Shot by Israni Photography, Mumbai
Let's be honest, planning a wedding can be pretty overwhelming. Your planning process will be the culmination of all the ideas and themes that you've collected over time in a better, more organised and aesthetic manner. And while couples often hire professional planners to help manage their weddings, especially if it's a big fat affair, there are plenty of those who opt to take on the majority of planning responsibilities. After all, there are so many factors to consider that are personal and only you might be able to see them more clearly. Furthermore, even if you do have a wedding planner, you have to be involved in the planning process till the very end.
Therefore, instead of taking all of it at once, it's best to create a checklist and tick everything off one by one. So, we're here to remind you that planning a wedding is a slightly heavy task, sure, but it is possible to plan the wedding of your dream if you keep a few tips and tricks in mind!
Read More Marriage Tips on happyMarriage.com
Here are some tried and tested wedding planning tips that will surely aid you in executing your big day flawlessly.
These are the Best Wedding Planning Tips
Source Poppy Jabbal
First thing first, the organization is the key to keeping everything on track during the planning process. You have to keep in mind the deadlines and lists while also making decisions about various elements that influence the wedding. And don’t forget to involve your significant other in this step as well. Your wedding should represent both of you, together as a couple.
You're probably wondering where to begin. Well, we've got you covered. Just remember to keep one very important thing in mind: Try to have some fun! This is your wedding after all.
1. Set Your Wedding Date
When it comes to Indian weddings, the first thing you need to do is set a wedding date. With all the customs and conveniences in mind, you'll probably get a date which will be an auspicious day for various weddings. Setting your wedding date will help you consider things like traffic flow, travel of your guests, etc. Plus, a set date is essential to book vendors with ease.
Getting Married? Book Trusted Vendors
2. Best Is To Start Early
Source Warm Karoo
The one thing all of us swear by is that you should have an ample amount of time to plan your wedding. This means that you should start planning early and spread it out over time. Before you begin any sort of planning, you need to make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to plan the wedding. A longer timeline is always your friend. If possible, aim for around a year. This way, you will also have time to create backups for anything and everything.
3. Set A Budget Before You Begin
Setting your budget before you begin the planning process is extremely important. Your budget will influence how the wedding will look. And make sure to involve your partner in this so that you can make decisions on elements like splitting bills and choosing things like decor, venues etc. Make sure that things like your outfits, makeup & hair, shoes, accessories, nail appointments, etc. are in the overall wedding budget. Fix a budget and find wedding venues, and decide on the food menu, aesthetics, your overall look within that set budget. It will help you streamline your options too.
4. Talk & Discuss The Budget With Your Family
Once you have a budget, you can start mapping out the rest of the logistics. Plus, instead of deciding the budget on your own, involve your and your partner's family members and take their advice. See how much they can contribute to it and take their advice especially if they've done the wedding tango before. Similarly, if any of your family member or relative wishes to contribute to the budget, consider asking them to put money towards a specific wedding vendor or detail where you're comfortable sharing control such as flowers, music or one of your outfits.
5. Create An Estimate Guestlist
Shot by DotDusk studios, Delhi
Whether you're planning a destination wedding or a more localised one, creating an estimated guest list is always necessary. Once you have a guest list ready, it will be easier to estimate the size of your wedding. This will also help you streamline the main guests that you want should attend all your functions and those that you want at the main wedding banquet or reception. This estimated guest list will help you get a clearer picture of your vendors as well, including your photographer, caterer, venue managers etc.
6. Decide A Theme
Wedding planning is a combination of big ideas like theme, location, wedding venue, and guest list and smaller details that make a lovely difference. So, once your budget is all set, you can start planning a theme for your wedding. It can either be an overall theme that dictates your wedding's vibe or a function-wise theme where every function represents something. And if you're not dead-set on having a particular theme (if you find that kind of thing too restricting), then you can always come up with colour combinations for your wedding. This will help you focus more on elements like decor, attire, venue, catering etc.
7. Use Wedding Apps To Help You Plan Better
The digital age has brought us many boons. One of them is wedding planning apps! There are many apps out there that can help you organise your wedding day for free. They can aid you in deciding the theme, attire, decor and venues. Plus, they help you in sticking to your timeline and managing the process in a stress-free way!
