As the shaadi season draws nearer, most of us are looking for what to wear, where to get our makeup done, how to figure out the dance routine and trying to understand why we have to go through all of that. At the same time, there are many who are figuring out how they’re going to manage their whole wedding, keep their family and friends happy, and still have a good time. These are none other than the dulha and dulhan who will be wedded on the day and start their new life together.
So, we’ll get to the extras later, but today we’re going to try and help out all the panicked brides and grooms who need all the help they can possibly get. For that, we have prepared a checklist that you can have with you throughout your wedding planning so you don’t miss anything out.
Decide the Time and Date
The very first thing you have to do is decide when you’re going to get married; this includes both the time and date of your wedding, including every ceremony within it. Do you want to have your wedding in the dead of winter or when the weather clears down a bit? Would you prefer your baraat to be in the evening or late at night? These are all the questions you have to ask and answer for yourself before you start planning your wedding.
Prepare Your Guest List
Once you know when you want the wedding to be, you have to decide who will be attending your wedding. Make a draft guest list, because you know you can never quite be done with it; every day a new name will be added, a long-lost relation such as a cousin of your pupho twice removed. So do your best in figuring out who you want as your guest and make a list that you can add to or subtract from whenever needed.
Book a Venue
Now we come to the biggest obstacle; booking a venue. If you’re like anyone else, you would already have an idea of where you want your wedding to be. Chances are, you also already have an idea of what you want your venue to look like, in terms of the decoration and settings. If that’s true, go ahead and book the venue you want. If you don’t have one in mind, do an online search for venues that you would most likely be interested in and narrow down the ones that speak to you, then visit them all and check their vibe. Once you have selected the venue, make sure you familiarize yourself with the venue’s policies and requirements, such as their policies on cancelations, insurance, vendors, alcohol, parking, etc.
Pick a Theme
The next thing you have to do is pick a theme for your wedding, such as the colors you’re going to use. This theme and color will then be used for your wedding cards, lehenga and sherwani, the décor at the venue, etc.
Prepare Your Jahaiz and Haq Mehar
Something we definitely don’t condone is the system of dowry or jahaiz prevalent in our country, but we also can’t ignore the fact that you can rarely have a wedding without jahaiz. Some families start preparing jahaiz very early on, but if you haven’t done so, it’s time to get started. Since there are always bridal discounts and packages during shaadi season, capitalize on them and start purchasing. At the same time, the dulha has to start getting the haq mehar ready.
Finalize the Guests
It’s time to start hashing out the details now, and we start with finalizing the guest list. So talk to all your khala, mamus, puphos, chachas and everyone else you can think of to figure out who you can invite, and who will actually come.
Buy Your Wedding Outfits
Your outfit represents who you are, who you want to be and who everyone at the wedding will see. Whether you want to get a designer lehenga or sherwani or you want to get them made, it’s best if you start looking as soon as possible. If you know your theme and color, this process shouldn’t be too hard. You can always get inspiration from wedding magazines, fashion shows, and online research. This is also the time that your family, friends and the wedding party should plan and start buying their outfits.
Hire Decorators, Photographers, Videographers
Let’s move on to the nitty-gritty aspects of the wedding, such as finding and hiring the perfect photographer, videographer and decorator. These people will be the ones who make sure your day is one to remember so choose wisely. Have regular meetings with them to finalize everything before the wedding, particularly the décor you want for all your days.
Make Your Menu
Next up, you have to figure out what you’ll be feeding your guests, including who will be providing the food. First see whether your venue allows outside caterers or not, then select the caterer you like and decide your menu for all days of the wedding.
Get Your Bachelorette and Bachelor Parties Organized
If you want to have some fun before the wedding, get one of your close friends, siblings, cousins or whoever else you want to organize a bachelor and bachelorette parties for you. You can also have a bridal shower if you want to go the extra mile.
Select a Make-Up Artist and Hairstylist
You want to look your best possible self on your special day, right? So when you get an amazing dress, you must have an amazing look to match, which comes from your makeup and styling. Take some trials and do your research before selecting your makeup artist and hairstylist, and then keep up-to-date with whoever you select regarding your look.
