1. Make the announcement. There is no denying that this is an important milestone not just for you and your fiancée, but also to both of your families, loved ones, and closest friends. Most couples break the big news to their parents and immediate family before broadcasting it to their circle of friends. Ideally, telling both sets of families should be in person. If they don’t live nearby, set up a special video call. Sharing the good news to everyone who matter in your life is the first step to living that wedded bliss.
2. Decide on a date. The minute you make the announcement, people will be asking about the wedding date. You may not have a firm date yet in mind but it would be good to at least have an idea of what month or season you want to marry in. Do you want to be a June bride? Or perhaps you want a summer wedding? December might also be a good idea because it’s the season of homecoming. Deciding the date on the early stages of planning will help you book reservations earlier and save the dates of your guests, most especially those who might need to travel just to go to your wedding.
3. Set your budget and stick to it. Now is a good time to sit down with your fiancée and talk about money. Determine the exact amount that you can afford for your wedding budget. Regardless of who is footing the bill, be sure to work out your budget before you even start planning. While you may be tempted to splurge on this special occasion, consider your married life after the actual ceremony. Don’t blow it all up in one day. Instead, agree on a reasonable and practical amount and make sure you stick to it.
4. Brainstorm. Once you get the budget out of the way, it will now be easy to start talking about ideas and inspirations. Talk to your partner and think about the style or theme you would like, the color palette, possible venues, etc. Start looking at the big picture and imagine how you want your wedding to be like. From here, other essential details of wedding planning will be easy to decide on.
5. Secure the necessary requirements. Now it’s time to do the legwork. Check both legal and religious aspects. Be aware of the documents required to obtain a marriage licenses and have a legal ceremony. The marriage license is a pre-requisite before getting married. You can get application forms at the Local Civil Registrar of the area where you or your fiancée resides. Normally, a marriage license obtained in the Philippines is valid for 120 days from the date of issuance and is released 10 days from application filing. To get the license, the couple shoulde submit an NSO-certified birth certificate, Parents’ Consent for 18-21 years old and Parents’ Advice for 21-25 years old, Certificate of Attendance of a pre-marital counselling and family planning seminar, and a Certificate of No Marriage.
6. Choose a venue. It is ideal to reserve the ceremony and reception venues once you have decided on a date. Booking the venue at least six months in advance can save you cost, time, and effort. On peak wedding seasons like June and December, venues easily get booked so secure this wedding aspect as early as you can.
7. Scout for suppliers. Planning your dream wedding can be a tough production and you will need the help of experienced experts who can help you turn your dream wedding into a reality. Read bridal magazines, wedding websites, and bridal forums to look for suppliers. You may also choose to enlist the help of a full-service wedding coordinator, like Great Expectations, who can do the all the work for and with you—every step of the way. Getting a wedding coordinator saves you a lot of time, money, and effort as they can hook you up with equally-excellent third-party suppliers for your wedding essentials as opposed to meeting different suppliers one by one.
8. Draft a guest list. Who do you want to be there with you on your special day when you exchange “I dos?” Together with your fiancée, draw up a guest list. Remember though that the more guests you have, the more the cost will balloon so choose wisely. When you talk about a wedding guest list, quality is more important than quantity.
9. Choose your wedding party. Think it’s already hard trimming your guest list? Now, it’s time to choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen. These may be your closest relatives or friends that can help you execute your wedding plans. Ask them early, include them in the planning phase, show them a good time, and most especially, treasure and appreciate every moment with them!
10. Send invitations. By now, you must have realized how important it is to plan and do things early. Just like any other item in your wedding planning, sending the invitations early can reap you a number of benefits. You’ll be able to notify people ahead of time and hopefully, they’ll be able to return to you on their attendance. While this is just among the first few steps in planning your wedding, remember that this is one of the most crucial details. Once you’ve sent out the invitations, it would be easy to tick off the remaining items in your wedding planning list.
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