Planning the biggest and special day of our lives seemed like such a daunting task for my fiance and me. I'm walking down the aisle only once in a lifetime so I vowed to give it my all and made sure that it would be a day worthy of celebrating seven (7) years of love and friendship.
My advice to all engaged couples or bride-to-be's out there who don't know where to begin is to simply get organized! After you scour through tons of bridal magazines, browse a million websites and listen to dozens of friendly advices from well-meaning friends and family, it's easy to get lost in the wedding maze of ideas out there. So grab a notebook that you can scribble on for the wedding ideas that you really like, list of suppliers and all other wedding planning details that's up ahead. Here's the checklist that we used for our big day:
- Set the DATE of the big day!
- List of Godparents, Sponsors, and Entourage
- Your Wedding Theme: Color Motif, theme concept/idea, your wedding dresses - groom, bride, entourage, immediate family and sponsors
- Your Wedding Ceremony: Church Venue, Officiating Priest/Officiant, Required Documents, Ceremony Proper, Misalette, Choir/Quartet/Mass Songs, Paraphernalia, Wedding Vows
- Your Wedding Reception Venue: Caterer, Reception Menu, Reception Program, Your Wedding Cake Supplier, Reception Songs, Your Audio- Visual Presentation, Tokens and Favors for sponsors & guests, entertainer/s, program host/s, other wedding traditions
- Save the Date and Formal Invitations, Your Wedding Website
- Your Guest List
- Your Wedding Rings/Bands
- Important Wedding Suppliers: Florist, Photographer & Videographer, Designer, Stylist & Make-up Artist, Wedding Coordinator, Cake Decorator, Choir/Quartet/Entertainer
- Round of Parties: Bridal Shower and Bachelor Party, Engagement Party, Despedida de Soltera, Rehearsal Dinner
- The Honeymoon
FINALIZING THE DATE OF THE BIG DAY!
After announcing that you're engaged, the question "So, when's the big day?" almost always comes next. There's no hard and fast rule in choosing your wedding date. For some traditional Filipinos, wedding days kapag bilog ang buwan (full moon) are considered lucky. You can check the internet for the lunar trend or simply consult the calendar hanging on the wall of your mom's house!
Many Filipino-Chinese or Chinoys for short consult the Chinese astrological calendar in choosing the most auspicious date/s for their wedding day. Auspicious Dates are said to be the most lucky dates for certain couples depending on their birth dates where the planets are aligned to their favor. Based on the couples birth chart (and I heard sometimes their parents birth dates are considered as well), the chinese almanac is considered to identify the most auspicious dates for the couple.
While there's really no hard and fast rule in choosing the perfect wedding date, the following considerations can help you get started in zeroing on the final date of your big day:
- Romantic/Sentimental: You may select a wedding date that falls on your anniversary as boyfriend/girlfriend, or the day you first met. You can also choose the birthday of a someone close to you - a family, a friend, someone you look up to, or either your birthday or fiance's! You can even honor your parents or grandparents by choosing the same wedding day!
- Special Occasions: If you want to be a June bride, then by all means do so! February, the love month, is also a popular month to wed, and in the Philippines, December tops the all-time peak for weddings. You can also choose certain dates - September 8 in honor of Mama Mary, January to start the new year right. In 2008, churches and reception venues were fully booked for couples wanting to take the August 8, 2008 (08.08.08) date. The same thing happened in October 10, 2010 (10.10.10).
- Convenience: A lot of couples pick a weekend (a Friday/Saturday or Sunday) for the convenience of family and friends. You would want the people closest to you to be readily available and not resent coming to your wedding because they have to file a leave at the office. December in the Philippines, especially nearing Christmas, is a peak season for weddings since relatives go home to spend the holidays with the family. If you're having an out-of-town wedding, summer weddings are also very popular so that your guests can also enjoy the good weather and go sight-seeing.
- Dates to Avoid: While December is a very popular month to get married, I would suggest avoiding the last 2 days before Christmas (Dec 23 onwards) and New Year (December 29 & up). People tend to be really frazzled and stressed out during the holiday season. Also, while the day of hearts is so undeniably romantic to tie the knot, if you want to avoid exorbitant prices from your florist, do avoid Feb 14 or the weekend nearest Valentines Day. The price of flowers skyrocket during this time so its best not to have your wedding near VDay. Other dates that are not considered as good wedding dates are November 1 & 2 (unless you're inclined to do a Goth/Halloween theme) and Holy Week.
- Last but not the least: There's no harm in consulting your family and friends in finalizing the date of your big day. Your little sister may have a final exam on that day, or your fiance's brother has a scheduled annual convention on certain dates. Again, you would want the most important people in your life to celebrate joyously with you!