Wedding planning - anyone do it themselves?

  1. Sorry if this has already been posted - I did a search and didn't see anything.

    I'm getting married in November, and FI and I have chosen to have a very small wedding - about 40 guests, just family and a few close friends.

    I've already reserved the church and reception site, so now we have to work out all the details - reception food, wedding cake, entertainment, photographer, flowers, etc etc etc. I knew going into everything that I did NOT want a wedding planner/coordinator.

    Anyone else plan out a wedding and reception on your own? Any tips for me? I am just nervous that I will overlook something important or that the day will be a mess without someone directing everything.
  2. I planned my first wedding (400 guests) and my 2nd wedding 30 guests. Did both of them by myself with minimal assistance from anyone.

    For my first wedding what helped me was creating a binder with all my notes from meetings/calls, recepits, calendars, due dates, pictures from magazines, etc. I gave myself very early due dates so that I wouldn't be rushed at the end. I planned for people to have specific jobs on the day because it will be pretty impossible for you to manage all the little details like payment, making sure orders (flowers, cakes, etc) come in, program goes smoothly etc. A couple of weeks prior to the wedding I sent these people very detailed schedules and to do lists regarding their responsibilities and had one person be in charge with a checklist to get those things done.

    My second wedding was small scale and we actually pulled it together in a week (yes, a week, no joke). I had a lot of help from friends with this one gave everyone jobs to do and nothing real fancy so there was little planning for me to do.

    You can actually buy planners nowadays that has all of these details spelled out for you and they help a lot. If anything get things done as far ahead as possible and be aware that no matter how much you plan things will prob. go a little wrong. I decided to just let them go, enjoy the day and be as beautiful as possible. I think having a positive attitude and realizing that you can't control everything is the best advice. It is your day so make sure that it is what you want and have fun was also great advice that I received. My first wedding was 9 years ago and ended in a bitter divorce but I have no regrets about the wedding I had.

    Best of luck and feel free to PM me if you need anything.

    Oh, and congratz on your upcoming nuptuals!!!
  3. I planned my own and my cousin's wedding. Just get a bridal magazine with a wedding planner page in it. Make sure you find out what the cost of getting reprints are for the wedding pictures. Our wedding was at another location so the photographer let us have the negatives for a great price. I'm so glad I didn't depend on hubby's "friend" to do our wedding pictures. We never heard from him after the wedding.:cursing:
  4. Your wedding sounds very similar to mine and I did it myself too. My one piece of advice is just to be very organized. I kept a binder with all of my contacts, contracts, etc. in and that made it very easy to keep things all together. congratulations!

  5. If you haven't sent out invitations yet, pay someone to address those, it was NOT worth it trying to do that part myself. I wanted to throw my printer out the window by the time I was done.
  6. I did it all myself, partly out of the control-freak in me and partly bec I had already made decisions. My only piece of advice honestly is to get as much down now as you can because if you knock it all out now, you can relax and enjoy the ride. Especially the last few days!

    OH--and on your day delegate some things to a friend who is not in the bridal party and get her a gift as good as the one you got the Bridesmaids. :smile:
  7. I had a day of coordinator, but I also had 200 guests. I planned all the details on my own (no help from friends or family), but could have never done my wedding without a day of coordinator - I didn't want my friends and family not enjoy the day and have to run around putting out programs, setting up centerpieces, chasing vendors, etc.

    Your wedding is small and intimate though, so I think you can get away with not having a formal coordinator, but you will need some help. Like the others said, keep a detailed log of your vendors and create a timeline. You should give all that information to whoever you expect to coordinate things for you on wedding day. For instance, if guests are getting lost on the way there, you don't want them calling your phone while you're getting your hair and makeup done - have them call your person in charge. If the cake doesn't show up and you need to hunt the vendor down - have your person call them, etc etc. The goal is so you can enjoy your big (and busy) day....and hopefully you can delegate amongst your friends so they are not overwhelmed and can enjoy your day too. :smile:
  8. I planned my wedding myself too. The first was a church wedding with 800 guests and the second was a sit down banquet with 600 guests. I made my own dress, made my own cakes, did my own flower displays and bouquet, and had friends help with the card design, printing and photography.

