I get questions all the time from newly engaged couples getting bombarded by demands from family wanting to know when the wedding will be. Sometimes before they have even made it Facebook official! You may have a secret pin board set up, but when the time comes to start planning, it’s hard to know exactly where to start. When a friend gets engaged or a bride emails to say she doesn’t know where to begin, these are the exact steps I tell them to take.
Discuss a location.
This does not mean discuss specific venues, unless, of course you already have a few, or one in particular in mind, but I mean more general. If it’s not 100% unspoken and clear that you will be getting married in your home town, discuss general location. Will it be in the city you live or the place one of you grew up? Perhaps there is a special vacation spot where you’d like to get married? Discuss basic logistics for the must-have people. If one of your parents don’t fly, and you definitely want them at your wedding, you are ruling out many destination locations. If you hoping that a lot of family will be there, planning somewhere local is your best bet.
Figure out a rough timeline
Again, you don’t have to talk specifics yet, in fact, chances are it’s best if you don’t have a really specific date in mind, but discuss a rough time. For example, next spring or a Saturday or Sunday in September. This way you are flexible if your top choice venues are already booked.
Make arrangements to visit venues
Take a look at the images you have saved. Are they ballrooms? Are they intimate outdoor spaces? Do some research and make a list of about 10 venues you are interested in. 10 may sound like a lot, but you have some wiggle room if/when a venue on your list is booked, is out of budget or can’t hold as many guests as you have on your list.
Outline a budget
This one is hard. For me, the hardest part. You probably have a number in your head that you don’t want to exceed. Perhaps it’s $30k or $50k or you are trying to pull off a wedding for $10k (it’s possible!). Start there and break it down. I advise discussing money with parents early. It can be a tough conversation, but ask what if any they want to contribute, then add that to your budget so you know exactly what you’re working with.
Reach out to photographers
Once you have a date firm, make a list of 5 to 10 photographers whose work you love. I recommend find a photographer as your first vendor once you have set a date, as everyone needs a photographer, so they tend to book up quickly. Reach out to at least 5, then you can eliminate the ones who are booked, and the ones that are out of your budget. Any viable options you have left I advise meeting with them in person if at all possible. You will be spending one of the most important days of your life with this person, you want to have good vibes.
If you get though those five steps you are well on your way to planning a wedding! And if you need help, that’s what I do! You can schedule a consultation here.