8. Choose a Venue/Venues
Choosing a venue is the next step in your planning. Whether it's a destination wedding or a local affair, choosing and booking a venue is of utmost importance. So, you need to do some market research before you zero down on a place. Read reviews online, go to various wedding venues, get different price quotes and make sure you compare the services provided by them. Also, take into consideration the theme of your wedding. Does the venue match your aesthetics? Does it have the facilities you want for yourself and your guests? Do they provide decor or catering? There are so many things that you expect from your venue. So, make a list of those things and make sure that your shortlisted venues tick all the boxes.
Getting Married? Book Trusted Vendors
9. Prepare A Wedding Checklist
Creating a wedding checklist will help you stay organised. You can either use Excel or Word, or you can even go the traditional route and write it down in a journal or a wedding planner notebook. Once your list is ready, you'll be able to tackle one issue at a time and keep an eye on what is done and what is pending. As you organise and prioritize, you'll find certain items falling to the bottom of your list. If you think that they're not important or necessary, then do yourself a favour and remove them from your list completely. This way, you'll end up saving some time and money.
10. Planning According to the Weather /Season
Source Giri Mobography
When it comes to Indian weddings, every season is wedding season. So, whether you're getting married in summer, monsoon or winter, you need to plan accordingly. If it's a summer wedding, you need to arrange for an air conditioner or maybe an indoor setting. If it's a monsoon wedding, you need to prepare for rain showers and if it's a winter wedding, you need to prep yourself for the winter chill. Similarly, you need to have a plan B in case the weather decides to behave unpredictably on the wedding day. Choosing a banquet hall is always a safe option regardless of the weather, but if you have any function that's outside, then you should be prepared to move the party to an indoor location.
11. Don't Be In A Hurry
One of the most important things to remember is to never be in a hurry. Often when we're in a hurry, we end up messing things. That is why we suggest that you start early in the planning. Always do your research and contemplate your options before making your final decision irrespective if it's your wedding lehenga or the cocktails on your bar.
12. Discuss & Create Your Menus
Source Twin Treats
Creating a food menu for your wedding is the next step. Generally, wedding venues will help you cater, but if they don't or if you want a specific catering company, it's time to contact them. Make sure your catering service is free during your wedding celebration, the kinds of cuisines they offer and if they can provide you with the kind of menu you want. This is also the time you decide the kind of menu you want- whether you want vegetarian or non-vegetarian items, vegan food, or food with no onion and garlic. While deciding on your menu, also decide whether you want alcohol on the menu or not and which functions should have a bar.
13. Streamline & Limit Your Choices
We know that you want everything to be perfect. However, in the search for perfection, it's normal to get confused by the unlimited number of choices that are there in the wedding market. So, instead of keeping on with your research, or should we say- spending too many hours scrolling Pinterest- it's time to put a full stop to it. Focus on one concept or the ideas that you have already selected and stick to them.
14. Reshuffle The Guest List
Source Stories by Joseph Radhik
By this time, your bookings and shopping will have you brimming above the decided budget a bit. So, here's where you take a second look at the guest list and start reshuffling it. The list can be shortened a bit, where you can eliminate certain not-so-important guests. Your venue or caterer will probably have a per-plate charging system, so if you shorten the guest list of the banquet a bit, it might help you manage within your budget.
15. Make/ Design Your Wedding Invitation
Source Sincerely Tharzy
You should make sure that all your wedding invites are designed and ready in time. Thanks to all the various kinds of creation apps out there, you can easily DIY a digital invitation for your wedding and even create options for specific functions. Or, you can always go the traditional route and hire a wedding invitation designer. Still, your wedding invitation and stationery will have to be prepared well in advance, keeping in mind that your invitations should be sent out at least a month before your wedding.
16. Compare Your Vendors
When researching, always get quotes from different vendors and compare their prices with the provided services. You can also talk to your friends and family who might have vendors to suggest from previous experience. Plus, always read the reviews and testimonials online to check the reputation of the vendor and whether they're reliable or not. Most vendors today have a social media presence. Explore their social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook and check their digital footprint. Their social media feed and comments will give you a better idea of their work and rep.
