This is the first part in a 20-day long series. If you’ve missed any of it, you can find all of the tips in the category:  Do it Yourself Wedding Plans.
These are all of the steps you need to schedule your time and budget for when you’re planning a DIY Wedding. The who’s, what’s, where’s as well as the when’s and how’s.

You Said Yes!

diy getting marriedSo you’re getting married! Congratulations!
There are few days that you will hold as dearly in your heart as the day you celebrate your love!

While the wedding itself is only one day, wedding plans can take some time, but you can do it yourself!
Cakes, dresses, shoes, and flowers are only the beginning of everything that needs to be taken care of.
There’s so much you can do to give your special day a personal touch while working on a budget.
You don’t need to sacrifice what you want for what you can afford, so stop worrying!
While the tasks may seem daunting, following a few steps can make your perfect day, well, perfect!

Before you begin with any of the plans, you first need to set the date!
It’s best to plan at least a year in advance as some venues may be booked that far out.
You’ll also need that precious time to save up money for the big event.
Take into consideration which season and the weather you want.
Make a list of your preferred three or five dates in order before you start calling around for availability.

With all the things hat you need to do, you may need that long to get it all done and on budget.
If you get engaged in the spring, but want a fall wedding, plan on September or October of the following year.
It never hurts to be early when booking venues and vendors.
This also gives you plenty of time to shop around to find the best deals and hire the vendors that you think will work well with you and your groom.
If you’re looking at the last minute, your favorites may already be booked and you’ll wind up spending a fortune on your second choice.
Remember, you’re spending the rest of your lives together, what’s a few more months?

diy wedding bridesmaids

Wait! Have you chosen your bridesmaids and groomsmen yet?
Selecting a best man and maid of honor that will help you both get everything done is a must!
You’ll need to ask them to stand up with you before assuming they will be available or if they can afford it, since they usually pay for their own dresses, shoes, tuxedos, hair, and makeup.
Check to be sure they are available on the chosen date.
Be sure you both choose close friends and relatives who are reliable and excited to share this special day with you!
Talk to your parents to make sure they’ll be in town and ready to help in the coming months.
Trust me, their wisdom is priceless.

Once you pick your favorite dates, double check to be sure you aren’t picking a relative’s birthday, anniversary, or a holiday weekend that may be more difficult for guests to attend.
You can adjust your date freely now, before you start making deposits!
Once you pay for a specific date, your deposit may not transfer over.

Next, try to set a budget.
Sit down with your groom-to-be and your parents if they are helping and decide how much you have to spend for the entire wedding.
There are calculators available online that will tell you how to divide your finances so that you can afford everything you want.
No one wants to run out of money before they even book a DJ!
You can also find printables to help you keep track of it all on paper if that’s what you prefer.

Once you have a dollar amount, you can get started estimating how much you want to spend on each item on the list.
diy wedding budgetOnce you use the calculator to allocate your funds, feel free to go in and tweak it if necessary.
This is a great time to cut out things you may not want or are unnecessary.
I mean, really, do you HAVE to spend $200 on a pair of doves to release?
Do you really want a carriage ride with matching white horses?
Are you really dedicated to the $20,000 crystal dress?
Cutting out the extravagant things can save you a fortune!
There are so many inexpensive or free ways to add elegance and personality to your day, so you won’t need to break the bank!

Another great money saver is your friends and family!
Later on, well talk about using your connections to your advantage without taking advantage of anyone.

You can start choosing wedding colors and themes, now.
There are so many options, it can make you dizzy, so try to have something in mind.
Traditional? Modern?
Do you want a theme like a carnival or Mardi Gras?
Now is the time to start planning what you want your day to look like.
There are so many color options and everyone in the wedding party will have an opinion they’ll want to share with you.

While it is your day, you may want to consider their feelings if the best man refuses to wear orange or if your bridesmaid will look too washed out in a darker color.
After all, they’re investing their time, money, and support in your day, let them be confident in their decision to stand up with you!

diy wedding tipsDon’t forget that planning your wedding should be exciting, not stressful, regardless if it’s a DIY event or not.
You’re about to celebrate your love, not start a fight.
There are so many great ways to save time, money, and heartache without having to spend the first ten years of your marriage in debt or putting your parents in the poorhouse.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the beginning step of many that you’ll need to attend to for planning your Do it Yourself Wedding.