So first things first:
1.) Determine a budget.
This is important because it will be the determining factor of everything... From the size of your wedding, to the kind of food you will serve. While planning the budget, make sure to list down the non-negotiable expenses and those that are negotiable.
Example, Arnelli and I decided long ago that we wanted great food because we love to eat and we chose to spend majority of our money there. Ofcourse, alcohol was also included there. That was our biggest expense. Other big expenses were our clothes, the church payment, and the decorations.
2.) Once that has been set, determine the guest list.
Our guest list was small, it contained 100 guests only. It started at 150 pax then we had to break it down. We didn't want to but we HAD to based on our budget. That meant we couldn't give our guests the freedom to bring a plus one. Only married couples were allowed to come together. We arranged an afterparty as well so that other people who want to party with us can join the fun after the reception. Ours started at around 8 PM. We had free flowing drinks and we also asked everyone to bring a bottle of their favorite drink. :)
3.) Put your entourage list together.
That includes your sponsors, bridesmaid, flower girls etc. Don't forget to include them in your guest list. Nelli and I also had 2 get togethers in order to get the girls and boys together. This was done so that they would be friends already by the time of the wedding and it would not be awkward. It paid off in the end because they were friends and the wedding was much more lighthearted. It would be great to also get the sponsors together (if you can!). Treat them to dinner if you have the budget. It will also get them closer in preparation for the big day. :)
We had 5 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen. Our sponsors were also 5 each lang. :) Tipid talaga. :)
4.) Decide on your wedding theme.
This will determine your wedding motif, wedding reception options, and decoration expenses. Luckily, Arnelli and I knew even before we got engaged what we wanted, and that was a beautiful garden wedding in Baguio with non-negotiable string lights. That also determined our wedding date because the best weather in Baguio is during the January and February season (10% chance of rain). So these are a few things you have to think about when you're planning your wedding. Also, use pinterest as an inspiration board. That's what I did! :) <3
5.) Decide on your wedding date.
Like I said earlier, we decided on the date based on the theme. If you want a garden wedding, then your wedding should not be in the middle of July - September since that is our rainy season here in the Philippines. We also made a hashtag which you can find on instagram #asiarnelli1515 :) You can also add it to your invitation so people remember it during the wedding itself.
6.) Pick a church and Complete your church requirements.
Depending on your church, you will have to complete several requirements for them in order to get married in their church. In St. Joseph the Worker in Baguio was pretty tedious. You need to be confirmed in church, and also you need to complete your precana, and an interview with the priest. More on this on another post since I need to brainstorm with Arnelli. He was the one who did most of the research for this.7.) Pick a place for your reception.
It is always ideal to pick a place near the church so that your guests wont be late, but this isn't always the case. Just make sure you're happy with the location you picked, and that there's parking. Some event places have caterers, while others don't. So this may also play a role in your decision. We picked my parent's backyard so it was pretty easy from then on. Free pa :) By the way, we are going to make it an event's area soon enough. :) We just have to build nice bathrooms first :)8.) Send out your Save-the-Date cards especially if its a destination wedding. Formal wedding invitations to follow. :)
We used an online website, check it out here
. You wont be able to see ours anymore because the wedding is over. It's super cool though because you can see everyone who RSVP'd, and if they request songs for the wedding. Not to mention they have a QR code which we put on our wedding invite. :) 9.) Decide on your caterer.
Reserve them as early as possible to make sure that no one else does. :) The kind of food they will serve for the wedding comes about a month or two before the wedding. Always add some food to the menu. We added lapu lapu and lechon to our menu :) We also bought milo for the coffee station.10.) Lastly, make sure to add a bit of you and a bit of your future husband in every little detail and ask your entourage and other friends for help.
During the reception, we didn't want to hire a band so we made a spotify playlist. Look for AsiArnelli1515 :) We also had one of Arnelli's bestfriends DJ for our afterparty. My sister and bestfriend also sang for us during the wedding. There are many ways you can add a personal touch to the wedding, you just have to ask. :)
<3 Okay that's it for now. I'll add more tips as time goes by :)
Recently, a lot of good friends have been contacting me about how we planned our wedding with Arnelli. Nelli jokingly told me that I should have blogged about the whole process while it was happening. I thought I could still blog about it anyway while its still fresh in my memory. :)