17. Get Advice From Your Recently Married Friends
Shot by Delhi Velvet photography, Delhi
Getting advice from your friends and recently married relatives are always helpful. They can give you a good and frank idea of wedding vendors as they have already taken the plunge. Furthermore, they can also suggest good vendors work with. Get guidance from them regarding the planning process or the tips that helped them. It will help if their wedding was closer to your dream wedding.
18. Grab Yourself Some Deals
Shot by Art and Soul Photography, Pune
People often stop themselves from asking for offers, discounts or deals thinking that they might come off as cheap. However, when it comes to weddings, you're spending a lot of money at once. So asking for offers or deals on things like venues, caterers, and decorators is something you shouldn't shy away from. You can also find some good deals on various wedding planning platforms.
19. Read The Fine Print!
Source Shalin Photo
Before finalising your vendor or making any payments, make sure you read the contracts with your vendors carefully. If you're signing a contract, make sure to focus on the fine print. Check for any hidden extra charges or liabilities. Every detail should be discussed with the vendor thoroughly.
Getting Married? Book Trusted Vendors
20. Spare Some Time Between The Wedding & Honeymoon
When it comes to Indian weddings, going on your honeymoon right after the wedding isn't possible. You have certain after-wedding customs that you must attend to, plus the whole wedding celebration can leave a dent in your pocket for a while. So, it's best to keep a gap between the wedding and the honeymoon. It'll help control the budget and allow you to focus on one thing at a time.
21. Organize An Initial Planning Meeting With Your Vendors
Hitch Key Wedding Planner suggests holding initial planning meetings with vendors, "Initial meetings set the foundation of success for the wedding in all aspects where you get to understand each other. By doing so, you set and manage the expectations by budgets, dates, and other major wedding event components. You could also send emails at night post discussions with planners to hotels, airlines, etc. so you could sleep in peace and get a reply by the time you wake up in the morning. Through these meetings, you can understand the expectations of the vendor and convey your expectations to them. What ideas do they already have? Are these ideas cohesive with the wedding theme? How can you stretch them in a creative and budget-friendly way to infuse your wedding with unique themes to make it memorable? Brainstorm together with your partner to understand your taste. The one which should reflect both your personalities."
22. Hash Out Your Services' Delivery Date
Shot by WeddingNama, Mumbai
For vendors like wedding card designers, photographers, bridal outfit designers etc, you need to make sure you hash out the delivery date of your products. Talk to the photographer about when they will be delivering the wedding photographs and videos. Get an estimated date of your lehenga's delivery and the delivery of your wedding cards. Fulfilment of services before and after the wedding can be stressful, so decide on the delivery date with the vendors on time.
23. Set Aside Some Extra Money
Planned by Riwaaz-e-Rishte, Delhi
One piece of advice every planner, every couple, and every parent will always give you is that you should always set aside some extra budget. For unexpected situations like last-minute increases in the number of guests, extra arrangements for unpredictable weather or maybe even transportation! Unavoidable circumstances always show up at the last minute. So, this extra budget will always come in handy.
24. No-Show Guests
Some guests may not show up to your wedding, and it's normal. You can make a wild estimate that probably 10-15% of your guest list will not show up to your wedding. This can depend on various factors like the location of the wedding, or their prior commitments. So, always check in with your guests even at the last moment and streamline the list according to that.
25. Check The Restrictions
Decor by Dreamzkraft , Mumbai
After Covid, we learnt the lesson of celebrating intimate weddings amidst the restrictions. Similarly, every venue has its set of rules and restrictions that you have to know and follow. Certain venues may not allow alcohol, or may not be pet friendly. Some do not allow music to be played after a certain hour. So, make sure you check these restrictions and decide your venue accordingly.
26. Decide Your Financing Sources Beforehand
Make sure that you have your mode of payment sorted in time. Whether you're choosing from loans, credit cards, family support, cheques, digital platforms etc, your mode of payment should be clear. Plus, every payment you make should be documented for future clarity.
27. Get, Set Shop!
Source Recall Pictures
Listen, ladies and gentlemen, do not (and we say this with much emphasis) delay your wedding shopping to the last moment. You should finalise your bridal lehenga and other outfits months before, and your jewellery and accessories should be shopped for in time. Shopping is one of the most exhausting parts of the whole process and can take up a lot of time. Since shopping can tire you out, you must get it done in time. This will give you enough time to relax and maintain that bridal glow.
