Congratulations…He asked, you said YES! Now what?
This is both an exciting and stressful time. So much to do, where do you start?
Welcome back! How exciting, the day you dreamed of is finally happening and everything you ever pictured is now filling your head. So many things to do, but where should you start? Well, once you have announced your engagement and decided on a wedding date, it’s time to start planning a wedding.
So, let’s get started….
It costs what? Know your budget…
I know, it’s not fun, but It is important to know how much you can afford to spend so you don’t end up in the poor house. Talk about what you both want and how much you are willing to spend and can afford.
- Decide on a realistic budget; then break it down by item. How much can you save and how much financial help can you expect from parents/family. Knowing your budget will help your decision-making as you start the planning process.
- Make a list of your “must” haves. What are some things that are important to both of you that you want to include and where are some areas you are okay compromising in.
- Decide on the style and feel you want for the day. You want your wedding to reflect who you are as a couple and your personalities, so decide what best describes you and go from there.
- How much DIY to you want to do or do you want to purchase/rent everything; just remember to include those costs’ in your overall budget
- Do you want to hire a stylist to help with the overall design of the wedding or is Pinterest your best friend?
Pinterest has a ton of ideas and if you do not already have an account, get one and create a wedding board, (caution: don’t go overboard, you still want it to reflect who you are). Share your board with your Planner so she/he knows your vision.
Follow me on Pinterest at: www.pinterest.com/eventsbymaria3265
The Guest List, Who Should You Invite…
This goes hand in hand with the budget, the more people, the more money. This is a hard one and one that just about every couple struggles with. This is a very special day and you want to share it with everyone, but unless you have an un-limited budget, you may need to leave some people out. Here are some suggestions:
- Make a list of family and friends you want to invite or are obligated to invite. Have your parents make a list. Combine the two lists and see where you are with the numbers.
- Have your “must have” list and your B list. This way, when Save the Dates go out and you hear from those who can’t attend, you can go to your B list.
- Kids or no kids? This is a sensitive topic depending on where you stand with kids attending adult events. Remember, this is YOUR wedding and if you want it to be an adult reception, then make that decision and stick to it. Most parents are happy to have an adult night out.
- Do you have to invite all your co-workers and your 3rd cousin you only met twice? Unless you have a close relationship with your co-workers outside of work, I would say to keep them on the B list. If not inviting your 3rd cousin is going to cause family conflict, then talk to your family about it.
- A rule of thumb I suggest is, if you have not seen or talked to someone in more than 3 years even if they are a relative, you should not feel obligated to invite them. Your wedding is not the day to catch up with them.
Hire a Planner…
This is a busy time and there is so much to do and vendors to hire that it can become very overwhelming.
With so much information on the internet and on wedding websites, not to mention all your married friends offering to help you, it’s easy to think; “I can do this”. Trust me, you NEED a planner or at the very least, a “Month of/Day of Coordinator”.
Think about it, this is one of the most important days of your life, one that you have probably dreamed of for a long time, so do you really want to trust just anyone to help you? I can’t tell you how many brides have said “I wish I hired you sooner” or “I wish I would have hired a planner”. Besides, you want your friends to be guests and enjoy this day with you, not working.
- A planner is going to make sure that the vendors you hire are professionals in their field.
- They make sure your vision happens as well as handling all the details of the day.
- They will work with you to create your customized timeline so that all the important events and announcements happen.
- They will be there to help run the rehearsal and oversee as well as manage the set up on your wedding day.
Select your Venue…
Deciding on your venue will depend on a few things, so when touring venues, ask questions and then decide which best fits what you are looking for.
- How much is the rental cost and what does that include? Do they work with specific vendors or can you bring in your own vendors?
- Your guest count, can the venue accommodate the amount of guests and is there an extra cost per person if you go over the amount?
- If you are having an outdoor wedding, does the venue have an indoor option in the event of rain or cold weather?
- What is the style of your wedding? Does the venue reflect your vision and style?
Hiring the Right Vendors…
Two vendors I recommend you book right after your planner/coordinator would be your Photographer and DJ.
- Your photographer is important for obvious reasons. Your wedding day pictures are going to last a life time and something you will share with your family for years to come. You want to make sure you work with a licensed professional that is just as invested in your day as you are.
- Select the perfect photographer for you. Ask for referrals from your planner, we work with several photographers and know which ones do great work.
- Follow a few photographers on FB and Instagram. You will start to get a feel for their personality and style.
- Once you find a photographer who’s style you like, set up a meeting to see if you like them. Remember, you will be spending a lot of time with this person, so you want to be sure you are comfortable with them.
Photo by @Rae&Michael
Let’s face it, your DJ can make or break your reception so why would you hire your friends’ cousin who does it on the side as a hobby. Now, no offence to your friend’s cousin, but do you want to trust this person to run your wedding day?
- A professional DJ that is licensed has a lot invested in quality equipment and lighting, not to mention their reputation. They have a large music library and have experience as an MC so all the important announcements and events are not missed.
- A professional DJ will work closely with your Planner in making sure the timeline is running smoothly and nothing is left out.
- They keep the party going. If dancing at your reception is a BIG deal for to you, then you want a DJ who can read your guests to make sure that people are dancing and having a great time.
One final piece of advice, never let price be the only deciding factor when hiring vendors. Be sure to work with experienced professionals that are licensed and insured. Remember, you get what you pay for, so do your homework.
So now that you have some idea of where to start, what are you waiting for…
If you have any questions feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Until next time, Happy Planning…