Now that you’re engaged, it’s time to start planning the wedding of your dreams! Being that this is a once in a lifetime event, you’re probably wondering where to even get started! Planning a wedding is much different than organizing a dinner party, charity event or even an elaborate birthday party. You have traditions and etiquette to consider along with hundreds of decisions to make. Throw in some opinionated family members and you’ll quickly find the experience to be quite stressful.
To help you get started with planning the perfect wedding, I’ve put tougher a list recommended things to do in the first months. I hope this gives you and your fiancé a productive start to this fun experience!
1. HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER | First thing’s first, it’s time to bring in a professional to manage the details and steer you in the right direction. This person will be your new best friend, giving unbiased opinions and advice with the experience to back their word up. They’ll help save you valuable time by suggesting vendors that will work with your budget and deliver quality products and services. Having the peace of mind knowing your wedding is in the hands of an experience wedding professional is worth it’s weight in gold. I’ve worked with several couples whose parents told me they didn’t hire a wedding planner for their first child’s wedding and it was one of their biggest regrets. While a planner’s fee is typically 10-15% of the overall wedding budget, I can guarantee you it will be one of the smartest investments you make. For more information about hiring Embellished Events to assist you with wedding planning, please fill out our contact form here.
2. SET A BUDGET | This is the first important step when planning your big day. Setting a budget will help gauge the guest list. It’s important that you speak with both sets of parents openly and discuss what they’re each willing to contribute. Then you two will have to decide if you want to contribute anything. DO NOT even consider taking out a loan.
3. START YOUR GUEST LIST | Now that you have an idea of how much you can spend, it’s time to create a spreadsheet for the guest list. How are you supposed to begin hunting down the perfect wedding venue if you don’t have an approximation for the number of guests that will be present?
4. DETERMINE THE TIME OF YEAR TO GET MARRIED | Fall and spring in the South are prime times for weddings. Keep in mind holidays such as Easter and Mother’s Day. Also look at the city’s calendar of events to make sure you’re not overlapping with a major town event. The Heritage Golf Tournament is HUGE here in Hilton Head. I always deter my clients from booking their wedding on this April weekend because hotels and other accommodations are already booked up and most venues are busy hosting their VIP clients for special catered functions.
5. DETERMINE YOUR WEDDING STYLE | What is the formality? Do you want a look that is timeless and classic, chic and modern or a little bit of both? Talking with your planner and hiring a graphic artist to create a custom wedding logo will help determine the overall design concept for your wedding. It will also help in the search for the perfect wedding venue!
6. PICK A VENUE AND SET THE DATE | Many times these decisions go hand in hand. If the venue of your dreams is booked on a Saturday, consider a Friday or Sunday date! If you’re planning a destination wedding, most guests will have to take at least one day off of work. Whether it’s a Friday or Monday they’re taking off, I don’t think they’ll mind either way. If your wedding is important to them, which it is, they will be there!
7. CREATE A WEDDING WEBSITE | After you’ve found the venue and set the date, it’s time to start creating your wedding website. This will be helpful for guests who wish to start planning travel arrangements. If you’re planning a destination wedding, this is a very valuable tool for your guests to refer to. It will include the locations for the ceremony and reception as well as room block information at local hotels. It’s also a fun way to share your engagement photos, tell a little about how you met, and also introduce the wedding party.
*Setting up your website takes time, which is why I have it on this list of things to do first. If you don’t have the time to create a nice website, delegate the task to your graphic artist or stationer. Make sure it’s complete and includes all of the essential information before you share it with guests. Typically the website is printed on your Save The Dates, which are mailed out 6 months prior to the wedding.
8. BEGIN RESEARCHING/BOOKING VENDORS | If you’re wanting a custom wedding logo, the first vendor to hire is a stationer/graphic artist. The next vendors that take priority in booking because they only commit to one wedding per day is the photographer, videographer and band. Once they’re booked, it’s time to decide who you’ll use for flowers, cake, ceremony music, hair/makeup and transportation.
9. START YOUR WEDDING REGISTRY | You’ll want to register for a few small items like photo frames, champagne flutes, vases, etc. before your engagement party. Some guests will seek out a registry for you as they’re planning the engagement gift. You don’t need to advertise where you’re registered for the engagement party. In this tech-savvy world we live in, people are quick to jump on Google to search your last name and the word “wedding.” Your registry or wedding website will pop up first on the list.
Well that’s it! Haha, just kidding. You have a long road ahead of you sorting out the details for your wedding day. At least this will help get you off to a good start!
One piece of advice that I’ll leave you with today:
“Don’t let the stress of planning get in the way of this joyous time! Enjoy every minute and try not to get bogged down with trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’ Your wedding day is centered around the two of you exchanging vows and making a commitment to each other that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s in front of 4 people or 400, it’s the most important day of your life. Relish in every moment and take in each memory.”
Best Wishes and Happy Planning!
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Phone: (843) 757-7762