You’re engaged? Congratulations!
I want to dedicate this blog post to all the newly engaged love birds out there! (One of my very best friends and her fiance being one of them!) 2016 is going to be magical for you! Now, grab a glass of bubbly and let’s start planning!
Planning a wedding can and will be overwhelming at times. A lot of time and money are spent making your big day perfect! I personally believe the right wedding planner can alleviate the stress that comes with planning and be able to bring your vision to life. With that said, if you’re a bride who would like to plan herself or maybe hire a planner down the road, I put together a list of 5 things to start thinking about RIGHT NOW.
- Deal-breakers? Make sure to sit down with your fiancé and discuss what you would love to have at your wedding (while being realistic). If getting married in a church is very important to you, make sure you express that to your better half. You don’t want to start planning and signing contracts without make sure your partner is on board- it’s a given I know, but just a friendly reminder 🙂
- Venue and Date! If your wedding date is flexible, I highly suggest narrowing down a city location and style for your wedding. Do you want to have an outdoor ceremony and reception? Do you want a rustic feel? Ballroom and black tie? This will help you determine what venues would be best for you. You also need to keep in mind your guest list. Most venues will have information on their website pertaining to maximum number of guests for a seated dinner, buffet dinner, etc. My husband and I decided on a more intimate destination wedding, so we chose to invite only very close family and friends. If you are looking for a larger wedding and reception, make sure the venue you’re interested in can accommodate everyone. If you have a particular date in mind for this coming summer that you have to have, you need to get a jump on finding a venue that is available and can accommodate your guest list! Popular venues can book out a year or more in advance. Contact them as soon as you can to beat the holiday season engagement rush- Valentine’s Day is next weekend!
- Budget. This is extremely important. You want to sit down with your fiance and plan out a budget, together. If you are paying for your wedding as a couple, you want to be sure you’re on the same page. Likewise, if your families will be helping out or paying for it altogether you want to make sure you have an overall budget and then prioritize from there. Your venue and food & beverage will most likely be your highest expense. From there, decide what is most important to you. Are you willing to let go of having Chiavari chairs so you can put more money into flowers and décor? The little things can add up quickly when planning a wedding. Having an overall budget and prioritizing items can help you stay on track.
- Site Visits. Once you have a list of venues and/or dates you’re interested in, contact each venue to schedule a site visit and to go over the details of their wedding/reception packages. This is definitely a must! Some pictures can be misleading online and there is no better way to get a feel for a venue than to visit yourself. This also gives you the pleasure of meeting the events coordinator at the venue- this is someone you will be working very closely with up until your wedding day. If you plan on doing a destination wedding and can’t make it to see different locations, that’s ok! You can always go online to check reviews and connect with past brides to see what they loved, didn’t love or would have changed.
- Dress Appointments! If you are like me, this is one of my favorite parts! DRESS SHOPPING! If you are absolutely in love with a certain designer, as I was, I would recommend going on their website and finding a nearby trunk show. A trunk show is where a designer sends their new line and most popular dresses to a bridal salon for a set weekend. Take full advantage of these trunk shows! Salons will typically offer a discount if you order that particular weekend. If you’re a bride who isn’t sure what style or designer you like just go online and do some research of salons nearby. Make sure to go to a couple with various designers- while of course making sure they fall into your budget. I do recommend only going to a few salons. You could spend all day going to a number of salons and still question whether or not you could find something better. The truth is, there are beautiful dresses everywhere! Try to keep that out of your mind and instead focus on the picture you have of yourself on your wedding day. Also, a lot of brides don’t realize that it can take up to 6 months for a bridal gown to arrive once you order. You also need to allow another month for alterations. Most designers do offer rush shipping options which is great! And if you need it even sooner, you can always buy off the rack! Happy shopping, ladies!
I hope this post can ease the mind of at least one bride out there! I would love to hear how the planning process is going for you and what parts you loving. Again, congratulations!!