How to plan a wedding: project management

Updated April 17, 2017

Planning a wedding is exciting, but it can also be stressful. Staying organised and efficient by keeping track of the budget, meeting deadlines and making a detailed to-do list will help reduce some of the stress involved. While some couples might choose to hire a wedding planner, it is not necessary. Plenty of couples have planned extraordinary weddings on their own.

Finalise the wedding date and time. If the couple plan to get married in a church, contact the church secretary to confirm the wedding date and time. The secretary should also be able to give you pertinent information for a church wedding such as required legal documents and in some cases pre-marriage counselling with a priest. If the wedding will take place outside a church, contact the manager of that venue to confirm details.

Make the guest list. The number of guests will determine how big or small your wedding will be, which in effect will determine your budget.

Set the budget. Create a checklist of the projected wedding costs, including costs for the florist, caterer, event stylist, church rental, photographer, decorations, souvenirs, bridal dress, tuxedos, limousine rental, entertainment, etc. It is always to better to budget for extra, unforeseen costs so you don't come up short.

Find an online wedding planning program or design your own to help you stay on track, stay within budget, and meet projected deadlines. Just keeping a detailed to-do list with budget details, deadlines and upcoming tasks can greatly reduce the stress involved in planning a wedding.

Send save-the-date cards, especially if this is a destination wedding or if you are inviting a lot of out-of-town guests.

Finalise the list of vendors and meet with them. Plan a personalised menu with the caterer. Choose a theme with the florist and event stylist. Talk to the photographer about your expectations for photos and the time you want her to spend at the wedding. Listen to the band or DJs to determine if they will be suitable at the wedding. Make an appointment with the make-up artist to have a trial hair and make-up session for the bride.

Select the bridal entourage. Make a list of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, maid of honour, matron of honour, best man, sponsors, flower girls and ring bearer. Assign the bridesmaids and groomsmen some duties that will help the bride and groom get ready for the big day. For example, the bridesmaids can take charge of planning the bridal shower party as well as the rehearsal dinner. They can also help the bride select her bridal gown.

Choose the invitations and send them out. Include a map or directions to the wedding venue for out-of-town guests.

Have backup plans. As the wedding day approaches, have a plan in case of any unforeseen trouble. For example, you should have alternative plans in case of rain during an outside wedding or in the event a DJ or photographer cancels at the last moment.

Call each vendor the day before the wedding to confirm the details. Talk to bridesmaids and groomsmen one more time about their tasks before, during and after the wedding. On the day of the wedding, arrive early to make sure all arrangements are in place and everyone is prepared.


Designate tasks for parents of the bride and groom as well as for bridesmaids and groomsmen. This will take some of the burden off of you and let them feel like they played an important role in the wedding.

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About the Author

Based in North Carolina, Samuel Delarosa has been a freelance writer since 2008. His work as has been published in “Roots and Wings,” a Filipino magazine circulated in Europe. Writing is his passion and he dedicates his time to this pursuit by writing on various topics online. Delarosa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the University of the East.