Genius Wedding Planning in
(30/10/2019) | Categories:
| Wedding Planning |
Guides/Timelines/Checklists. They're everywhere.
You'll find a checklist in every issue of every bridal
magazine. Or there are downloadable versions you can
print yourself. There are interactive software
versions. And there are apps.
You'll find bulky planners that are based on those
checklist in every retail bookshop, both bricks and
mortar and online. You'll find folders with
sleeves, spiral bound books, hardcover books.
They're often sold, unused, on the second-hand market.
Wedding planners of various types are given away as
freebies by wedding service vendors and as engagement
gifts by excited friends and family members.
They may seem different, but they all have a few things
- They are linear and chronological, working
backwards from your wedding date
- They present you with a very long list of what to
do and when to do it.
- They assume a long lead time between when you
start planning and your wedding day.
- They work on averages, so help you to plan the
- They generally assume a US context, so don't
necessarily fit with the reality of an Australian
wedding. For example, the majority of wedding in the
US are still church weddings, held in the church
with which the couple has a connection, so how far
ahead you need to book is driven by the rules of the
church regarding pre-marriage courses rather than
competition for the services of the clergy person.
- They create unnecessary anxiety if you "miss" a
How to reduce stress by
planning your wedding like a genius
Forget the pre-determined wedding planning checklist.
It's easy and simple to build your own based on the
reality of your wedding. What this means is that you
create your own list of deadlines
with your own To Do list
. And you do this by
course you can use your device, if you prefer.
But, scientific research has demonstrated time
and again that that physically writing things
down makes it easier to remember them.
Because of how brains are wired, when we form
letters with a hand-held device we are more
efficient not only at learning and remembering
what we write, but creativity also kicks in. And
when planning a wedding, particularly on a
budget, creative thinking is key.
Not only that. Write by hand and you've got
something you can put up on the wall or the fridge
where you see it all the time. Out of
sight, out of mind is oh so true.
How to create your own set of
Other than the actual date of your wedding , and the
date set by the Marriage Act for lodging of your Notice
of Intended Marriage (a minimum of one calendar month
prior to your wedding day) every deadline you'll
need to meet will be a deadline set by one of your
wedding service providers, or driven by one of their
Each of your service providers will tell you what their
deadlines are. And they'll all be different from one
Most will have more than one deadline. For example, your
venue will have a deadline for finalisation of numbers,
a deadline for finalisation of the menu, a deadline for
payments, and possibly other deadlines. Your celebrant
(moi) will have deadlines for payments, for providing
information to inform your ceremony content, for signing
off on the ceremony, and so on.
Downstream, your venue deadlines will drive your
deadlines for mailing out your invitations and the
deadline you give your guests for RSVPs.
ignore anything you might be told about how
far ahead of (or how close to) your wedding you need to
book these providers. Do it ASAP, so you can build your
list of deadlines.
The Practical Stuff
To plan your wedding like a genius, you will need two
- A year wall planner
One of those old-school paper or cardboard
calendars that show the days, weeks, and months
of the year, which you put up on the wall (or
affix to the front of the fridge) and write
on. Officeworks has a wide range of them.
You can also get a bound diary
type version (with a month to an opening) or
software for this purpose. Some come with
wipe-off surfaces and erasable markers. Best
option, in my book, is paper/card and a good
pencil. It allows you to erase and change, but
you don't run the risk of inadvertent erasure.
To Do list
Even the back of an old envelope will work
for this - though you'll soon run out of space.
My advice is not to spend a lot of money on
fancy, structured To-Do lists. Just hand write
on paper. As you go along you will find that you
might rewrite the list more than once.
- On your planner write the most important
deadline - your actual wedding date.
everything counts back from that.
- Count back and write "Lodge Notice of Intended
Marriage" at least a full calendar month before
Though giving yourself some fudge factor on that
would be a good idea - perhaps 2 months!
- Create a heading on your To Do list - Service
Providers to Book.
TIP: A wedding service provider is a person
or business who will provide a service that will be
delivered on the day. For example (this is neither
an exhaustive list nor a definitive one, some
couples may need more providers, others far fewer)
your celebrant, photographer, videographer, venue,
florist, decor stylist, hire company for chairs.
transportation. DJ, hair and makeup artist, and so
on. Research, interview, choose, and book as soon as
you can and once booked, start writing each service
provider's deadlines on the planner. Add any
other deadlines driven by a service provider
- Create another heading on your To Do List
This is where you will write down the things you
need to have in your possession before the big day,
such as your wedding attire, rings, etc. In fact a
potentially very long list. If you can group them
into categories, good. But the main thing is to
prioritise this list and work through it. If any of
these items triggers a deadline, for example dress
or suit alterations, write that on the planner.
- Then every week write a To Do This Week
List, choosing tasks from you overall
To Do List. That's the one to put in your diary, on
your phone, carry in your wallet, and ask people to
help you with.
- When a task is completed don't just tick it off,
write the date completed next to it and highlight
it. That way you'll see at a glance how much
progress you are making.
Review, Review, Review
One of the benefits of having paper on the wall or the
fridge it is in your face, encouraging you to review,
review, and review. Circumstances can change. And so
will your needs and wants. Regularly reviewing keeps you
on track and within budget.
Don't go it alone
Planning a wedding is not a solo enterprise. It is a
Run your To Do list past a couple of
trusted people to check you haven't forgotten to include
something important. Choose at least one person who will
happily question why you've included something on the
list and challenge you to explain why you actually need
Remember: The secret to
success is ... Plan before you Project Manage (and
therefore before you Spend!)
Using a wedding planner of any sort, is a project
management tool. And like all projects, coming in, on or
under budget while achieving the project goals is
the secret to success.
Plan before you spend!
(You'll need a notebook or file of some sort to
keep both these all together and easy to refer to)
- Take some time to create a fleshed out plan for
you wedding, including
- number of guests (drives everything and can open
up or close off possibilities for your other
needs, eg venue, type of ceremony, catering, etc)
- the look and feel of your ceremony
- the look and feel of your reception
- a detailed description of your the various ideal
service providers who will deliver their services
on the day - celebrant, photographer,
videographer, HMA, DJ, etc -
- If you are prone to FOMA (fear of missing out) and
impulse buys, delegate trusted people to do the
initial search to find a short-list of each of the
services you will need to create the day your plan
- And then proceed to book those services.