Top 8 Things to do when starting the Wedding Planning Process
You’re Engaged! Now what?
Please keep in mind that you don’t have to have answers for all of these questions. The overall goal of having this dialogue between you and your partner is to get all of your ideas and views out and onto the table so you have a better idea of what both of your expectations are.
- Style: When you think about your wedding day are you in a vineyard, a barn, a ballroom, a church, or a museum?
- Location: Inside or Outside? Is there a specific city you want to have your wedding in? Do you want it all in one location, or your ceremony in one location and the reception in another?
- Date: What time of the year are you thinking? Does it matter the season or do you just want enough time to plan it?
- Guest List: This is the hardest discussion and I recommend you jump in and start a list! Sit down with your partner and write down all of the people you would want to invite if money were not a factor. Include spouses and children if you think they should be invited. Now bring this list to your family! I go through this issue with almost every client. The bride and groom will deliberate and narrow down their guest list for weeks and when they finally show the final product to their parents, and then suddenly 20 new family members you have never heard of must be added to the list!
- Budget: We will talk more about this later but discuss what the most important components of this wedding are to each of you. What are you willing to splurge on and what are you willing to save on (ie. Dj, Photographer, Videographer, Florist, Decor, and Venue)?
- Planner: Do want a day of coordinator or full service wedding planner? There is a big difference between these two packages and it usually is directly corresponding to the personalities of the couple and how much they would like the help. I would suggest full service coordination for a couple that is afraid of being overwhelmed by the details and would love someone to be on their team every step of the way. For a couple that knows exactly what they want and looks forward to planning on of the details I suggest a day of coordination package. We will still be there as your consultant throughout the entire process but all of the hard work will be done by you. Obviously, this is a big discussion and lot more complex than these few sentences but this decision could change the path of your entire wedding planning journey.
4. Set a Timetable
The previous tip (Talking it out with your partner) should lead you to this next conversation. Set a timetable for when you would ultimately like to get married. Now work back and set yourself calendar. The average time it takes to plan a wedding is 9-12 months. You can do it in a shorter amount of time but that begins to add more stress. You can always use extra time though! I have had some clients who start planning their weddings two years out. That is completely fine too.
As a client of mine I will help guide you through your year timeline with a month by month schedule and reminders. A part of this timeline should also be how long it will take you to save up for your event. Having an idea of a budget here is a great thing but we will talk more about this later.
- Ask Planner, Friends and Family.
- Check out vendor reviews on multiple platforms (Yelp, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Facebook etc).
- Email your top choices and take note their responsiveness and tone. Are they clear and concise? Do they respond back in a timely manner? These are important characteristics that will come out on the day of the wedding. This is also where your spreadsheets will come in handy!
- Once you’ve narrowed down the vendors, give them a call (or talk in person for the more serious vendors) and try to get a read on their personalities. Is this what you wanted in your vendor? How’s their vibe? Do you feel a personal connection to them?
- Ask for a contract and make sure to read it thoroughly! This is where having a planner will come in handy. At SBWE we offer contract reviewing in all of our packages to safeguard our clients from contract loopholes or missing sections
I know this is a longer blog than I usually write but with summer engagement season just around the corner I figured it would be a great time to share my expertise with you all!
What do you think? Did I miss anything? What was the first thing you did when you got engaged? I would love to hear from all of you!