It’s a new year and YOU’RE ENGAGED!! I’m sure there are about a million things going through your mind right now like “what do I do next ???” Well, I’m here to help you! Read on as we walk through the first ten steps to take as you begin the exciting wedding planning process!
Photo by Jake + Heather Photo
1. Start Planning
It’s never too early to start planning! Take some time to let the engagement excitement wash over you and then get to it. Wedding venues and vendors can book up years in advance during prime months, so you want to get your favorite vendors secured as soon as you’re able.
2. Know Your Budget
The very first thing you should do in the wedding planning process is thoroughly work out your budget. You don’t want to blow your budget in one place in the beginning and then have to skimp on all the remaining necessities. Put a budget max on each wedding category and if you decide to go over that max, then remember that you’ll have to pull from another category to make up the difference. This will keep your budget in check and your sanity intact.
3. Talk Priorities
Discuss which details you value most with your fiance. This day is about both of you, so if you can figure out what is most important together, then it will make planning decisions so much easier in the future. Create a “wants” and “needs” list and see where they line up. It may take some compromise, but you should each feel happy with the results.
Photos by Ashley Bosnick
4. Have an Idea of Your Location and Season
Your venue location and chosen season will play into almost every style decision of your wedding thereafter. You don’t need to have your exact venue or date already picked out, but it is great to discuss the general location and season with your partner in advance. This way, you can narrow it down to a few venues in a particular area that you can tour, then compare and see what dates in your season they have available.
5. Discuss Your Guest List
Come up with a guest estimate based on your budget and venue. Discuss this with your partner and both of your parents. Next, create an “A” through “D” guest list. Your “A” list consists of very best friends and family, “B” list includes close friends and family, “C” list incorporates your parents friends and lifelong neighbors, and “D” list consists of distant family and friends you haven’t seen in some time. Start by inviting your “A” list, then work your way down until you’ve reached your preferred guest count. This will keep your guest list from getting out of hand.
6. Hire a Wedding Planner
There are over 150 hours that go into planning one wedding, not including all the work that goes into the actual wedding day itself. Hiring a wedding planner is invaluable. It will give you peace of mind and keep you worry free. We keep your wedding vision on track, as well as your budget, and will fight for you every step of the way to ensure your wedding dreams come to fruition during this once in a lifetime celebration.
7. Create a Pinterest Board
A carefully curated pinterest board is a great way to express and explain your style to the vendors you’re working alongside. This doesn’t mean pinning hundreds of images of various trends. Stick to a selection of 20 or so images that you think truly represent you as a couple, your personal taste, and the way you both want to feel on your wedding day.
8. Get Wedding Insurance
I know, it seems crazy that you would ever cancel or postpone your wedding, but sometimes circumstances out of your hands occur. Severe weather makes it so guests are unable to get to the venue, a close family member has a medical emergency, or your wedding venue is damaged in a catastrophe. We like to stay positive, but it is also important to make sure you’re covered in case any of these things happen. This way you can expect a refund on your investment.
9. Don’t Cut the Wrong Corners
Always hire professional and licensed vendors. Sure, one of your friends could do the job for cheaper, but will you really be happy with the results? You will save yourself a lot of stress by hiring qualified vendors whose work you can truly count on.
Photos 1 & 3 by Jake + Heather Photo 2 by Perry Vaile
10. Enjoy the Journey
The wedding planning process can become stressful at times with all the small decisions to be made, but just remember what brought you together and how fantastic your day will be. Truly revel in picking out that beautiful wedding dress, tasting that amazing cake, and smelling those gorgeous flowers. Soon enough your wedding day will arrive and all the pieces will come together!