Afraid and stressed that something will go wrong on your wedding day? You’re not alone. Fear of the unexpected is one of the most common causes of anxiety and pre-wedding jitters among brides-to-be who are about to start planning their weddings. Fears and nightmares of ‘will my wedding day turn out successful?’ You may start feeling that something or many things would go wrong on the wedding day. …that the planning would flop. …that some wedding vendors may show up late or not show up at all (and your guests would laugh at you). …that you’ll be too fat or ugly in your wedding dress. …that your VIP guests will not show up. Brides-to-be worry and fear about so many things that could make their wedding day far from becoming flawless. In this post, you will learn about a few simple things you can do to guarantee that your wedding planning will work, and that your big day will be as perfect as you dreamed it to be. Read on for the 6 things you can do to plan a successful wedding that wows guests in Nigeria (or anywhere at all).
#1. The Two Keys to Planning a Successful Wedding
Here are the two keys (secrets) to weddings that turn out perfect and wow guests: planning and coordination – (a) pre-wedding-day planning and (b) on-the-day-of-wedding coordination. And you also plan how to coordinate the day of the wedding.
Since a wedding involves many different activities and logistics, you need (i) pre-wedding planning – to detail out everything that will lead to the wedding day and (ii) coordination on the wedding day – to direct and ensure that all your plans take place seamlessly, and that the everyone involved in the planning process are singing the same tune.
#2. Wedding Checklists with Timeline Will Make Your Life Easier
Brides-to-be go crazy and cranky almost every day of their wedding planning, just at the thought of all the many different things to do and remember when preparing for a wedding. I’ve heard brides tell me how they just hate ‘everyday’ and wish that the wedding would just come quickly and go. But it doesn’t have to be like that for you.
One of the first things you do when planning your wedding is to draw up a ‘to do’ list, and persons and times to do them. That’s your wedding checklist, somewhat like the big picture masterplan of your wedding. With wedding planning, having a wedding planning checklist is that masterplan for you. The wedding checklist should include a timeline, to guide you through the pre-wedding planning process. That’s what event and wedding planners use to stay sane, organized and on top of every little wedding detail.
It’s that important because you’re human and it’s so easy to forget a couple of important wedding to-dos when you have tons of details to remember and tons of people to deal with. Having a wedding checklist made is a way to get organized without getting burned out. Guessing for what to do next is the worst idea for a bride-to-be.
If you have a wedding planner, s/he will make a checklist for working on your wedding, but if not, you can use our read-made, easy to follow wedding planning checklists below:
- Nigerian Traditional Wedding Checklist
- White Wedding Checklist with Month-by-Month Timeline
- 21 Things to Do When Preparing for a Wedding
#3. Make Plans for the People Who Will Help You
Wedding involves lots of logistics, and you require PEOPLE facilitate the logistics that will translate your dreams and plan to life.
Before the Wedding Day: For your pre-wedding-day planning, you need vendors/ wedding service suppliers, and you also need a professional wedding planner and/ or close friends and/or family members to help you plan out the wedding detail, as well as execute the plans.
On the Wedding Day: For the wedding day coordination, you need an event coordinator or wedding planner or close friends/ family to ensure that everything runs as planned – manage all the vendors, organize things behind the scene so that what the guests would see is nothing short of a fabulous wedding. Whether you plan to hire a wedding planner or not, it’s a good idea to get your hands on our wedding reception planning and coordination checklists below:
- A Guide to Essential Bridesmaid Duties and Responsibilities
- How to plan your own wedding reception like a pro
- How to coordinate your own wedding reception
#4. Avoid these Common Wedding Planning Mistakes
One mistake we see many Nigerian brides-to-be (and grooms too) make is that they focus on planning their wedding wears so much that they ignore (or forget) planning for the people who can help them in the pre-wedding planning and day-of-wedding coordination. A lot of times, we see such brides being so much stressed out, running helter skelter around town following up and checking out wedding service suppliers. In most cases, such brides have almost a dozen bridesmaids and groomsmen on their wedding day, who they didn’t care to ask to help out in their wedding preparations. And, the stress of all the doing-everything-alone always shows on their wedding photographs.
Listen up, ladies, bridesmaids and groomsmen have ROLES beyond posing beside you to glam up your wedding day pictures.
Pre-wedding Stress spoils the wedding photos: What’s the point of planning a wedding if you’ll never be able to show off the wedding pictures – just because you were looking stressed and ugly in it. Learn from the mistakes of bridezilla brides and plan early to involve other people in your pre-wedding planning. Wedding planning is not just about shopping for pretty wedding dresses and trad wears.
