No matter how big an event is, if you plan it out from the scratch, you will never have to face those last minute hassles. I have come up with 25 simple steps which upon following you will not need to pull your hair in the last month of your auspicious occasion.
1. Pick up a Date: Always keep 2-3 options in hand. But ask for your most favorable date first. Check the day of the week and season of the year and plan accordingly. Also keep an eye on the technicalities and do not be too choosy.
2. Estimate your Wedding Budget: Do not get swayed away on the budget and try to keep your feet on the ground. Try to conduct a small research to check on the current market rates and make estimation accordingly. Perhaps a bit higher.
3. Finalize the number of events: This factor largely depends on the wedding budget. It is okay to cut down a number of small events and use the money for something important in the wedding. Further more, these small events make you tired and exhausted and leave you with very less stamina on your final day.
4. Estimate the number of guests: Let’s get real here. You can not go by the phrase “More the merrier”. Invite only those that are close to you and would miss them if they do not attend. Too many people will be difficult to manage and handle.
5. Wedding Venues: A background research is very important while deciding on the venue of your wedding. Try to visit a few of the venues by yourself so that you can decide better. Check out what format does the wedding venue covers and if it matches your wedding schedule.
6. Save-the-Date cards: These cards have a crucial role to play if you have your guests at a distant town. This way it will be easy for them to plan their visit as well. Today, you can DIY and e-mail it for free as well.
7. Tailor: While finalizing your tailor make sure that he/she knows hand work as well. Remember that the quality of tailor differ from person to person. You can add that X-factor to your typical saree that way which is sure not to go unnoticed.
8. Photographers & Videographers: These are the most important elements in your wedding as they are the only ones will take you down memory lane in your future. Get quotes from all of them and self-rate your favorite ones. Conduct an audition and finally choose the best.
9. Catering: Food is very important in wedding. Even if some events go wrong, food can compensate it all. For live weddings, arrange for food trials 2 hours after the food is put up on the counter. From the feedback you get, take quick decisions.
10. Decor: Select a theme first if you wish on planning a theme wedding. Conduct a proper background research with your decorator and explain your expectations. Book sufficiently early as the good accessories they have might get booked. But do not panic. The market is full of alternatives too.
11. Wedding Trousseau: Do not go for last minute shopping. You will only confuse yourself and end up spending more. Avoid repetition. Make sure about what you want, the style and the pattern and also the count. Shop within your budget as fashion keeps on changing and you will need to shop after wedding too.
12. Jewelry/ Accessories: If you do not like artificial jewelry for your wedding day, shop for the jewelry before the main wedding outfit. This way you can match it with your outfit, as vice versa will be daunting. Otherwise you will end up customized which will be very expensive though.
13. Engagement Party Planning: Try to schedule your engagement 2-3 months before your wedding so that you get enough time to plan your wedding. This way you can also learn from the mistakes and the situations that went wrong in the engagement and avoid them in the main wedding.
14. Invitations: Keep the invitations printing towards the end when majority of your expenditures are decided. This way you will know how much you are left with and how much can you spent.
15. Honeymoon Plans: Start planning for your honeymoon immediately after the venue is booked. Consult both the families – your parents and in laws if they need you for some post wedding rituals. And when you get the green signal book your tickets.
16. Beauty services: Pay special attention to services like Mehendi, Hair, Make-up and Sari draping. Talk to them before have and conduct a test before the wedding so that nothing goes wrong and you look elegant and beautiful.
17. Wedding Cake (Optional): You can have one extra event and an added dessert in the menu such as the wedding cake. But, hey! You do not have to spent lot.
18. DJ (Optional): Well, if you are tight with the budget, you may always compile all your favorite wedding songs and ask one of your cousins to be your DJ for the night.
19. Book your Priest/ Pundit: Talk out beforehand on how much time will be required for the rituals to complete and plan the rest of the programs accordingly. Also consult on what kind of attire you will need to wear for the ritual.
20. Wedding Favors: In Maharashtra, weddings sarees are given as wedding favors. But, there are few other options for you to explore too. Decide on them and take blessings from your guests.
21. Rukwat: It is seen in Maharashtrian weddings that the bride’s family displays gifts/food items on a table. So, you may always put photo frames with the engagement pictures or cute pictures of the bride and groom. Make sure nothing goes waste in the food section.
22. Ceremony preparations and Other Stationary: Add a personalized touch to your Gift packing, Trousseau packing by doing it yourself with the help of your close friends.
23. Bridal emergency kit: What is the harm in keep a Bridal emergency kit for the times that might go wrong in a wedding? Hand it over to your Maid of honor. Safe your wedding from any disaster this way.
24. Pre-Bridal treatments: From gold facials to spa therapy, talk with your makeup artist and get relaxed and make yourself feel special. You deserve some sooth after a hectic pre-preparation schedule.
25. Thank you cards: You can always personalize and mail those cards once you are back from your honeymoon. Plus, they are free of cost.