Pop the champagne! You are engaged! You are feeling ALL of the emotions that come with taking this next monumental step in your lives—excitement, joy and sometimes a bit of stress of not knowing where to start. Don’t worry! Every couple that has hired us has felt the same exact way. It is normal to feel a bit uncertain and overwhelmed as you start making decisions about one of the most important days of your lives.
Here are three simple steps to get you started planning the wedding that you have always imagined.
1. What is Most Important?
Before you go down the road of a million questions (when, where, how’s, etc.), ask yourselves this one first:
‘When you think about your wedding, what are the top three things that are most important to you?’
Is it having an intimate and beautiful ceremony and then having a fabulous party with all your family and friends? Maybe photography and capturing all the beautiful moments is important or having a great band or DJ. Maybe you love food and that is important to share that love with your guests.
Photo by: @jagstudios_photography
I recommend making your lists separately and then sharing it with each other to come up with a shared ‘Important’ list. Once you have this list, the rest of the planning for your wedding will be a bit easier now that you know what you want most out of your wedding.
2. Weighing Time versus Money
It takes a village to plan a wedding, so you want to decide who you want to include in that circle.
Here are some questions to ask yourselves:
- Who will be paying for your wedding? You, your parents, etc.?
- Do you and your fiancée both work full time jobs?
- What dedicated time will you have to plan and make decisions about your wedding on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis?
- Do know of anyone that has special talents or skills that might be willing to be a part of your day? (Officiant, musician, etc.)
- Do you need to hire wedding professionals to help you (wedding planner, photographer, etc.)?
Once you answer these questions, you will have a better understanding of who you want to include as part of your village.
We highly recommend including wedding professionals in your ‘village’ as we know the value they can bring to your wedding, gearing their specialties toward working with weddings and other special occasion events. Why is this important? Weddings are one of the most emotionally charged events. Wedding vendors understand all the inner workings and moving parts that it takes to bring a couple’s day to life.
Photos by: @Jackie
Knowing the value of your time and weighing it against hiring a professional is super important. Saving time (versus money) is sometimes worth your peace of mind, especially when planning your wedding.
3. Picking a Location and Date and Vice Versa
‘When is the wedding? Are you going to get married here in (insert the name of the town you live in) or somewhere else?’
These are typically the first two questions a couple is asked after they get engaged. This can be a catch-22 situation as selecting the location of your wedding activities (rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, welcome activities, brunch, after party, etc.) depends on the availability of the venues that you are looking at. So, you might have to see that list of available dates before you can pick your wedding date. Or vice versa—you only want a certain date for you wedding and you want to only look at venues or locations that have availability for those dates.
Photo by: Jackie Fox Photography
Here are some questions to consider when coming up with a date and location for your wedding:
Picking Your Date
- Is there a meaningful date that you want to get married on (anniversary, engagement date, etc.)?
- Do you have a time of year or season in mind?
- Are you picking a date that is a holiday or has a holiday surrounding it?
- Are there any conflicting events with your possibly date (eg. Superbowl Sunday, Easter weekend, graduations, etc.)?
- When you think of who you would want to invite (very loosely since you might not have a formulized list), would your guests be able to travel during that time of year (Think of school year, graduation, summer months, holidays, etc.)?
Picking Your Location and/or Venue
- Do you want to host your wedding locally, or would you prefer a destination wedding?
- Do you want to have an indoor or outdoor ceremony? An indoor or outdoor reception?
- Do you want to select a venue where you can have both your wedding and reception in the same place? Do you want to have multiple locations (church, etc.)?
- Based on the time of year, what does the weather look like at this location/venue?
- What kind of services do you want your venue to provide (catering, bar, chairs, tables, etc.)?
We hope that we have given you some simple steps to get started planning your wedding! This is a rare and unique time in your lives, full of joy, anticipation, and excitement. There are a lot of decisions to be made but always keep the goal in mind—in the end you will be marrying the one you love!