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1. Start early
This really depends on how long you’ll be engaged for, but try and start as early as you can, as there really is a multitude of tasks to see to, and unless you’re hiring the services of a wedding planner and coordinator, you don’t want to scramble to get things done when it gets closer to the day of the wedding.
2. Write everything down
This includes notes from meetings with your family, vendors and bridesmaids, as well as ideas and things to do when they come to mind.
3. Have a to-do list and follow it
It may seem mildly neurotic to be whipping out a to-do list every time you think about your impending wedding. But the truth is, there are far too many things you have to get done, so this is essential. You don’t want to end up forgetting important things and at the last minute.
4. Plan according to your schedule
Set milestones such as the three-, six-, or nine-month mark to get certain things accomplished. If you’re having a short engagement divide your time accordingly.
5. Set alarms and reminders
It’s not enough to just have a list. Set alarms on your computer or mobile phone during the milestones to see if you’re on schedule.
6. Read and address your e-mails with your vendors on a daily basis
Or once every two to three days is fine, as your e-mails can accumulate and you don’t want to end up missing anything. Also, yours isn’t the only wedding your vendors have, so it’s good to try and be as responsive when you can, especially when you’re making requests and such.
7. Keep a folder for every wedding-related document and an excel spreadsheet for expenditure
This helps when you need to refer to certain things. Have a folder that has multi pockets so you can split them into sections like your outfits, venue, flowers, cake and desserts, hair and makeup, bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as other miscellaneous items.
Having a spreadsheet is also a good way to track how your budget’s coming along, as well as your expenditure. It also helps you track where your money’s going to, and how you can make changes if you find yourself overspending on certain things. See also: 5 budget tips from real brides.
8. Make your priorities and keep them
Think battles to fight for, as well as in terms of budget. For instance, both your parents and relatives may have opinions about your wedding and it’s up to you to decide which priorities you want to insist upon. It’s the same for your expenses. If your dress matters more, then something else has got to give. Or, if you need to spend a bit more on your venue, then consider saving a little on flowers or centrepieces and look at cost-friendlier options.
9. Keep clutter away
It’s easy to get flustered in the midst of mess, so if you’ve got a few DIY projects for your wedding, keep them organised in clear bins.
10. Don’t leave any task half done
When you’re starting on a project or a task, make sure you finish it before moving on to the next one. You might put it at the back of your mind once you’ve started on it and be led into a false sense of accomplishment when you might still have a fair bit of things to complete.
11. Leave room for last-minute changes
Because there’s such a thing as Murphy’s Law and you don’t want to be caught in a last-minute bind. Plan for contingencies such as wet weather plans, last-minute vendor no-shows and more.
12. Don’t be a perfectionist and take occasional breaks
Guests won’t be able to tell the difference between subtle shades in your colour palette, so don’t freak out if your bridesmaids’ dresses don’t come in the exact same hue, or the flowers you want for your bouquet aren’t in season.
Occasional breaks are also good for you to keep things into perspective. Remember: This event will only happen for a day, max two, or three if you’re rolling it in. And you don’t want to be saddled with unhappy memories of how you toiled through the entire planning process.