February 28, 2023

All About Planning a Wedding

Where should I start???

Did you just get engaged and have no idea where to start with the wedding planning and it all feels like too much? I have BEEN there! I am going to do my best to summarize the planning process in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming, but my best bit of advice is to not rush it! Everything will go the way it is supposed to and everything will be ok!

I always first recommend setting expectations with everyone involved. If you have a significant other who wants to be involved in every step or doesn’t want to be involved at all in the planning, you need to set the expectation of how they will assist and with how much. This also goes for any third parties – a future mother in law, best friend, wedding planner! If you want help, it is best to set how this help will go before you get into it all (and yes that means talking to them about financial contributions too!).

Then you can jump into the actual steps. I recommend doing them in this order, but just know however you choose to go about it, as long as it gets done, there is no reason to stress over the process! 

My Recommended First Steps:

  1. Find your inspiration – create a Pinterest board, but think about you two as a couple and what shared interests you have. Don’t get lost in the details at this point! We just want to nail down a general theme – think big picture; colors, if you want an overall theme, and how you want your wedding day to feel! You will also need to consider your date at this time – is there a date that is significant for you as a couple that you want to honor? If not, think about your favorite time of the year, how you want your wedding day to feel, and narrow it down to a few dates that work.
  1. Book your venue and date –  if you have a specific date in mind you will want to either book very early or stay open to different options for your venue. Additionally, vise versa, if you have a specific venue in mind you may have to be open to different dates and times of year than you originally planned. My recommendation is to think about what you want your day to be like, what style will it be? Narrow it down to three or four venues to visit from there. I also recommend throwing in a curve ball venue – one that you really like but is totally different from the rest; you may surprise yourself! 
  1. Book your photographer/videographer – if you choose to have a professional capture your big day through photography/videography I recommend booking that next. As a photographer my books fill up about 8-9 months in advance so if you have a photographer in mind, definitely don’t hesitate. Some photographers also include videographers in their package, if not, you will need to decide if you want someone to capture your day on video and book them as well. I will be posting a blog next month on how to choose your photographer, so look out for that for some tips and tricks as well.
  1. Have a tasting and book your caterer – sometimes your venue will have a preferred caterer which really helps to narrow everything down! Otherwise, you will need to search out the type you are looking for – plated, buffet, food trucks etc. Think about the food that you like and think your guests would like as well! From there you can book a tasting and decide! Sometimes, your venue will include catering, in that case you can definitely put this off until a little later.
  1. Go dress or outfit shopping and say yes – some stores may have your perfect dress or outfit of choice in stock and ready for you to take home that day, but more often than not you will try on a sample size and your dress or outfit will be ordered for delivery close to 7-8 months away. Starting your attire shopping early allows you to take your time and find exactly what you want. If you are in a time crunch, shopping at resale stores like Lux Redux for dresses may be a way for you to find what you want in a quicker time frame! Another factor to consider is your alterations, you won’t know if you need them until the dress comes in most times, so making sure you have time set aside for them to be complete is important as well. 
  1. Book your officiant – it is so easy to forget about the officiant when planning your wedding, but it is a crucial step. It is especially important if you have a specific officiant you have in mind, or need a specific type. But pushing this step off can land you with someone you don’t click with or someone unprepared to officiate your day in your way. If you want a friend or family member to officiate be sure that they are prepared to do so and handle your marriage license, no one wants to find out afterwards that they are not legally married!
  1. Decide on florals and book your florist – this is something very personal, but if you want florals you need to make a few small decisions, do you want real or faux, do you feel comfortable DIYing your flowers, or do you want an expert to curate the perfect look for you. If you want a floral designer to make you the perfect arrangements for your day, I would recommend completing this step early.  
  1. Decide on entertainment and book – Decide if you want a DJ or Band or something else! If you are seeking a DJ or band it is best to book them at this stage, especially if they are a popular entertainer in the area. The other thing to consider at this stage is music for ceremony – would you like different music from your DJ or Band or to hire someone to play specific music on piano, violin, etc. 

At this stage I always say to take a break and be proud of yourself! If you think about it those are the only things you “need” for your wedding to be successful. You have something to wear, your location, someone to marry you, your guests will be fed and there is fun to be had! Everything else is a small detail that can be tackled one at a time! 

Of course there are additional steps: everything for any bridesmaids or groomsmen, deciding what your groom will wear for the wedding, will you take a honeymoon, etc. but I believe if you focus on those 8 steps to start you can get off on the right foot in your wedding planning and everything else will feel much simpler in comparison! 

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help, as mentioned before, now is the time to utilize those expectations you set at the beginning of the process and take some weight off of yourself with those willing to help execute your vision! It doesn’t hurt to stop for a few months and take a breather if the little details feel like too much; pull back and focus on one thing at a time!

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