STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO PLANNING YOUR WEDDING
You have found your better half, the families are willing and the date is set. Now the time is here to get started on planning and designing the big day!!
The stakes are high, it is one of the most important landmark of your life and everything needs to be just right. The smallest details makes for a perfect finish, and so much goes into getting together a celebration of this scale. All the customs and traditions have to be followed, the guests need to be looked after, the entertainment should be exhilarating and the food must be finger smacking delicious. No matter if you have a year or a few months at hand, with so much to accomplish no amount of time seems enough.
Getting together a list of tasks is a daunting exercise by itself, but here are the bigger elements that need to be meticulously selected and coordinated for a smooth execution of all events and functions.
Have you decided on the budget? If not, this is the most important decision to be made before you can undertake any planning, as it will be the influencing factory for every aspect of the wedding. It can be a difficult conclusion to come to, unless you have proper guidance to categorise everything that goes into the execution of the entire wedding and the costs for the same. Only once you have the numbers available can you take an informed decision and set aside a budget.
Go back to recalling your dreams and think of that place where you always wanted to tie your knot and live happily ever after!
The second big decision while planning the wedding - the venue. One that needs to be taken right away, to not only ensure that the option of your liking is booked in time for your required dates, but also because a lot of the other elements will be chosen on the basis of this.A wide variety of venue options are available now, which match various budget and scale parameters set by you for the wedding. Knowing which is the best in terms of service, quality and value for money needs an experienced and well informed selection. Destination wedding planners can help you with this decision.
Your guests are your priority, so indulge them in the best of activities and let them go gaga. Whether the wedding is in your own town or in a third location, there will always be outstation guests. They need to be provided with comfortable and conveniently located accommodation. In your own city you can choose a hotel known to you, which is close enough to your wedding venues, but you need to know how to get the best deals and inclusions for your package. Whereas in a city unknown to you, where the distances and locality is foreign to you, selecting a suitable hotel is tricky and having someone to guide you is a must.
The backbone of any big event are the vendors, and their selection is a make or break decision. Everything in the wedding is eventually executed by them. Getting the right set and making sure that there is harmony and coordination between various teams is imperative to ensure smooth running of events. You need to know if the vendors are competent enough to do the job they promised, if they are allowed to work at the event venue and most importantly if the various teams working are on cordial terms and can carry out their share of work in sync with each other. These are information privy only to the people involved in the wedding industry and might not be easily available to you.
The entertainment takes centre stage because an occasion this special deserves a grand celebration. A glamorous and glitzy music or dance event to let your hair down and party the night away. Finding new talents, contacting the rising stars or signing the budding local talent all need the correct contacts. Once booked there is also the matter of coordinating their arrival, departure and accommodation on the day of the event, which will require attention as well.
Apart from this stand alone event you also need to provide a background music for all other functions to add a feel of festivity and gaiety to the affair, adding another thing to your to-do-list.
Don't we all want a wedding that's different and unique, which tells our story and showcases our personality? Visualisation, conceptualisation and execution all need to be carried out in perfection to get the desired result. Being able to take care of all three is no easy feat and having to do it own your own can be overwhelming. Once the design is ready on paper it needs to be given shape and requires different agencies like florists, electrician, carpenter etc to make it real. There needs to be teamwork and coordination between all of them and the speed and quality of work needs to be monitored on the day of the event.
Most wedding events are spread over multiple venues, and logistics becomes a major part of the wedding planning. Your guests need to be picked up from their arrival point, taken to their accommodation and to various wedding venues thereafter. There is also always a demand for transport to go for shopping and sightseeing trips to fill the gaps between various functions. Not to mention movement of material from one place to another. All in all you need a fleet of vehicles to cater to all these needs. Coordinating movement of cars and ensuring everyone is provided for is a continuous process and having to be in charge of it along with everything else will be extremely taxing.
For most Indian weddings the food is the master of ceremonies, and lot of thought has to be given to the menu selection. This needs a different level of planning and coordination all together. Typically you would like a different cuisine for each event. Inclusion of some traditional foods might be a must, while going with a fusion of western tastes with a hint of regional flavours is the current trend.
No single caterer or chef will be able to provide you with a wide variety of dishes while maintaining authentic flavours. Here again you will need to combine different teams to get the spread you desire. You will need an in-depth knowledge of the market to make correct selection of agencies and for pairing them together.
You want to capture all the special moments and document them well so that the memories are preserved for generations to come. For this a team of photographers are needed who are excellent at capturing the candid moments of joy and celebrations without getting in the way. They will be in the centre of all the activities and mingling with your guests in the course of their work, so you need to select a company with a team of well mannered and courteous photographers. With so many studios flooding the market, knowing which is the best of the lot needs detailed study and survey.
Once you have the above things taken care of you can concentrate on the finer aspects of the planning. Decisions that are more personal and require all your attention from start to finish. Here is a checklist for your ready reference to ensure you don't miss out anything.
- Finalise the guest list and update their current address for sending invite.
- Send out save the date cards.
- Selecting the design of the wedding card.
- Printing wedding programme card.
- Choosing a gift or sweet to accompany the card.
- Hiring a choreographer for the family sangeet.
- Booking of pundit.
- Choosing your outfits for all the functions.
- Booking the mehendi artist.
- Booking your makeup and hair stylists.
- Booking hairdressers for your guests.
- Creating a basket of goodies to welcome your guests.
- Selection of return favours.
- Getting an appointment with the marriage registrar.
- Start planning your honeymoon.
Everything is interlinked and one miscalculated decision can throw a wrench in the entire cycle of events. At a point when you and your family want to cherish the new developments in your life, you don't want to be bogged down by things that can be managed by professional wedding planners.
Even the best planned events at times are disrupted by unforeseen circumstances and problems. Situations like the venue being unavailable at the 11th hour because of some emergency, the artist bailing out at the last moment , the flower consignment getting stuck on the way etc. These can cause lot of panic and anxiety and to rectify the situation instantly is impossible unless you have the support and backing of professionals who can use their clout and resources to make alternate arrangements on the spot. Not to mention cleaning up and tying all the loose ends after the party is over.
So enjoy your wedding as a guest and let a team of professionals play host on your behalf.