How to Start Planning a Wedding

Congratulations on your engagement! Have you taken a moment to enjoy all the excitement that comes with getting engaged? Have you shouted it from the roof tops and posted your perfect ring selfies on Instagram?

What should you do now that it is time to plan?


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Expectations

The most important step is deciding what your dream day should like for you and your fiancé/fiancée. Do you want a small intimate wedding or a huge blow out with 500 of your closest friends and family ending with a picture perfect send off as you drive off in a classic car? The sky is the limit and this is time to make it personal and special. Will your family be assisting in planning your wedding? An initial conversation at the beginning will be helpful to make sure everyone’s on the same page and their wants and needs have been heard.  It helps make the planning process easier!

Guest Count and Budget

Before you start the hunt for your dream venue you will need to know your budget and approximate number of guests. There are so many options for hosting your special day and to narrow it down you will want to know much you wish to spend.  How many people you want to celebrate with you! Having an idea of what you want to spend, as well as the max you are capable of spending will assist you in narrowing down the venue that is within your budget and fit your wish list for the big day! There is no right or wrong number and wedding professionals make no judgements, so feel free to share your expectations! It helps us to assist you in making your dream come to life and to be honest with you on where to cut corners if necessary. Communication is key!

Setting the Date and Booking Your Venue

If you have a very specific date in mind there are some things to consider. If you are planning on a timeline of less than a year in most areas you may find most popular venues are booked on peak season Saturday dates. Are you willing to be flexible on date to secure your dream venue? If you are on a tight budget it pays to be flexible. Ask your event specialist what dates will secure you the best rates, you might be surprised that an off-season Friday could be 15-20% lower in cost and worth consideration! If you are planning far in advance you will likely find most venues to have a larger selection of dates available. Once you have placed a deposit and signed a contract it is official! You can start the fun process of planning and booking your vendors!

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Save the Dates and Selecting Vendors

Highly desirable vendors will book up quickly. Are you music lovers and having a killer band is top priority? Do you dream of having hundreds of amazing photos to capture all of your memories? Is having your pastor, rabbi or religious leader officiate your ceremony a non-negotiable?  Make sure to secure your top vendor choices early, which will help you bring your vision to life. Sending out save the dates to your guests, especially if you have chosen a popular date or holiday weekend, will give them ample time to book travel and overnight accommodations!

Say Yes to the Dress or Suit

Whatever your vision for your dream wedding attire, be it a ball gown or a custom made suit, tailors and seamstresses generally need more than 6 months to create your perfect outfit.  Planning on a shorter timeline? Don’t panic! Many stores carry gorgeous clothes that can be quickly customized to fit you in just a few weeks! Once you have selected your unique look, you can move on to selecting the look for your attendants.

Photo Credit: Brit Perkins Photography
Instagram: @bperkphoto
facebook.com/BritPerkinsPhotography/

Food Tasting and Invitations

Check with your venue or caterer as to when you should schedule your tasting. Venues often have group tastings during specific times of year. Getting to taste a sample of the chef’s presentation and style will help you plan a menu with your event specialist that appeals to your guests and is special to you as a couple. Do you get Buffalo wings every Sunday during the game? Do you obsess over donuts and coffee on the weekends? Working in small touches that say who you are as a couple are fun and different ways to make the day your own. Make sure to order your invitations with plenty of time to get them printed and mailed out to your guests! Dietary restrictions and allergies are very common now. Make sure your menu selection cards have a place for guests to write them in as necessary. Plan to mail invitations out no less than three months prior to the big day. Ideally your RSVP date should be 6 weeks prior to your wedding date to allow time to contact everyone if they go missing and communicate everything to your venue/caterer a month prior.

Photo Credit: Angelina Rose Photography
Instagram: @angelinarose_photography
www.facebook.com/PhotographyByAngelinaRose/

Final Details

As you approach your wedding date, now is the time to tighten up your décor plans, fill out your seating chart and meal plan, and have a final meeting with your event specialist to finalize linen choices, timeline, ceremony details and the big send off. This is also a great time re-evaluate the budget and see if you can add-in that sushi display you wanted or those his and hers signature cocktails.

Photo Credit: Jessica Maranda Photography
Instagram: @jessicamarandaphotography
www.facebook.com/jessicamarandaphotography

Remember, this is one of the most magical times in your life as a couple, so enjoy it!

Take the time to sit back and enjoy each other and think about the love that brought you to this place together!