I am going to try to stay consistent with posting a Wedding Wednesday post every Wednesday. If not every Wednesday, maybe every other Wednesday. Basically, I am going to share my personal experiences with wedding planning and my tips for all things wedding.
So, you just got engaged and you don’t know what to do next. You have everyone asking you,
“Did you set a date yet?” “Do you have a venue?” “What are your wedding colors?” “Am I invited?”
And, the list goes on and on. Do not let those questions overwhelm you. It’s okay. You shouldn’t know the answers to those questions right now anyways. I mean you just got engaged. Relax and actually take the time to enjoy being engaged. You can literally take as long as you need to before jumping into complete wedding planning mode.
Once you have fully enjoyed being engaged, and you have decided to start planning, it is important to sit down with your new fiance, and whoever else is helping out with the costs of the wedding, to discuss a budget. This is something I did not do, but I wish I did. I did not have a wedding planner, so there wasn’t anyone to keep me in line and kind of show me the ropes. My wedding planning was A LOT of trial and error. While discussing a budget, it is important to also discuss, with your future spouse, what is important to each of you. This will determine where to save and where to splurge when it comes to vendors and such. And, it will also determine where to compromise.
Once you’ve got your budget down, it’s time to set the date and book a venue! These two go hand in hand because you may have a date in mind, but your venue may not have that date available. The best thing to do is discuss the topic with your new fiance` and see how they are feeling. Figure out what season you would want to get married in, then go from there. Once you have chosen a season you would like, then choose what day of the week you would like to get married on. Once, you’ve got the day of the week, start picking some dates. I believe it is best to have at least three dates in mind just in case the one you really wanted isn’t available at the venue you want.
It is kind of tricky, but you just gotta call the venue and see what dates are available. It is really your preference. Like I said, have a priority list to see what is more important to you. Is your date more important than the venue? Choose a date first, then find a venue that can accommodate you on that date. Is the venue more important to you than the date? Then, have several dates in mind when contacting your dream venue, so that you have a better chance of getting that specific venue.
Once you have got your date set and your venue booked, I would say it is best to start looking into a caterer, photographer, florist, hair stylist, makeup artist, and dress appointments.
I mean, really and truly, once you have set the date and venue, everything else really just depends on what is most important to you. It really is all about your preference, and it can be really tricky because it is a lot of back and forth between vendors to see if they will all be available on the date you have set. So, it is always best to have a few vendors from each category (venue, caterer, florist, cake, photographer, hair, makeup, etc.) jotted down in case one of your first picks are not available on the date you have chosen.
If you aren’t able to get the vendor you want due to nonavailability or any other reason, don’t panic. It is totally okay if you don’t get the exact venue or photographer, or whatever it may be, that you wanted. Your day will still be amazing. Trust me, I had to learn this the hard way, haha! Wedding planning does take compromise, and I am still learning this, but so does marriage. It’ll be okay!
So, really, start by making a priority list. What things are most important to you and your future spouse? And, then, go from there because that will determine everything else.
Below, I have listed my personal priority list:
- Determine a budget
- Set the date and book a venue
- Wedding dress and wedding party attire
- Hair and Makeup
- DJ/band/ceremony musicians
- Wedding cake(s)
- Stationary (save the dates and invitations)
I’m sure I am leaving some things out, but this is really just my own personal experiences with my own wedding, so please feel free to leave comments with your opinions or own experiences.
P.S. There are a ton of wedding checklists on Pinterest to also help you if you decide to plan without a wedding planner. It really did help me with planning my wedding, as well as a wedding planner (book) that was gifted to me by my maid of honor! So, keep that in mind also!
Photography: Gracie Days
Hope this helps! Happy wedding planning! Enjoy the process!