This is engagement season- people love to get engaged during Christmas and Valentine’s! It’s romantic, it’s special (it saves on gifts), it’s time to celebrate. After he puts a ring on it, the questions start rolling in from friends and family wanting to know the details of the wedding. It’s easy to get distracted and start planning. But planning without a plan is a HUGE problem. Costs can skyrocket (even if you plan to DIY a whole bunch). Trying to please everyone can turn a wedding out of control. Here is where I think every couple should start the planning process. These are usually my first 3 questions or starting point for every couple.
- Write a Guest List- Now I know that this may seem too early to write it out, but without knowing how many guests you want to invite (and actually writing it down to see), you won’t know how to budget, what venues are available and how much you are really going to be working with.
- Set a Budget- Your budget is directly impacted by your guest list. If you want to invite 100 guests, at approximately $110 per person for venue (to keep numbers easy) you are looking at $11,000 (this will come with tax and gratuity on top so it’s actually higher). Now you need to budget for decor, flowers, dress, favours, cake, etc. Be prepared to have a budget that can reflect that. If not, guest list will need to be adjusted to accommodate. Also, knowing your budget will help you find vendors that will work within it. If you don’t, it’s easy to spend way more than you expected or prepared for.
- Pick a Date- You can’t start contacting vendors until you know when you want to get married. Many vendors are booked well in advance and there are possibilities they may not be available for your date.Now if budget is a concern, it’s always a good idea to consider the off-season (most areas being November to April). It will help you save on costs and therefore invite more guests and many vendors have more availability during this time (some even offering discounts for off season weddings).
Without these 3 decisions, it’s not wise to start contacting vendors. Now with that being said, these are flexible. Guest lists always get modified, budget sometimes can flow (surprise help from family) and a date can move to accommodate a venue you absolutely fall in love with.
Thanks & Happy Planning!
Need help with the next steps in the planning process? Contact me and let’s chat on how I can help you!