28. Arrange Accommodation For Your Guests
If you have out-of-town guests, then you should arrange accommodation for them. Whether they're your friends or relatives, you should make sure that they're either close to your home or your wedding venue. Ask your vendors if they have any tie-ups with hotels that can get you good and safe accommodation for your guests at a good price.
29. If You're Planning A Destination Wedding
Destination weddings are quite a trend these days. So, if you're planning a destination wedding, select only the best travel agency by researching and finding one that matches your requirements. Plus, you should have proper coordinators to arrange for local transportation, hotels and other local services.
30. Preparing Gifts For Your Guests
Source Sourabh Verma
Giving your guests gift hampers adds a personal touch to the festivities. It shows that you are truly happy about them attending the wedding. So, make sure that you prepare the gifts for your guests on time. Visit wholesalers in your city who can provide you with items for your hampers at a good price. Or you can always choose a vendor who can help you get all the materials for your gift hampers.
31. Skip Some Vendors & DIY.
Decor by With Love Nilma, Bangalore
In this day and age, it's essential to apply your skills and DIY certain items. This doesn't just save money but also adds a touch of personalisation that will make your wedding even more special. You could take charge of music for your pre-wedding festivities or maybe make your invitation through platforms like Canva. Furthermore, you could craft favours for your bridesmaids and other guests if you're an artsy person. If you're a good makeup artist, then you can surely save up and do your makeup during your pre-wedding festivities. There’s something special about creating some elements of the wedding yourself, plus you save up some money too!
32. Stay Up To Date With Current Affairs & Your Vendors
Staying updated in today's volatile world is very important. So, whether it's your vendors or the current affairs, you need to stay updated with what's going on. Keep in touch with your vendors regarding arrangement, services, location, and progress. Always alert your vendors if there are any changes to the arrangements. Similarly, keep track of the news on the location of your wedding. If there is any kind of unrest or maybe something happens that might trigger restrictions or curfews, you should know to make changes accordingly.
33. Create An Emergency Contact List
Create an emergency contact list that includes your family members, close friends and vendors so you can reach them quickly in face of an emergency. This will help you use time efficiently and avoid any kind of mismanagement.
34. Organising Your Bachelor/ Bachelorette Party
Shot by Naman Verma Photography, Delhi
Don't organise your bachelor or bachelorette party a day before the wedding. Seriously, it may sound adventurous but you're going to end up exhausted during the actual wedding ceremony. So, it's best if you have this party before the pre-wedding festivities begin. This way, you can take a day or two to rest and hopefully walk off that hangover.
35. Trying Your Outfit
Brides and grooms, make it a point to try your wedding outfits at least a week before the wedding. You need to check your fittings and make the necessary arrangements. People tend to lose or gain weight during the stressful wedding planning process, which can mess up the fitting a bit. So, it's best to check your outfits a few days earlier to make alterations in time.
36. Try & See Your Wedding Vendor In Action
Source The Wedding Filmer
If possible, try to see your vendors work on the ground. it always helps to attend a wedding being done by a vendor you've hired. This way, you can check their quality of services and even get live feedback from others. If it's a venue or a caterer, then you can see their hospitality for yourself and even understand their work ethics.
37. Make Your Payments On Time
Always make your payments on time to avoid any last-minute hassles. If you expect your vendors to adhere to ethics then so should you. Quarrels during the wedding ceremonies with vendors can bring down the whole celebration vibe. If you're prompt in your payments, it will improve your relationship with the vendor.
38. Be Ready For Extra Hours
Source Balerina Films
Guests are bound to be late during the wedding. So, always be prepared for extra hours and make sure you speak to your vendors about that as well. Few changes in the timings are normal, so make sure your vendors know of this and give you extra hours without any last-minute problems or costs.
39. Keep Both Families In The Loop
Shot by Israni Photography, Mumbai
Both the families are important. Take advice from the members of both families as they have an equal part in the ceremonies. Celebrations should be done where both family members are involved actively, otherwise, unwanted grudges or ill feelings can cause future problems.
