It’s engagement season!! All the newly engaged couples are still in wedding planning bliss and excited about planning their big day. As fun as planning a wedding is there are some fundamentals to remember. Last year I posted these tips and they are still valuable this year and I've added some additional helpful information. These are your building blocks for starting your wedding planning process.
Nine Months and Earlier1) Choose the type of wedding you want: This will set the tone of your wedding. All of your decision will be based off of this choice. Do you want a traditional, contemporary or theme wedding? It’s important to know what you want before you start your purchasing items and booking vendors. You want to make sure all the elements of your wedding have a cohesive look and feeling.
Tip: Sit with your fiance and both of you write three words that describes your wedding day vision then share it. This exercise will express both of your visions and you can use these key words when you are visiting your vendors. Most vendors will ask you the same question and now you have clear answers.
2) Choose a wedding date: This is an easy one and it goes without saying but choosing a date can be a little more calculated than you think. It may be a date of sentimental value, the date that fits your busy life style or if you’re budget conscience it will be the date that gives you the best bang for your buck.
Tip: Try to stay away from Holiday weekends. Your guest may have vacations planned and if you have guests coming from out of town it can be costly. Also keep in mind that Fridays and Sundays are cheaper.
3) Determine a budget: Very important!! Your budget has an effect on all of your wedding plans. No matter how big or small your budget is, it’s important to know how much you would like to spend. You don’t want to start booking anything without knowing your budget because you may choose one element that will take you over budget before you get a chance to book any of the others.
Tip: There are many budget worksheets available online and they are useful. However, keep in mind this is just a base. You may spend more or less in for each category. To decide where you may save some money and where you may spend a little more, list the categories of the wedding that are the most important to the least. This will prioritize your budget for you.
4) Consolidate a guest list: Before you book a venue, you need to know if the space can accommodate the number of guest you are having or that you will have enough guests to meet the spaces minimum. Also your guest count will go hand and hand with your budget. The more guests you are having, the more money you will probably spend on your wedding.
Tip: You should discuss early on if you will invite children and if you will allow your unmarried friends to bring a guest. These extra guests can add at least 10 more people to your guest count which quickly adds up to another table which adds another centerpiece which adds 10 more chair covers, and 10 more favors. You get the picture.
5) Reserve your ceremony and reception site: Once the first four decisions are made, you can move on to site selections. It’s important to book as early as you can because many places go fast. Remember there are only 52 weekends a year!!
Tip: If you have your eyes on 11/11/11, book your venues fast. Many couples love when their wedding day has a cute ring to it. Always visit the venue before making a final decision. Do not base your decision on pictures from their website.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Remember, don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything will be okay!! And if you need help, never hesitate to ask a professional! (shameless plug)
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