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11 Things I Learned After Planning My Sister's Wedding While On A Budget

You think planning a wedding is hard? Well, things just got more complicated.

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A few months ago, my sister got married and everything was a success. Most guests were pleased to witness such a beautiful wedding on a perfectly sunny day. Little did everyone know that the wedding was almost canceled a month before, the music for the reception was downloaded just hours before the wedding, and I did not speak with my sister for more than two months during the wedding planning. Oh and the wedding venue was booked just three months before the wedding. Should I go on? I probably shouldn't.

Planning a wedding is crazy, but even more crazy knowing that you just have six months to plan everything. I hated my sister for a couple of months but hey, love wins, so I went ahead and volunteered to oversee her wedding. You probably think that six months is a long time, but let me tell you something, she's in Singapore and I was here. Then again, I went on with the challenge.

Though we had lots of rough patches along the road, the wedding was perfect...NOT. It wasn't a perfect wedding. I won't kid, but the wedding was a success since we were able to fix things that would have made the wedding suck big time.

Despite the stress and arguments, I cried worse than the girl who cried during Adam Levine's wedding. Seeing your sister walk down the aisle, that's just something. If you have a sister who's planning to have a wedding, let me share my thoughts with you, no pennies involved.

1. Have a clear concept in mind

My sister did not have any plans at all, she did not have any theme or motif for her wedding. But she was clear to incorporate sports stuff so we started off with that concept and worked on the rest for an entire month. I told her to surf the internet for inspiration and choose a theme and motif while I go through possible vendors. You might ask why it took one whole month to get the concept straightened out, well, she thought everything was awesome and found it hard to just stick to one theme. We ended up with a rustic Tiffany blue wedding.

2. Planning is everything

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Sure, you've got the checklist and everything seems perfect based on your first few weeks. But Plan B and plan C is always a must. Let me tell you this, our original plan was a garden wedding but we ended up in a closed wedding venue instead. Don't just go for one plan, plan for the worst. Have options for your vendors and have two schedules in case your perfect schedule gets all mixed up.

3. Budget, budget, budget!

It's best to have a year to save up for your big day. Six months of planning is plain and easy if you have the money to spend. Prioritize the budget, and make sure the food is the priority. Because of the little time we have for saving up, we had to chip in for her budget. There's nothing wrong with it but it should have been a breeze if they'd had the time to save up.

4. If you can DIY, go and do it!

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If you're short on the budget, get inspiration online, and do it yourself. You can surf the net for online tutorials and get the task done easily. However, if you plan on doing it yourself, make sure that you have enough manpower and time to finish everything. What we did was have every detail done on our own but bought the products online.

5. Do your Vendor research

Don't go for a vendor which has a nice website and nice product. Look for customer feedback and product reviews. Take the time to read through the details and make sure that your vendor can live up to your expectations. After talking to more than 20 vendors, I've encountered rude vendors and those which do not even reply to a single call or text message.

Oh another thing, don't always go for the cheap vendors. Our first plan was to have a simple rustic wedding, so we settled for a cheap venue thinking that it may be booked by other couples. In the process, we ended up booking for a better deal on another venue wasting valuable money. Sometimes cheap gets you into trouble.

6. You'll fight...almost all the time!

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If you're close with your sister, then this should not be a problem. In our case, we're not close and we fight all the time. Talking to her in a day is already stressful for me since we're not in any way close to each other. Arguments are normal so just stay away from her for a while and everything will be back to normal again. Don't worry.

7. Compromise

You might think this does not apply because your sister should always be right since it's her wedding. However, there are times that her wants may have to compromise because of her budget. You should always always remind her of the cost of things. You do not have to say it in a rude way, but talk to her about it and find a better option. Remember that at this stage, brides are really emotional and needy so be mindful of her feelings when turning down her wants.

8. Be Strict with the Number of Guests

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Don't invite more guests than what your budget can afford. My tip to her was to list down all of her relatives and friends and work from there. Don't invite those that you haven't been in touch for more than 6 months. To make the event special, the people you should invite are those closest to your heart.

9. Ask Help From Your Friends

Since you're on a tight budget, let go of hiring wedding coordinators, seek the help of your friends. I sought the help of my friends for the wedding day and also for the wedding band. Not only did we save money, we managed to pull everything off. On her end, her host was one of her best friends in college so just imagine the one-liners and funny antics she was able to share throughout the program!

10. Last Minute Changes are Inevitable

On the day itself, we missed a music track for the wedding walk! We had a bit of a fight but thank God for the internet, downloading it was just a breeze! Things like this happen a lot, so make sure to be on your toes for last-minute blunders.

11. Learn to Be Both the Wedding Coordinator and the Supportive Sister

Sometimes, your responsibility as the wedding coordinator gets in the way of being and giving the sisterly support she needs in planning her wedding. Balance yourself to be both. It will be hard but having an enemy from your sister and client will just make matters worse. I learned it the hard way and did not see any listicle about it but hey, there's always a first.

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