names of people who should be there. Remember to jot down immediate family members first!
As soon as you’ve got your wedding timeline locked in, it’s time to look for vendors who will be providing you with different services during your wedding. This can include flower arrangements, wedding giveaways, a sound system, lights, catering and more. It’s important to find suppliers you trust and build a good working relationship with them. Make sure to communicate deadlines and costs clearly so you don’t run into any problems later on.
If you don’t know where to begin, you can check out featured supplies on Eventory.
Before you get married, you need to make sure that your legal documents are in order. These include the following:
● NSO birth certificate (this will be used to apply for a marriage license)
● CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage Record)
● Cedula / residence certificate / community tax certificate (to prove that both of you are residents of a city or town)
● Marriage license (proving that you are eligible to marry; an important requirement for either civil or church weddings in the Philippines)
● Marriage certificate (after the wedding)
Remember to check the validity of the documents that you are applying for as some of them only have a validity of 2-6 months. If you apply for them too early or too late, your actual wedding date might not fall under it, and you’ll have to apply all over again, or worse, move your wedding date.
These days, it’s pretty common for couples to create wedding websites so all wedding details are in one spot and you don’t have to keep sending updates to each of your guests. You can just remind your guests to check the wedding website for updates. Plus, you can show off your engagement photos and write about how you met. Depending on the website, you can even set a wedding registry or a guestbook.
Even as you’re busy with all the wedding preparations, don’t forget to look for a place where you will spend your honeymoon. Look for a honeymoon destination that’s unforgettable, whether you want it packed with activities or are just looking forward to relaxing after all the wedding buzz.
Ideally, you should send out wedding invitations 6-8 weeks before your wedding. Some couples even send out a save-the-date first, and then follow it up with a wedding invite. These days, most things are digital, so if you’re on a budget, it’s also okay to send a digital invite instead of an actual, physical wedding invitation.
Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of wedding planning can be really stressful, but remember that nothing is more important than nurturing your relationship as bride and groom. Schedule time-outs where you can relax and enjoy the process of wedding planning with each. Remember, it’s not supposed to be a stressful day, but a special one.