Wedding planning is a challenge
A fun challenge. One taken with love and anticipation. In a previous article we shared our wedding planning experience. Touching on the importance how we mapped the journey and stuck to a plan. In this article, we will cover seven very easy steps to wedding planning. You'll be introduced to several fun methods meant to guide you swiftly through the dream wedding wonderland.
Wedding planning can be fun
It is true! Planning your wedding can be the most uplifting experience you do besides the ceremony.
How is wedding planning fun?
Like most couples, the wedding is one of the most meaningful moment of their lives. A grand matrimony of the values two individuals share for one another. Nonetheless, to have a wedding takes effort and - unfortunately for many couples - the planning is remembered as the bane of the celebration.
"Grr, I need all these things." "My fiance is no help." "I don't know where to start."
Share your dream wedding
The investment you put into planning can be the difference between a nice wedding and a memorable wedding. Planning is fun. You should plan your wedding. Seriously!
Think about it. Your whole life you've been imagining the day. From isle to the kiss, just like in the movies, a story is being unfolded. Best of all you get to write and direct the the thing, including the prequel. It may go like this "our wedding truly started with us both sitting together, smiling at one another before taking a deep breath, turning to the paper in front of us and writing the draft of our wedding plan."
Okay, so you may not use those exact words. Still, there is something intimate about writing your wedding plan. You are not just putting thoughts to paper. Oh my, you are sharing your secret with your best mate for the first time. As you open the doors of your imagination you both discover how completely anxious and nervous you really are. You are getting married to this person who you love with every ounce of your body, mind, and spirit.
By writing your plan out together you establish a pact. Temporary as it may seem for the purposes of the wedding. This pact is an oath taken stating you are personally invested in your dream wedding.
Your wedding plan is really as important as the wedding ceremony. Without the plan the perfect ceremony is just some event that happens for other couples (those who did plan).
Yeah. We see you nodding. You are ready to begin planning.
Wedding planning in 7 easy steps
Okay, so we brought on a bit of the dramatic. Please excuse us. Our memory of wedding planning is still very strong.
Wedding planning step 1: Mind mapping
Take out a piece of paper. The biggest you have available. Actually, if you are really bold, go to an office supply store and buy dry erase board.
To get started, in the center write "Our wedding" and circle it.
You are about to start mind mapping. A process of pulling out ideas related to a central topic.
Now, draw a short line from the edge of the circle outward. On the line or just outside it write an important aspect of the wedding (budget, venue, etc.). Once, you've done that you'll draw another line and repeat the process.
When you cannot think of anything else simply stop. Review the list. Think of the priority, what is related, what is most difficult, and so on.
Wedding planning step 2: The order
The previous sentence is meant to get you thinking about the order. What should come first? Should we work on a budget or have some fun coming up with a theme?
The order is something for you both agree on. To give you a boost here are some questions to ask aloud:
- What is the biggest project?
- Which of these topics affects the others?
- Which can combined to form a larger topic?
- Did we account for the most important aspect of the wedding?
- Can any of these be eliminated without hesitation?
- If we could agree on one topic as the first to do it would be?
- If we put these in order, our order would look like (easy to hard, boring to fun, etc.)?
Yes, we like using 7. It is lucky, supposedly. Actually, any more questions would just be overkill. We assume you are getting the idea. You want to mold an order to the chaos of the mind map. Doing so gives you direction.
True, that the order has some back and forth as well as referencing. For example, budget topic has your circling back while working vendors options (planner, baker, caterer). Excellent. You are thinking like an engineer, scientist, programmer... and a wedding couple.
Wedding planning step 3: The activities
Let's go over how the activities would work. By activity we mean the act of working on project tasks. Well, committing to project tasks sounds a lot like a 'job' and we say BARF. No, let's call it activities! You are enjoying activities which related to topics. Sound much better and kind of like a story.
Based on the order you established you'll want to do the following:
- Break down each topic into activities.
- Decide the order of the activities.
- Decide which require both of you and which can be split up.
- Give yourselves a schedule to meet.
- Only take on one topic at a time.
LOL, sounds like project management. Hint, it sort of is. We'll share insights on the type we use. In truth, you are keeping to a plan. Staying real with yourselves by not attempting to conquer the wedding from a hundred different angles at once. Multitasking a wedding plan is just dumb. You both win when each of you completes one activity at a time.
Here some reasons why:
- Better focus on the activity at hand.
- Clearer perspective to time to completion.
- Ample space to review your accomplishments.
- A lower overall stress. Equals fun.
Ready to have a visit with our baker? Let's chat!
Wedding planning step 4: The review
Oh yes, the review. No boss here other than yourself. A review of your own work is paramount to the success of your wedding plan. While creating the order of activities gives you direction, reviewing gives you confidence.
The review step of any activity is a measure of your feeling of accomplishment. Did you meet your own expectations? Could something be tweaked? Was there an activity that got away? Once questions as these are answered you can feel confident about moving on. You'll also feel confident your wedding is going to be perfect.
When should you both conduct a review?
- After each activity review the work together. You must do it together!
- After a topic - such as 'vendors' - is completed.
- After all topics have been gone through.
The first helps wrap up minor details. The second ensure the topic has been covered. The third is your final inspection before the big day.
Wedding planning step 5: Final inspection
You've gone through all your topics. Vendors, check. Venue, check. Budget, check. etc...
Yup, all seems to have been covered. Time for a confidence reading. Do you feel like you got everything completed? We don't mean that every possible little detail was covered. We are human after all. Rather, are you confident that you both can say "this will be best moment of our lives."
The final inspection leaves no room for cliffhangers. If something important is amiss you should be able to single it out.
Look at the list of topics now. Feeling anxious, excited, perhaps a little relieved? You should. See all the activities you've both done to make your dream wedding happen. Simply, beautiful. Like a piece of art but with a bunch of check marks and cross outs.
Wedding planning step 6: Day before assessment
We strongly advocate the final two steps. A day before assessment and the no worries best day ever pursuit.
The day before your wedding will include your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Two very common traditions held the day before the ceremony. We recommend adding one more. Call it the 'wedding assessment'.
We assume it has been a few days or weeks since you've looked at all the work you've completed. Just kidding, we know you are endlessly scrutinizing. The final assessment is far different than a relentless review of your accomplishments.
The wedding assessment is your truth-sayer. An objective (not subjective) review of every activity completed. Yes, you and your spouse-to-be MUST go line by line. Ask yourselves is this activity completed or not.
The difference between the assessment and the relentless scrutinizing is the objectivity. Yes, this is complete, so is the next, and the next, and the next. Re-establish your confidence in the accomplishments you've both achieved. Do not let petty randomness get in the way of the perfection you've both made.
"Yes, our wedding is completely ready." Wow, fantastic, now go have the best day of your lives!
Wedding planning step 7: No worries best day ever
Our last step quite honestly is the hardest and most important step. Your wedding is about you both. Family and friends will be there to witness and help out. Nonetheless, the day is meant for you. That said, raise your right hand or left hand or look at yourself in the mirror. Repeat these words together with meaning.
"We shall enjoy our wedding. We shall be the focus of our wedding. We shall not serve in our wedding. Our wedding is for us to express our love for one another. We can and shall only do this by having the best time of our lives."
Congratulations on the wedding to come. You are going to have a blast. One last personal note. If you feel overwhelmed at any time always go back to your list of accomplishments. Have a discussion with your spouse-to-be. Be true to yourselves. A wedding isn't some process of life that must be concluded. Heck no! It's about true love. An equal expression of value shared together.
Michael and Priscilla Sweet,
Ready to have a visit with our baker? Let's chat!