It finally happened, there is a ring on your finger. No doubt there are pictures highlighting your ring finger to post on social. Family and friends to call and frenemies to make jealous before you settle down to the most important task, planning your wedding. Whether you have been planning since you were old enough to play with dolls or don’t have a clue where to start, it never hurts to have a guide. Below are a few key components to planning a wedding that you will want to tackle first.
One of the most important parts of planning a wedding is choosing the venue. The venue will set the tone for the entire wedding and just because you want a summer wedding this year doesn’t mean your venue will be available before the fall. When choosing a venue, start by thinking about your vision for the wedding. Will it be a casual or formal affair? Do you want to have a theme? Make a list of the must-haves and include any amenities you might want your venue to have. For instance, do you want your venue to have lodging available for your out-of-town guests? When you are thinking about your venue, be sure to include budget into your planning.
The time of year you choose for your wedding may help whittle down venue options since some venues will be better suited for cooler seasons than others and vice versa. It is always a good idea to select a few different dates and list them by priority since there is always a possibility that your desired venue may not be available on your preferred day. You will want to make a guest list. The rough draft is fine, you just want to get an idea of the number of guests so you can find a venue that can accommodate that number.
The type of venue you choose will influence the feel of your wedding. If you are religious or want to go more formal with your wedding, then a church service with a reception held elsewhere is likely the way to go. If you wish to be a little more casual, and hold both the service and reception in one location, check out your local winery.
Florists, DJ’s, photographers, wedding planners, the list of vendors you will need to secure for your wedding goes on and on. It will be important to make a list of needs early so you can start making calls. If you have friends or family who can refer you to someone, that would be ideal. Otherwise, you will want to do your research. The average couple hires 13 different vendors for their wedding. That number may sound overwhelming but if you make a list and prioritize finding the vendors in order of importance, it will make the task more manageable.
It is likely that your chosen venue will provide you with a list of preferred vendors. These lists can be lifesavers. You can’t ask for a better recommendation than a venue that hosts dozens of weddings every year. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the venue list is just a recommendation and not a requirement. When choosing a vendor, it is very important that you trust your gut. If you meet with a vendor and upon leaving do not feel comfortable, you should keep looking. It is very important that you are comfortable with everyone you hire after all; it is your special day.
Plan the Honeymoon
With all the wedding details rattling around in your head, it’s easy to forget about the honeymoon. Choosing the honeymoon is a great way to involve your partner in the planning process. The most important thing is to remember that you are a team, so communication will be important during the process. When planning the honeymoon, you will want to keep a few things in mind. First, start early, the ideal timeline for booking your trip is 6 – 8 months before your planned travel date. Second, be specific about what you want but be sure to balance adventure with relaxation. This is your first trip as a married couple and you will want to enjoy your time together so be careful not to pack to many adventures into your trip. Third, consider using a travel agent. Travel agents are a great resource when booking your honeymoon. They will have information on deals and discounts and suggestions for your destination. Using a travel agent can save you hours of time researching trips online, and they can even save you money.
Picking Your Dress
No doubt you have been designing your wedding dress in your mind for years. Taking that idea in your head to the final decision can be a time-consuming process. When choosing your wedding attire, you will want to consider the ceremony setting. Season, time of year, the formality of the ceremony will all factor into your choice of wedding attire. You will want to determine a budget for your dress. When planning your budget, be sure to factor in all the accessories required and fees for any alterations. Keep an open mind as you look at dresses. Most will leave you underwhelmed on the hanger but can steal your heart once you try them on. The more open you are, the more likely you will be to find the perfect fit.
Planning a wedding can seem like an all-encompassing whirlwind of tasks to complete and decisions to make. It will be important for you to plan time to not plan your wedding before your big day. Try to keep in mind that planning the wedding will be the first big test of your marriage. Communication is critical, and not everyone can or wants to live life with a singular focus for several months. Navigating the obstacle course of choices, compromises, and stress will be much easier if you remember to take time for the two of you to do something not related to planning the wedding.
Planning a wedding can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of your married life. Keeping these five tasks in mind as you begin the process will help to get you started on the right foot.