How to plan a wedding in Kenya
So he has proposed and you are over the moon about planning your dream wedding. Alas, the reality then hits you. Where do I start, how do you plan the wedding? Worry not, It is easy I would say, and no, you don’t have to hire a wedding planner of course unless you want to. You can pull off the wedding of your dreams in the shortest time by being organized, having the finances at hand and having a support team with you.
I know of friends who planned every detail of their wedding by themselves and their weddings turned out superb.
So where do you start from?
Set a date and fulfill the legal requirements first. Without this, there is no wedding.
Discuss and agree on the budget.
The budget will determine the rest of the things to be done. Agree on who will contribute what and when. Work with strict deadlines to make sure that you don’t get disappointed the last minute. The best way to work around the budget is to start with the essentials; that which the wedding cannot go on without
I have witnessed a groom who disappeared the last day to his wedding because he did not have the money to pay the vendors. How embarrassing is that? If possible don’t depend on people to finance your wedding. I have always been against this. Plan a wedding that befits your finances. Everyone has something going on in their lives don’t stress them more with your financial demands. If they offer, well, that is awesome.
Select and talk to your proposed bridal party; Maid of honor and best man, bridesmaids, flower girls and the ring bearers and ask them to be part of your bridal team. You should not make any assumptions.
Decide on the theme and style of the wedding.
This is crucial, as it sets the pace for everything else; the décor and the attire to be worn on that special day. Once you have the theme colors, start collecting ideas and put them in a wedding folder. Make cut-outs of designs, fabrics and setups that you would like. Let them be as very elaborate and detailed to avoid any confusion with vendors.
Have a checklist in place.
Once you have made those tough decisions, you, therefore, create a checklist. Having a checklist with timelines will help you be organized and make the planning less stressful. A checklist must have the following:
Shop around for a venue and make a booking in advance. Book the dates with your pastor and the marriage registry. Be considerate of the people attending when choosing a venue; it should be accessible. Also, consider the time factor if you will have different venues.
They say the beauty of the wedding is the décor. The tent, florist, chairs and tables, centerpieces, all need to be discussed and finalized on the contract agreement.
Choose your gown and order it as soon as possible especially if it involves importing it and do the same for the bridal team. It is most advisable that your bridal team get their outfits from one source as it is easy to follow up and for uniformity. Identify a hair and makeup artist for the day and settle on hairstyles.
Don’t forget to buy your wedding rings as well
Food is what people will be talking about after they leave your wedding so choose your caterer and your baker wisely. As I said referral works best. For the cake tag your bridesmaids along for the tasting.
- Photography and Videography
A wedding is a one-day event so to make it a lifetime memory, you’ve got to capture the event. Look for skilled photographers with good quality equipment. Insist on seeing their previous works before making a decision.
This is my favorite part of a wedding, at least as a guest. I love to dance and even more dancing to celebrate love. Look for a lively and eloquent MC, good sound equipment; PA and DJ system, DJ and or Band.
Organize for transport for your bridal team, your parents and other guests as per your wish. Appoint someone to be in charge of the transport; someone who totally understands about cars and is good at coordination.
This is the climax of your wedding. Make your honeymoon plans in advance and if traveling outside the country, organize for travel documents and any vaccinations that may be needed.
Identify your vendors.
This is where all the headache is because the wrong choice of a vendor can ruin your wedding. We have all heard of weddings where the caterers didn’t turn up or the photographer. Imagine how disappointing that can be.
With vendors make use of referrals. And this should be referrals from people who outsourced their services. Avoid as much as possible, vendors who are just starting up. No hating but they have a high tendency of not meeting agreements. This is a once in a lifetime special event so do not gamble with it.
Make sure you have a sit down with each vendor, explain your expectations clearly and have them sign a service contract. Do not and I repeat do not pay the whole amount upfront, a 50% deposit is what you should insist on. They can be very convincing but do not fall prey.
Wedding guest list.
Discuss and decide on the guest list. Be mindful of your budget, let it guide you to the number of guests that you can comfortably cater to. Create wedding invitations and send them out in advance to allow people to plan themselves. You can send out a gifts catalog with the wedding invitation if you so wish and the directions to the venue.
Delegate as much as possible but only to few trusted friends and relatives. However much we want to do it all it can be so overwhelming. Split the roles between your partner and yourself and compare notes. On your wedding day, please don’t bother with the coordination. Enjoy your day and overlook any disappointments.
A big fancy and expensive wedding does not guarantee you of a happy marriage. So save costs where you can, after all, it’s just a one-day event. And as you plan for your wedding remember to plan more for your marriage.
Daisy Chepkoech is a Freelance Blog Writer, Social Media Manager and Trainer. She is also the Marketing Director at Dake Business Solutions. Daisy holds a Bachelors degree in Communication and Media Technology from Maseno University.