Congratulations on your engagement! Whether you’ve been dreaming your whole life about your wedding or just want to have a casual get together to celebrate your marriage, the key to a fun and stress-free planning process is to know what you want, select reputable vendors to suit your style and budget and to manage the details so that the important things get done. And by the way, what’s important depends entirely on you.
As a newly engaged couple, you are still floating in the clouds as you begin to think about planning your wedding. Many of you are making New Year’s resolutions to start the planning in January and tackle your growing to do list. I have some simple steps that will help you get organized.
Step 1. Write down answers to the following questions – this will become your wedding planning road map:
- When would you like to get married – date, time?
- What type of venue would you like – hotel, country club, private home, beach, winery, church/temple?
- Who/how many will be part of your bridal party?
- What type of reception would you like – luncheon, cocktail party, dinner?
- How many guests do you plan to invite? How many of them will be coming from out-of-town?
- What’s your wedding budget?
- What wedding services will you need – photography, film-making, invitations, catering, transportation, lodging?
- What is most important to you for your wedding?
Step 2. Remember what’s important to you! The reason it’s important to write down answers to these questions is because this becomes your road map for planning your wedding. I promise you that somewhere along the way, a well-meaning friend or relative will tell you about some thing that you absolutely must do in preparation for your wedding, some item that will make your wedding celebration just perfect. You will break out in a cold sweat as a wave of panic overwhelms you and you realize that you’ve overlooked this important detail. STOP! Remember what’s important to you and don’t worry about the rest.
Step 3. Take the time to discover what type of wedding you would like, before you spring into action. Every decision you make will depend on your vision. And because we live in the real world and not the dream world, please be realistic about your resources – both time and money. You can pretty much ensure a happy, fun-filled planning process leading up to a great wedding if you connect the dots between your vision and your resources early in the process.
Step 4. Consider your resources. Determine your budget, whether you are paying on your own or getting help from your families. If you plan to go the “do it yourself” (DIY) route, consider carefully your other responsibilities – work, your fiance, family and other aspects of your life. A realistic assessment of the resources that you have available for your wedding is the most important accomplishment you will make in the first weeks of your planning.
Step 5. Get informed about what things cost. At this point, you are probably saying “How do I know how much things will cost? I’ve never planned a wedding before!” Please remember that like with any other purchase decision you make, there are options at different price points – there is no single right answer. I’ve seen engaged couples spend considerable resources on music because entertainment was their top priority, at the expense of decor and food. Was that a mistake? Not for them! But it may be for you, if food and decor is your thing. That’s why asking friends for advice is helpful, but up to a point. One of the best ways to get informed is to talk to professionals. A wedding planner will get to know you and what you are looking for, so that they can give you indications of what you will need and how much you can expect to spend. Please do your homework before signing any contracts. And by all means – call us at 818 715-9063! That’s why we are here.
Step 6. Make a guest list. A big driver of your budget, probably the most significant variable is the number of guests. So, before you tell all your Facebook friends how much you are looking forward to having them at your wedding, take the time to come up with a preliminary guest list. This is a careful balancing act, one that involves diplomacy and negotiation because there are different groups that have a stake in this activity – you, your fiance, your parents and your fiance’s parents. Please address the situation early on in the planning process – I promise you that it does NOT get any easier.
Still need more help and direction with your wedding planning? Call us at Moments by Wayne at 818 715-9063, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our innovative approach to helping couples with their DIY wedding – The Ultimate Wedding Planning System™.
The System includes phone consultation with an expert planner, all the tools that I use to plan an organize weddings for hundreds of my clients, a stylish binder to keep all the details together and qualified vendor referrals to eliminate the worry of how to choose the right vendor.