It’s official, you’re engaged! Now it’s time for all the wedding questions to overflow from family and friends. When is your date? What are your colors? Don’t forget to invite your second cousins, neighbor’s mother! Wait what? You may be thinking, how in the world do I begin planning the most important day of my life? Before you answer all of those well intended questions, I want to share the 5 things you need to know before you plan your wedding.
1.) Organization is key
As a color-coded folder fanatic, I am a firm believer that everything has a place. Now is a good time to create a separate email or folder strictly for wedding items. While you are dreaming of your big day and starting to fine tune the details, it’s important to filter everything wedding related to your “my perfect wedding” email folder. You don’t want to accidentally forward the picture of that glam wedding gown you found on Pinterest to your boss, Eeek! Once you have completed that step, create sub folders of different categories such as catering, DJ, photographer, etc. You will have multiple email communications with each individual vendor and this must know first step will keep you organized and on track.
2.) Don’t skip the budget
Create your initial budget. Consider who will be contributing to your wedding and how much. Will it be parents, are you going dutch and splitting it down the middle with your sweetie or asking that friend who owed you a favor to chip in? The roles of who pays for what is different for every couple and culture. Whoever it is, don’t be afraid to have the “money conversation” and get the specifics. You will need to know how much money you are working with to budget and plan accordingly.
3.) Your guest count
Almost all wedding vendors you talk to will need to know your guest count. This is a good time to consider if you will have little ones at your wedding or make it strictly for adults. When starting your guest list, think from the inside out. Start with your immediate and close family, add in your besties and people you could not imagine missing the celebration. Sprinkle in your extended family then top it off with co-workers and your parents business partners or must invite list. The important thing is to get your list started and not worry about whose toes you may be stepping on.
4.) Hire a wedding planner BEFORE you book your venue
Your wedding venue will likely take up a good chunk of your budget. Hiring a professional wedding planner BEFORE you book your venue will not only allow your budget to stretch but it will give you options that are specific to your style. Does the venue have a sound system at the ceremony area? Are tables and chairs included? Will the venue provide cleanup? Planners know the in’s and out’s of local venues to point you in the right direction. This alone will save you weeks of research!
5.) Your non-negotiable list
This is the fun part! You get to think through your day and consider what you cannot live without. Will you splurge on your dress? Is photography your number one priority? Do you envision having a champagne fountain for cocktail hour or whimsical cascading flowers decorating your head table? Whatever it may be, your planner will work with you to narrow down your must have list and make it a priority in your budget.
You did it; now you’re ready to start planning your wedding! Stay tuned for more wedding planning tips from Integrity Events & Design.