Be Your Own Wedding Planner

Wedding planners are great, but let’s face it, they can be expensive and, for many bride, a luxury. But if your guest list is on the modest side and you’re tying the knot in your home town (or close to it), you can save a ton of money by being your own wedding planner, all the while, ensuring your big night goes off without a hitch. Here’s how to do it.

1. Write it all down: As the months before your wedding seem to fly by and the big day gets closer and closer, make sure to write down EVERYTHING. Taking note of every detail is so important when planning your own wedding, from the time the cake is scheduled to be delivered to the time the cake is supposed to be cut and everything in between. Writing down and keeping an organized log of all of the important details will ensure that you will not miss a single thing, and you’ll be free to enjoy your party, without having to worry whether or not the caterer has been paid or the garbage will be taken out.

2. Show up early: If you are a hands-on bride and want to place your own guest cards at each table yourself, showing up early will give you plenty of time to get everything done. And you’ll still have plenty of time to sip Champagne while having your hair done in your master suite before walking down the aisle.

3. Delegate: Between your mother, your grandmothers, your aunts, friends, sisters, cousins and soon to be in-laws, there are surely a ton of helping hands, ready and willing to go to work to help you throw the wedding of a lifetime. Pass out the less important tasks and thank each of your ladies with a card or a special gift.

4. Keep it simple: Without the assistance of a planner, keeping your rundown simple and laid back will help you to better manage each event, but more importantly, it will keep you from getting bogged down in the little details.

5. Have someone watch the clock: This could be a great job for either a maid of honor or a best man. Write down a schedule with specific times— when you want the toasts to start, the father daughter dance, the bouquet toss—and have them alert you when it’s time for each event.

6. Don’t Stress: Planning your own wedding can become overwhelming and stressful, fast. Give yourself little reminders throughout the day and on, into the night, so that you can make sure to enjoy your most special day, no matter how it unfolds. Whether rain or shine, the memories from your wedding will not be what went wrong, but everything that went so right.