Start Your Beauty Routine
To look amazing, you have to take care of your skin and hair before your wedding day arrives. So whatever you want to focus on, start your beauty routines and health regimens, and stick to them religiously.
Buy Wedding Accessories
Once you have your outfit and general theme and décor of the wedding set, you can go ahead and buy the accessories you’ll be wearing. These can be anything from jewelry to shoes and bags.
Prepare the Wedding Favors
People come to weddings to not only celebrate you but also get something in return, such as wedding favors. Whether you want to go big with expensive gifts, or stay in your budget with mithai and sweets, plan your favors and get them before time.
Plan Your Honeymoon
Since we’re thinking of the fun we can have before, during and after the wedding, let’s get to the honeymoon planning. Again, you probably already have an idea of where you want to go, but check out all the places, the travel and accommodation packages specific for honeymoons, and the activities you will be doing there. Then start making a budget for your trip so you know exactly what to do and for how much. Once everything is accounted for, make your bookings, get your visa and tickets, update your vaccinations and get ready to travel.
Send Out Wedding Invitations
When you have your time, date, venue and guest list finalized, it’s time you send out the invitations so people know when to book their day for you. Your wedding cards should reflect the overall theme and color of your wedding so go crazy with the design.
Plan Your Entertainment
Your wedding is going to be the event of the year if you can play it right. Make sure your guests are entertained throughout the wedding outside of the ceremonies too. You can do this by setting up photo booths, guest books, along with other props and activities.
Book Your Mehndi Artists and Choreographers
Start planning for your day and the ceremonies by booking mehndi artists, choreographers, and DJs to add the extra flavor to your wedding. Choose your playlist and the dance styles you want at your wedding and start practicing.
Book Bridal Packages
Find all the bridal packages you can, related to makeup, hairstyles, dance classes, beauty products and everything you can think of and save money on. Make the bookings and start preparing what you can.
Get Pre-Wedding Shoots Done
Time to immortalize your wedding and the love of your life (hopefully) through pictures. Before the wedding itself, you are likely to have some pre-wedding shoots so book the photographers and scenes for that and get it out of the way as soon as possible.
Buy Engagement Rings and Prepare the Documents
In order to commit to each other, the dulhan and dulha will need some engagement rings and the nikkah papers. Make sure both are finalized before the day of the wedding so nothing goes wrong or gets delayed.
Make Bookings for Guests and Rentals
Make all the other arrangements and bookings for both the wedding, such as tables and chairs, as well as your guests, such as accommodation and travel. You don’t want to have more guests than the space allows for or places for them to sit on.
Create a Wedding Schedule
If you want everything to go smoothly then you’ll need something more than just a checklist. In addition to checklists for before, during and after the wedding, create a schedule for yourself and share it with your family and friends and anyone else involved in the wedding. This will allow everyone to be on the same page and let things go off without a hitch.
Next, make confirmations with all your vendors, caterers, deliveries, arrangements and decorators. Also, confirm the schedule and plan with your photographers and videographers so nothing is missed out on the day.
Give Wedding Assignments
Since you’ll be too busy on the day of the wedding, getting ready and sitting through the ceremonies, give wedding assignments to your family and friends, along with the members of the wedding party. You can give them a list and a schedule so there is no confusion for anyone about anything.
You know you’re going to be too busy on the day of the wedding so make sure you pack for both the wedding night, the days after and especially the honeymoon before the wedding ceremonies start. Since the house is likely to be crowded and messy during the wedding days too, making it harder for you to find your things, get it all out of the way beforehand.
Make final headcounts by confirming with the guests who haven’t RSVP’d, then share these with your vendors and caterers so no one is missed out.
Get Yourself Styled
On the day, make sure your beauty appointments are confirmed and don’t be late for them! You don’t want to be the dulhan or dulha who comes late to their own wedding because they were still getting ready. Trust us, no one likes that (looks pointedly at Adeel Bhai).
Have Fun at the Wedding!
Now that everything is ready and you’re styled, it’s time to have some fun on this special, special day. Go out with a bang and enjoy! Make some memories to last you a lifetime.
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