Know this: if you try to do too many things yourself, and stress too much before your wedding, you are most likely going to look UGLY and stressed in your wedding photos. I don’t want that for you. I want to publish your wedding photos here, and I can’t do that if you’re not looking your best:)
Brides Always Forget Some Important Things: Due to the stress of pre-wedding planning activities some brides forget important wedding-day details. So, you need people around to help you keep tab on things. We’ve seen and heard about couples that forgot to bring their wedding rings to the church/ worship house (for the solemnization ceremony).
Vendors Will Drive you Crazy: One of the most challenging areas of wedding planning is the managing of the different vendors and suppliers – some of them have very bad work ethics and so require following up per-second-per-second, to ensure that you are not disappointed. We’ve seen weddings where the cake arrived 30 minutes after the reception party had started; we even saw weddings where the venue decoration was far from what the bride requested; we have seen weddings where the caterer made less food than the couple paid for. And, in the middle of all these, the bride was noticeably worried or occasionally passing messages to vendors (from where she was seated).
Pre-wedding months and weeks are a time for a bride to pamper her body, so that she’ll look pretty in all her wedding photos. As you know, stress is quick to show on pictures. But with a bride in the centre of following up and meeting all her vendors and venue people, where is the time to relax for the sake of looking pretty? I’ve seen brides who were still fully busy, stressed up and jumping from pillar to post a night before their wedding – and even making their hair into the night.
- What to Expect when Planning a Nigerian Wedding (Things that Always Go Wrong)
- Tips to Planning a No-Surprises Wedding in Nigeria
- Top Wedding Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them): PART 1 here and PART 2 here
#5. Involve Other People Early in Your Wedding Planning
You can’t plan a wedding alone. You need other people to assist you with the pre-wedding planning and the day-of-wedding coordination. And, you need to tell them early, many months before the wedding day. You’ll need someone to coordinate the entire pre-wedding planning process (sort of like the ‘project manager), and that could be you (if you have the time), a wedding planner, a close friend, bridesmaids, groomsmen or close family members.
#6. Learn How to Get a “Yes” When You Ask Others to Help Plan Your Wedding
Finally, if you want people to say yes when you ask them to join you in planning your wedding, ask them early. Don’t assume that they will pack up their own planned things just for you – respect that they’ll have to make out time for you – even if the person is your mother or a sibling or close friend. Even the good wedding planners get fully booked from 6 months upfront, so start looking for a wedding planner at least 6 months before your wedding.
Tips for Making it Easy for Other People to Help You Plan Your Wedding
Once any one accepts to help out in your wedding plans, don’t just think they know what to do or how and when to help you – you have to tell them, because they are waiting for you to tell them your expectation and also direct them on what to do.
- Do you simply want someone to give you moral support?
- Do you want them to follow up on some tasks in your wedding checklist, such as like sourcing for vendors, addressing wedding invitations, packing the souvenirs and wedding favors?
- Do you want them only for a certain period?
- Do you expect them to be there with you through every to-do list and decision-making,
Just so there’s no confusion or assumption, tell them! Let your wedding planner or planning team (friends and family) know in advance what you expect of them so that you don’t end up getting frustrated with an innocent friend who simply didn’t know or understand what you wanted them to do.
Treat Your Wedding like a Project and It Will Be Super-Successful
Like every other wedding, yours is a project – one of the most important projects of your life, and so deserves to be treated as what it is (a project) – that is if you care for it to be successful and wow your guests.
Successful projects (including weddings) were successful because they had these three things: (1) plans, (2) the right people (team) executing the plans, and (3) a masterplan (with checklists and timeline) to follow. That’s the principle behind how successful weddings are planned.
Final Tip to Guarantee Planning a Successful Nigerian Wedding
Oh, I forgot this last but vital tip – the best way to get others to know how to help you plan your wedding is to share your wedding planning checklist with them – assign some tasks to different but few close pals. And then regularly follow up with them to see how far they’ve gone, if they have issues or so. And, on your wedding day or after, don’t forget to reward your helpers with small, ‘thank you’ gifts – they’ll think you’re cool:)
So, it’s your turn to talk back to me. Tell me in the comments below – have you thought about who will be your ‘wedding planner’ and ‘day-of-wedding coordinator? If not, have you setup a team of the other people who will help you plan and coordinate your wedding?