40. Make Sure To Get Confirmation Mails
According to Wedding Planners Hitch Key Planners, you should always get confirmation emails from your vendors, "Check those emails and see if any changes have been made to the decision points. Getting written confirmations is always helpful if any issues arise in the future. It is also useful to have these emails if you miss the confirmation phone call. Things might change along the way but it’s good to make sure you’re all on the same page now so that there are no surprises."
41. Make Sure You Work As A Team
Source House on the Clouds
Wedding planning is overwhelming, we've said that before. However, you do not have to do this alone. Your partner has an equal say in this and should share your responsibilities with you. Involve them in every decision and consider their expectations as well.
42. Assign Someone To Keep You Peppy
Source Vinuthna Garidipuri
Ask a friend or sibling to constantly remind you to have fun and enjoy your wedding. After all, you've worked hard to execute this wedding and if you don't enjoy it then it's a shame. This person will keep an eye out to see if you're spending too much time greeting guests and missing out on your favourite dance number!
43. Signature Cocktails & Mocktails
Decor by With Love Nilma, Bangalore
A trend that we've been loving and seen plenty of couples embrace is the use of a customised bar menu. Introduce signature cocktails and mocktails for your guests with unique names. You can name them after yourselves or elements that define and relate to you. This is a great personalised element that will help your guests remember your celebration for a very long time.
44. Add Some Buffer Time Between Events
Shot by Talking Frames, Mumbai
Having a buffer time between various events is necessary. Instead of going from one event to another back-to-back, make sure you have some break-in between them. This time to breathe is very necessary. This buffer time can be used to rest, hang out with your guests casually and even keep track of the festivities effortlessly.
Getting Married? Book Trusted Vendors
45. Appoint A Person To Help You Closely
Source Dreamfinity Studios
It can be your parent, your best friend or even someone you trust very much. This person will be your ambassador and will be responsible for things like supplies and paperwork. They can help you organise various aspects like vendor contacts, your makeup, first aid etc. Plus, they can also help in keeping track of your wedding gifts. Make sure to choose someone who will work well under pressure.
46. Don't Forget The Lighting
Decor by Altair, Mumbai
Lighting can drastically improve your wedding setting. It can add a luxurious look to your functions and a much-needed touch of elegance without going too far off-budget. Include stuff like fairy lights in your decor to amplify your event with allure and elegance.
47. Create A Mini Vanity
Makeup by Misha Vig Makeup Studio, Delhi
Prepare a box of backup makeup and hair items like your mascara, lipstick, perfume and hair pins for touch-ups. This little case should also have certain extra items like adhesive bandages, sewing kits, hair ties, etc. that can help you in case of emergencies.
48. Share Your Responsibilities
Shot by LJ Photography, Coimbatore
Choose reliable friends and family members for different tasks during your wedding celebration. From greeting guests to collecting supplies from local stores and even keeping track of vendor services, you should assign different tasks to different people on the wedding day to make sure everything works smoothly. After all, you will be busy getting ready on your wedding day, so you need a team of people to oversee things happening on that day.
49. Meditate, Or Just Breathe
Source Bunnnygram Productions
Brides and grooms, you need to try and be stress-free. If you're feeling too stressed, meditate with the help of a book, a podcast or a meditation app. You also need to come to terms with the fact that some things may just not go as you planned. But that's okay. Accepting this beforehand will help you deal with any situation easily. It's also necessary to keep a healthy, nutritious diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
50. Check Your Emotional Temperature
Source Anuja Joshi
Is your planning process giving you nightmares? Are you stuck talking only about that and nothing else on a loop? Well, my friend, it's time to take a break. You and your fiance should take a break by planning something non-wedding-related. Go on a weekend getaway or maybe go on a movie date. Trust us, it will help you tons. Similarly, make sure you're exercising enough, drinking plenty of water, sleeping well and spending a lot of quality time with your loved ones. You can’t remove stress from the equation entirely, but you can minimize it by remembering this is one day, not your life.
Now that you've seen all the ways you can make sure your wedding planning goes smoothly, it's time to put them to good use. Wedding planning can be confusing, sure. But with these 50 best wedding planning tips, you'll be able to organise everything in no time. Keeping these tips in perspective, dive into the planning and create beautiful memories!
Read More Marriage Tips on happyMarriage.com