Facebook and Instagram are blowing up with pictures of happy couples and manicured hands sporting new bling. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is packed with opportunities for the clever boyfriend or girlfriend to pop the question. Once the proposal has been accepted and the celebratory calls and texts have been made, where do you start with actual planning?
Despite what wedding reality shows and the wedding boards on Pinterest depict, planning your wedding doesn’t have to be a crazy, drama- filled fiasco. The main thing is to make sure the couple is on the same page and then plan within your means.
Please know that it is totally acceptable to answer questions about your wedding with, “we’re just enjoying being engaged right now.” This answer will save you from having to do more explaining or answering than you want to- and it will help you avoid unsolicited advice.
When you do decide to start planning, set the budget first. This will allow you to see what you’re working with and will inform your decisions. Check out information on venues and vendors by doing your homework first. Looking at reviews, websites, and samples of vendor work and venue spaces will help you to figure out what you do (and don’t) want. Using the internet for a preliminary search will save you time running around and will give you a good background for the two or three vendors you end up interviewing before making a decision.
Once you’re ready to start planning, these are the more important points to iron out:
Determining the guest list can be the trickiest part of the entire wedding planning process. The number of guests you invite will factor into your choices for venue, time, meal option, hotel options, and more. The sooner you have a good estimate of the number of people who you would like to have in attendance, the sooner you can work out other logistical items.
The location and date are also important to decide on at the beginning of your planning time. If you are picky about the location, it may determine your date. Likewise, a specific date may dictate where and when you can get married. Figuring out the time, day, and location is essential to doing the rest of the planning.
Catering is more important to lock down if your venue doesn’t provide food and beverages. Caterers usually only work on one event per night, so if you really want a specific caterer, make sure to do your research, meet with vendors, and make a decision without too much delay.
You will have more time to work on the details: flowers, photographer/ videographer, music, transportation, and hotel block. Knocking a few things off your to do list on a regular basis will help keep stress at bay and will allow you to enjoy your wedding planning process. Have fun!