    My suggestion is to think through exactly what you want, and then speak to friends who are married. For instance, I found certain ideas which I liked a little impractical for a DIY wedding. So instead of a 3-tier wedding cake, I had 3 separate cakes arranged on a Wilton stand, and then 3 more to make sure everyone is fed (I did have so many guests).

    Another very important point is that you would need a very good friend who is willing to help you execute everything on that day. I was blessed my best friend flew back from overseas to help me, so everything on the days itself went smoothly. If I had to be bride and coordinator, the days could go quite chaotic I reckon.
  9. you can TOTALLY do it:yes:
    I did all mine w/o any help, we had around 100 guests.
    It's pretty basic really, sounds like some good advice given already:biggrin:
  10. I planned our wedding. It was very small, 50 people. We decided what kind of wedding we wanted and went on from there. I made lists of EVERYTHING. That's how I kept track if all things. I still keep that notebook and it's helped a couple of friends out over the years. My mommy helped a lot too. I didn't miss a single thing and it's been the most wonderful wedding we've ever been to (honestly, not just 'cause it was ours). My cousin got married last sunday and his wife planned it all in 3 months (not preggy!!).

    Good luck and congratulations!!! We're here if you need help.
  11. Hello!!! Congrats first off!!!

    Yes, I am planning my wedding by myself (well, with A LOT of help from my mom, sister, and grandma). We are having about 300 guests, maybe more.

    The tip I would give you is don't flip about the little things. In the end, it's not even worth it. Just enjoy the day. Also, don't let someone else do the decision making for you. Go w/ your gut.

    I wouldn't worry about a seating chart with only 40 ppl (that sounds like a very nice wedding--it was originally what we wanted--dunno how the guest list grew and grew, that's what I mean when I say don't let others make decisions for you.) So that will cut out a lot of work for you. Even w/ 300+ ppl, we don't have a seating chart. DO NOT have your dress altered before at least a month before the may lose or gain weigh (most brides lose weight--I'm the only one in the world who has gained :sad: so wait for that). And if you are planning on going on a honeymoon, I would get your passports now, because I heard they are backed up and it is taking about three months to get them done.

    Be very easy on your bridesmaids....I've learned, thanks to some great ppl on tPF, and of course through experience to let some minor problems w/ bridesmaids slide....caz it's sooo not worth losing a friend over trying to be bridezilla (hahaha).

    And quite honesty, be completely open w/ finances, especially if your FH's family is also chipping in.
  12. I planned my own wedding. Here are my suggestions: Keep a notebook of everything that you will be fun to look through later on, as well as being helpful in making decisions now. Pick a nice color for bridesmaid dresses so your pics will not be too dated. Keep a notebook next to your bed in case inspiration strikes and jot down ideas before you forget. And most important, communicate your expectations for the big day! You will have it all in your head, but if you don't tell everyone very specifically, it won't go off as you planned! Congrats and good luck!
  14. All I can say is that if you can, have certain sides of the family plan certain parts. I planned my own wedding as well. I had a small wedding and my mom and I dealt with anything surrounding the dress, makeup, hair, and invitations and my dad dealt with setting up the dining arrangements. My hubby's family was in charge of the cake and flowers. We had several people from both sides of the family take pictures who had professional grade cameras and did photography as a hobby. Dividing things up really took the stress off. I def. think I would have wanted a planner if it was going to be a larger wedding. It was only kept small due to the mass amounts of people and the mentality that if you invite this person you have to invite this person and so on and so forth.
  15. The first (next) thing you need to do *immediately* is to get the photographer. You might be lucky with the first one, but when we called photographers 11 mos. in advance, all were full in this whole area for the particular day. We finally got a good one from Memphis, but he had had a cancellation just hours before.

    Doing it yourself is fun, really. Just enjoy the process...The wedding in only one day. Luck to you!!