Love in the air and I absolutely can’t get enough of it! Getting engaged is one of the most exciting times in life and everyone should enjoy every second of it, but once the excitement wears off reality sets in and the thought of wedding planning hits.
Recently, I have been asked the age old question, “Where do I even start? I’ve been to several weddings, but have NO clue on what I should be doing first.” No need to fret, I have complied a list of items to get the wedding planning off on the right foot, keep in mind that this list is just the initial steps after you get engaged, not a full list of to-do’s.
Set a budget
It is such a tough question to start with especially when it isn’t a fun topic. If you are anything like me, the first thing I did was to flip though every bridal magazine I could find, just dreaming of that perfect dress. Hold off on that for a second and have the budget conversation with your fiancé, parents, family or anyone who is contributing to the wedding. Talk about what is being contributed and the overall budget.
Start a guest list
Okay, the fun stuff is to come, but this is another crucial step in the wedding planning process. Before starting to look at venues, have a rough estimate of how many people you plan to invite. If you know your guest count will be around 300 people, it’s not worth visiting venues that have a capacity of 200. Also consider this – the more guests you have, the more you will have to spend and the tighter the budget will be.
Choose a wedding season
If you are flexible with your wedding date, then determining a season is your best option. Venues book up quickly and it is much easier finding a venue and ceremony location when you are open to something anytime in a specific season vs. a specific date.
Determine the wedding style
Yep, I said it – a wedding style. While we all love Pintrest to gather cool ideas and life hacks, it also can make determining a wedding style somewhat confusing. You Pin a reception venue that is more vintage and rustic, but then you see a venue that is more classic and chic – the problem is, you love both. You don’t have to design your entire wedding now, but have a general idea or pictures of your vision. Having a general idea will help with choosing the perfect venue along with the décor and details down the road.
Choose a ceremony and reception location
Whether you are having the ceremony and reception at the same venue or if the ceremony will be at a different location, the next step in the planning process is picking the place and date. First step – do some research. Find some venues you like and make a list of places that can accommodate your guest count, budget and wedding style. Before even going to tour the venue, I recommend contacting them to get a list of their available dates. Next step – schedule a time to view the venue. Just remember that time is of the essence and their dates of availability can change daily. Before booking anything, visit all of the venues you are interested in, crunch the numbers, do research on the dates of availability (are they holidays, do they overlap with any other family parties, are there big events happening in the city that day) and truly think about if you can envision your wedding there.
If you are planning on having the ceremony at a different location than the reception, check the dates of availability with them before booking anything. Make sure both the ceremony and reception locations can accommodate you on that day.
You now well on your way to having the wedding of your dreams!
– xoxo –