My husband and I had our civil wedding in Austin, Texas last November 8. We did most of the preparations ourselves, from the invitations, decor (my husband even climbed the tree to hang the paper lanterns 2 hours before the ceremony), flower arrangements, bouquet, and song selection. Our friends helped in taking pictures, his uncle took the video, my friends picked the food from the caterer, his dad cooked sausage and brisket, and his family helped clean up the place after the wedding. It was a really memorable event because everybody contributed and helped us with the planning, preparations, and execution.
Four months from now, we will get married again in the Philippines. This time we won’t be as ‘stressed’ as we were during our civil wedding. Although it was a good experience to have our DIY wedding, it would be great to just relax, have a good time and let other people take care of everything. We are having this second wedding for my family and closest friends. I want to walk down the aisle with my Papa and Mama.
It’s still hard to plan for everything because I don’t have a wedding coordinator. I rely only on connections, relatives and friends who are willing to help, and of course, Facebook. Just a little tip to people who owns businesses – especially wedding vendors: Get your business known worldwide by having a Web presence. It doesn’t have to be so sophisticated, all you need at the minimum is a Facebook page and you’ll have an opportunity to do business with practically anyone around the globe. In my experience, I found vendors through word of mouth (friends’ recommendations). They would tell me the name of the vendor, I search it online or in Facebook itself, and voila! Just a simple message opens up a good business relationship. :)
For those who are planning for their own wedding, this is my checklist:
1. Set the date. The date is really very important because you need to check if the venue is available and you need to make sure that your chosen vendors are available on the date. Most importantly, you need to make sure your guests can block their calendars for your event – especially for those who need to travel and book flights.
2. Set the budget. I could not stress this enough. There needs to be a budget. Once you and your partner have set a budget, you can then work around it and proceed with the planning. It will really help you choose your vendors. I know a lot of people splurge on their wedding. I have nothing against them. If they have the money, why not? But for ordinary people like me, we need to set a budget – and stick to it! Don’t be easily swayed by vendors who just want you to spend more.
3. Choose and reserve the venue. Once you have carefully selected the venue, book it for your event in advance. Don’t wait until someone else reserves the date you have chosen because you will be forced to settle with a possibly more expensive venue or something that is just your second choice. You will end up regretting and wanting to kick yourself in the butt. :)
4. Do your gown shopping and fitting. Your gown doesn’t need to be expensive; nor does it need to be made by a well known designer. As long as you look beautiful, elegant, and comfortable in it, that’s great. You’ll know it when you see and feel it. :) Also one tip: ivory color is more classy and elegant than super white ones. Super white wedding gowns look cheap… Use Pinterest to look for styles, designs, and inspirations.
5. Decide on the food. Check if you guests have special preferences – cater to vegetarians and meat eaters alike. If possible, do food tasting so that you can guarantee you will like the food.
6. Take care of the legal and church requirements. Okay, this is probably the most important step of all. Without these, your wedding won’t be legal and binding. Do your research. Find out what the requirements are and be diligent enough to gather all your documents and your spouse’s. Take time to attend necessary seminars and learn from them.