First things first, CONGRATS, your person just asked you to marry them!! After all of the celebrations are over and reality sets in that you’re about to plan a wedding, you may begin to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to even begin. The important thing to remember is to keep calm and enjoy the process.
To help ease you into the process, I’m sharing my top 5 tips with you below!
1. Set A Date
On average, weddings take anywhere from 9 months to a year to plan- this allows you and your fiancé with plenty of breathing room to plan that way you can avoid as much stress as possible. For those who wish to not wait any longer to say “I Do,” it is possible to plan in a shorter amount of time but if you know you’re the type to get overwhelmed quickly, try to have your wedding at least a year out of when you begin the planning process.
Picking a specific date can be challenging so I recommend choosing a season or month that you find works best for you and how you vision your dream day. It’s ideal to pick out at least 2-3 date options that way you are more flexible when it comes to contacting your venues and seeing what dates they have available.
2. Talk Budget
Whether your’e paying for your wedding yourself or your parents are helping you out, it’s very important to sit down and talk about what number range you would feel most comfortable staying at. Once you have that set you can decide what wedding vendors are most important to you- do you want your day to be filled with huge floral installations? Give your florist a higher percentage of the budget. Is having an amazing photographer a higher priority because you know you’re going to want this special day to last forever through beautiful images? Give your photographer a higher percentage of the budget! 😉
You’ll find that during this process, compromise and flexibility will be key in making your dream wedding come true so sit down, have a glass of wine, get real about your budget and make a list prioritizing vendors.
3. Draft The Guest List
When you begin to reach out to vendors, it’s important you already have an idea of how many guests will be attending your wedding that way they’re able to give you accurate pricing when quoting you- this includes: venue, cake, catering, invitations, etc. This number is especially important when looking for a venue that way you know if they will be able to accommodate all of those coming to celebrate you and your partner!
While making a guest list, it’s a good idea to categorize your guests into systems of:
– Close friends that you talk to or see often
– Work/Professional friends that you are close with
– Significant friends like your childhood best friend, college roommate, best friend’s parents, etc.
Creating a guest list can quickly become stressful for some couples – your parents may want to invite family members you’ve never even heard of, people may ask for plus ones, you may not want to have kids at your wedding….it’s important you stick to your guns and invite only those you truly wish to have join you in celebrating this next chapter of your life!
4. Book A Venue
Once you’ve set your date, budget and guest count, it’s time to go venue shopping! Start researching venues that interest you and begin to contact them and ask what dates they have available in the season or month you have decided on. Does a specific weekend work best for you and your guests, but Saturday is already booked? Don’t be afraid to have your wedding on a different day of the week! Thursday and Friday weddings are becoming more and more popular as they give your family and guests a few more days to enjoy being in town over the weekend- wedding & vacation in one! If you’re looking to stretch your budget, then you may want to look into having your wedding during off-season months or during the week because many venues/vendors are flexible on pricing during less busy days.
5. Start Booking Vendors That Only Take On One Event Per Day
Wedding vendors have two categories: those that book one event per day and those that book multiple events.
If you have your heart set on a specific vendor that only books one wedding per day, reach out to them ASAP to get them secured before they get booked by another couple. I also suggest having a few options for each vendor in the case that your first choice unfortunately gets snagged up before you can book them.
Vendors that typically book one wedding per day include: venues, photographers, videographers, wedding planners, hair & makeup, DJ’s and bands.
Vendors that book multiple events in one day include: florists, catering, wedding cake/desserts, ceremony music (harpist, violinist, etc.,) transportation, wedding dress, invitations, rentals.
And remember…HAVE FUN! You’re only going to do this once in your life (hopefully) so enjoy every single moment of this magical time.
Have any other tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments!