Hello ladies and gentlemen,
The question that was emailed to me today was just a great big “HELP” we want to plan our wedding and don’t even know where to start.
Once the excitement of the new engagement has settled just enough for you to realize you have now dove head first into planning season, you will feel this huge sense of overwhelm. You will need to know what steps to begin the process so that you can stay organized, and within budget. Planning a wedding is like taking on a new job that you really have very little training in. Get ready to learn a lot in the next few months.
Start with a wedding notebook. You will need dividers for each different element of your wedding (Attire, stationary, budget, vendors, etc…). you will need pocket folders for receipts and a zipper pocket for pencils, fabric swatches etc. You will fill this to capacity, and this will be your wedding bible by the time the day comes around.
Second find a wedding planning timeline that matches how many months until your wedding. 18, 12, 6 and use that as a general guideline to plan what needs to be done every month, and the weeks days and even hours up to the wedding. There are many to choose from on Pinterest and theknot.com has a good one with an app. It will give you email notifications to help you stay on track with your to do list.
There are a few little details you need to set before you can move forward in your planning at all.
Look at the 5 questions:
Who, What, where, when, and how?
The funny thing about answering these question is it isn’t a straight line but a circle. once factor is dependent on the others. So lets break them down.
Not who is getting married…lol you already know that, but who is coming to the wedding. You need to have a general idea from the beginning how many quests will be there. This helps determine your budget, the size of your location, and even the place of your location.
What is your theme, your colors, and the general feel you want for your wedding. Though this does not have to be set in stone at this point a general idea is good. When looking at venues you do not want their orange carpets to clash with your smoky blue decor. You do not want to host a formal wedding in a rustic county barn. You will want a cohesive blending of style between your theme and your locations, decor and attire.
When you put your feelers out for a wedding planner, photographer, caterer etc… one of the first questions everyone asks, “Where are you having your wedding, and have you chosen a venue?” I touched a little on the venue before, but what about location. Are you getting married in your home town, closer to family, a destination wedding?
When Todd and I first got engaged I imagined our wedding just down the road from our home. Then we told our family we were getting married and found my in-laws are not able to travel due to health reasons. So we had to plan a wedding 4 hours away. Weddings are sometimes planned more towards the needs of the guest than the wants of the bride.
Planning your date is also important. There are times of the year and even times of week that cost more than others. There are also family considerations to dates. The first date I set for one wedding was the same day as the families biggest football day of the year. If I had stuck with that schedule 1/2 the family would not make the wedding. it was a tradition.
I guess how should really be how much. What is your budget? This will determine every aspect of your wedding. Also, important is who is paying for the wedding, the rehearsal dinner, the honeymoon, etc. Keep in mind that most weddings go about 40% over budget. This may be a strong discussion point for you and whoever is paying for the wedding.
These are the first 5 questions to ask yourself when beginning the planning process. It down with your brand new wedding notebook and brainstorm these questions with the people who are going to help you make decisions and put this together along the way. Know at the beginning who these people are. Your fiance, your mother, mother-in-law, your best friend. Usually the people who are paying have a lot of say over the whole wedding planning process. Get everyone together and have a brainstorming session with these 5 questions as the topic of discussion. A wedding is like starting a business and these people are your board of directors. These 5 questions are the basis for your business plan.
Of course, one of the best investments in your wedding is the wedding planner. Having someone experienced in the whole “World of weddings”, who knows vendors, contracts and budgets and knows what problems can unexpectedly pop up is an asset that can save you thousands of dollars in the end. Even if you are planning on hiring one just for day of coordinator, you may want to begin the communications at the beginning. This is a relationship worth building. Put them on retainer and work out a little extra for communication and advice along the way. Please see Our Services and our web site for helpful advise and to see about how we can work for you.
i hope this helps answer the question of where do we start? Please feel free to share your questions, comments and concerns.
Lovely planning seasons to all,
Todd & Ashley