12 Months Before The Big Day: The Ultimate Wedding Planning Timeline for a Wedding in Naga City: Part I of the Series
Getting married in Naga City? Planning a wedding can be a stressful task that requires a great deal of time, effort, and mental energy. Between the venues and the food and the flowers, it’s easy to get lost in the madness of it all. So before the stress starts taking its toll on your relationship, take a deep breath. The secret to successful wedding planning is to go about it in an organized manner. So stop fussing and start prioritizing!
Weddings are a HUGE deal for Pinoys and Nagueños. We either go big or go really big! While Pinterest is crammed with lots of wedding planning timelines that are perfect for ceremonies held abroad, planning a wedding in the Philippines, specifically in Bicol is different. So if you’re a couple planning a wedding in Naga City check out our suggested wedding planning timeline series.
Congratulations! You’re engaged!
12 Months before the Big Day, you should…
- Decide on a wedding date.
Select a date where your family and friends (especially those included in the entourage) are available.
If you have relatives abroad or from outside the province and you can’t imagine a wedding without them, you’ll have to check first whether the date that you chose works with their schedules.
Tip: For some reason, everyone wants to get married in June. That said, getting married in Naga City outside the peak season is more likely to be hassle-free. There’ll be less “competition” when it comes to venues or wedding vendors. You might even get discounts!
If you have your heart set on a certain venue or wedding vendor, it would be wise to book them as early as one year before so they don’t get snapped up! But before you do that…
- Decide on a wedding budget.
More couples tend to go over their wedding budget than you think. A grand wedding in Naga City might cost you up to P300, 000 to P500, 000! That said, it doesn’t always have to be that way. (One of our next articles will be filled with tips on how to plan a budget wedding in Naga City so watch out for it!)
When planning your budget for a wedding in Naga City another thing you should keep in mind are the less obvious expenses. These include the tips for the wedding vendors, corkage fees at the reception area, extra costs for additional guests/ time extension, the meals for the wedding vendors (If your makeup artist will be working on your face from early morning to noon, he/she is entitled to a free lunch, don’t you think?), and the food and transpo of your photographers and videographers if you’re having a prenup session.
- Select your wedding party.
The typical entourage for a wedding in Naga City or anywhere in the Philippines is HUGE with best friends and sisters and cousins and second cousins and so on… However, keep in mind that traditionally, the bride and the groom pays for the outfit of the bridesmaids and the groomsmen. A smaller entourage would mean less clothes to pay for.
Tip: Another way to save up on clothes for the entourage is to ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen if they’re willing to pay for their clothes themselves. Instead of throwing cash on couture dresses that they’re probably just gonna keep at the back of the closet after the event, have the bridesmaids wear stylish cocktail dresses. Ask them to collaborate so that their dress designs and colors look similar, if not exactly the same. Alternatively, you can just rent gowns / tuxedos for them.
Furthermore, bridesmaids and groomsmen aren’t just there to look pretty for the cameras. They have important responsibilities like assisting the bride and the groom during pre-wedding preparations and even way before that. Bridesmaids accompany the bride when window shopping for a dress. They hold the bride’s massive dress up when she needs to pee. The maid of honor plans the bridal shower and prepares a speech for the reception. Likewise, the groomsmen accompany the groom when looking for a tux. The best man makes a speech and arranges the bachelor party. It’s also the job of the groomsmen to make sure that the groom shows up to the wedding (after the stag) in one piece!
Tip: Choose bridesmaids and groomsmen who are willing to help you with tasks like sending out the invitations and helping you make DIY souvenirs.
To put things plainly, choose your bridal party wisely. Select people who really care about you and vice versa.
- Create a guest list.
The best deal is that both the bride and the groom gets an equal say on which persons to add in the guest list. If you’re planning on a budget wedding in Naga City then one of the smartest things you can do is to avoid over-inviting. A wedding is a wedding, not a family reunion or a barrio fiesta. This is your special day so surround yourself with people who actually matter to you. Intimate weddings are gaining more popularity these days anyway.
When counting the number of heads for the reception, don’t forget to count yourselves too! Also, don’t forget to include the vendors that will be working with you during the actual wedding day. That includes the wedding planners, the florists, the DJ, the host, etc.
- Hire your wedding planner.
There are a few great wedding planners here in Naga City. Don’t sign up with the first one that you speak with. Meet up with each planner and make sure that they give you a detailed list of the services that they will be providing. The trick here is that if you’re not comfortable with asking the planner questions, then he/she is probably not the right one for you.
The best wedding planner is accommodating and willing to assist you every step of the way (regardless of whether you took the cheaper package or the most expensive one).
Make sure that the planner isn’t just friendly. He/she should be able to deliver results. In other words, each meeting should be PRODUCTIVE. If they’re just sitting there, gushing about how gorgeous your dream dress is and showing you photos on Pinterest while failing to provide actual useful information, then that should raise a red flag.
Moreover, a great wedding planner should be able to help you save more money for your wedding instead of encouraging you to spend more and more.
- Secure your wedding venues.
Seriously. Some wedding planning articles would suggest that you do this somewhere around the sixth month before the wedding. But if you’re planning a wedding in Naga City especially a Catholic one, then you need you need to take into consideration the number of churches here in Naga and the fact that each church can only cater to a maximum of 2 weddings per day. Besides, if your heart is really set on a specific venue AND a specific date, then you should definitely reserve the place as early as a year before the wedding.
Tip: If you’re planning on having an intimate church ceremony or if you’re thinking of having a budget wedding in Naga City then consider booking a chapel instead of a church. It’s just the right size plus the rates are cheaper. More than that, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on flowers ‘coz there are only a few rows of pews to decorate! Another thing you can do is to make the ceremony exclusive for your family and closest friends. Then, invite the rest of your friends and relatives for the reception only.
Another awesome tip: Choose a wedding venue that will work well with your wedding theme. Rustic weddings are all the rage these days and garden weddings are simply classic and timeless. According to experts, woodland wedding themes are bound to be popular in 2017. Moraville the Garden is a wedding venue in Cam Sur that is versatile enough to match all these fantastic wedding themes and more.
- Book your officiant.
Each church in Naga City will automatically provide you with a priest for your wedding. That said, if you have a particular priest in mind, then do inform the church beforehand. The priest’s stipend is usually included in the church fee.
- Research wedding vendors.
12 months before the wedding is the most ideal time to begin your research on various wedding vendors in Naga City. Before scheduling an appointment, request for their rates online. Compare the prices. Study the packages. There may be expensive services included in the package that you don’t actually need.
Check their websites and look at the photos and videos of their services. Don’t forget to view the ratings and the comments too. Just because a friend or a cousin has signed up with a particular wedding merchant, that doesn’t mean you have to automatically settle with that vendor. Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask the questions that you feel should be asked. That said, to avoid wasting both your time and those of the wedding vendors’, make sure that you provide them with your wedding date immediately upon your first inquiry. It would be terrible if you ask all these questions and then find out afterwards that the vendor is already engaged on your chosen wedding date. It might also help to make a list of your inquiries. Don’t fire your questions at the vendors one at a time.
Tip: Some wedding vendors in Naga City like photographers and videographers give special price for clients who book early.
There you have it… A basic list of stuff that you need to do 12 months before your wedding in Naga City! Next month, we’ll explore the list of things that you should start thinking about 9 months before you say I Do!
This article was brought to you by Moraville Hotel and Restaurant and Moraville the Garden