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The One Essential Thing You Need to Know if You’re Planning Your Own Wedding

When I was planning my own budget wedding in 2013 (and before I became a professional wedding coordinator), I thought wedding planning was this secret world that had tips and tricks under lock and key. I became a wedding coordinator in hopes of discovering these tips and tricks, and sharing them with other couples planning budget weddings who couldn't afford a wedding planner either.

But after helping dozens of couples plan their own budget weddings, and after coming across hundreds of tips and tricks in the wedding industry, I've realized this: Tips and tricks, wedding planning checklists, Pinterest boards, etc. are helpful, but they only take you 80% of the way through your planning.

The last 20% of wedding planning is rarely talked about, but it is just as essential. 

It's the step-by-step process of bringing all the large, small, and itty bitty details together into a package – or complete wedding day plan – that you can hand off to vendors and helpers, so on your wedding day, you're not worrying about a thing. Your wedding day plan is the one essential thing you need to nail down if you're planning your own wedding and want to do so, successfully.

What is a wedding day plan?

A complete wedding day plan is not a day-of timeline. That's part of it, but that's definitely not all of it.

And a complete wedding day plan isn't something you can whip up a couple weeks before your wedding.

A wedding day plan is a detailed roadmap for your entire wedding day. It contains a master day-of timeline along with a variety of other supporting spreadsheets and documents organized in a way that your vendors and helpers can use with ease. It anticipates their needs, and sets them up to succeed with flying colors.

It's what wedding planners and coordinators use to make sure wedding days are seamless, and creating one is the process of refining, finessing, and tweaking the details until they all fit together just right.

It's the equivalent of Bill Belichick's game day plan. Joanna Gaines's design plan for a house. Daenerys Targaryen's plan for the throne.

BUT the big difference (unlike all these famous planners) is that you will completely step out of the role of planner for one day – the most important day – and hand your plan over to others to execute.

That's why it's so important to have a plan that you know is going to work (even if you're having a day-of coordinator or pointer person). You need a plan with no gaps, no holes, no overlooked details, no cracks for fires to pop up through.

Is a detailed wedding day plan really necessary?

The thing that makes a wedding feel truly amazing is how well everything comes together. It greatly influences how the couple feels at the wedding. How the guests feel. How present everyone is able to be with each other. How much bliss is experienced. And how much love is felt by all.

It's difficult for that experience to happen when people are stressed and things are a bit chaotic.

Maybe you can relate, and you've been to weddings where it felt like everyone was on Cloud 9, and others where everyone… well… wasn't.

If you really want that blissful wedding day experience, then a wedding day plan is the best way to set yourself up to actually have that and keep day-of stress and chaos at bay. Over the past three years and many weddings, I've found that to be true over and over again.

How do I make a wedding day plan?

You've started out strong with your wedding planning using The Budget Savvy Bride, and this next step – bringing everything together – is what will help you to create that amazing, Cloud 9 wedding day experience for you and your guests.

Thankfully, bringing everything together into a blissful experience is a process that has nothing to do with budget.

No matter where you are in your planning, you can start now. And if you feel overwhelmed by all the details, creating a wedding day plan helps reduce the confusion and get really clear on what is and isn't important for your wedding.

I can show you how to bring everything together just like a professional wedding coordinator. 

In the online planning program, Feel the Wedding Day LoveI show couples the step-by-step process of creating a wedding day plan that will work, so when you look back on your wedding day, it's filled with blissful memory after blissful memory.

Sound good to you? If so, I'd love to share the entire process for bringing all the details together with you, and invite you to join me in Feel the Wedding Day Love.

Feel the Wedding Day Love is for couples who truly want that blissful wedding experience. If you want it with your whole heart and are willing to take the extra step to make sure it happens, this is for you.

Images: Pogo Photo; Madeline Druce Photography

caitlin frauton

is a wedding coordinator who is passionate about making sure all couples have relaxed, meaningful, and fun wedding days. To download her free Wedding Day Kit, visit DIY Wedding Mentor.