So, you just got engaged and you’re wondering where to start – congratulations! Like most couples, chances are you’re wondering how to navigate the journey of wedding planning. While it can be a fun and exciting process, it can also seem overwhelming and daunting. Don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be!
A wedding is a chance for you to celebrate your love with your friends and family. Whether it’s a big bash or a small party; catered, decorated, or do-it-yourself (DIY), one thing remains: It’s your day. As you get a flurry of questions and requests, suggestions and advice, the most important thing to remember is that your wedding is for you and your new fiancé to enjoy together.
Working with many couples throughout the years, we’ve become wedding planning experts. By creating a plan, budget, and keeping a few tips in mind, we trust that you can make your dream wedding a reality.
1. Create a list of priorities
Sit down together over wine, champagne, or even coffee and tea to discuss what ideals you both have for your wedding. These priorities are what will guide you once the going gets tough or the budget gets tight. It’s a special day for both of you; so it’s important to discuss things early on so you have an idea of what you’re both hoping for.
Here’s a small list of what should be discussed:
- Big or small wedding?
- How many in the wedding party?
- What wedding features are the most important (ex. Music, food, venue)?
- What date are we thinking?
- What entertainment do we want?
- What city or town?
- How long is the honeymoon?
- What is our budget?
2. Create a budget
Creating a budget early on is important so you can know what to expect when it comes to paying for the wedding. There are a ton of free resources online that’ll give you a list of things to expect in a template you can customize. The big-ticket items are, of course: catering, venue, décor, attire, entertainment, and honeymoon. Once you have all that settled, consider all the little things that compose each category and try to be as intricate as possible so you can plan accordingly.
It’s best practice to over budget, rather than hope for the best. Leave a buffer for those unexpected things!
It’s also important to keep in mind what you’ll want to DIY vs. hire a vendor for. It’s important to note that sometimes DIY can really add up. If you have a wedding in your backyard to save money, chances are you’ll have to hire a tent, bring in staff, rent equipment – and the list goes on. Sometimes a one-stop shop (like a banquet hall)will save you time, money, and the headaches. Know your strengths and budget accordingly.
3. Stay organized
Excel sheets or Google Docs are going to be your best friend. Create a budget list and document the estimated vs. actual costs. You can track all of your quotes from vendors, contacts for each, payment dates, deposit amounts, and other relevant information. It’s also ideal to start getting everyone’s addresses and information for your engagement party invites, save the dates, and wedding invitations you’ll be sending. The more organized you are from the beginning, the happier you’ll be at the end!
4. Create a timeline & to-dos
Start from your wedding date and work backwards to create a realistic timeframe for how long you have to plan. Don’t stress over things that can wait a while and tackle the things that need to be done first. Prioritization is key to being stress-free. Be mindful of what month you’re getting married in, as some months (June, July, August) are extremely popular and things tend to fill up quickly in those time frames. If something is important to you, try to prioritize booking them first if you’re getting married in a really popular month.
To-do lists will be your best friend! Try and only tackle a few things at a time so you don’t feel overworked.
5. Share the tasks
Often times, one fiancé will feel like taking on most of the work. It’s important to the success of your wedding – and you’re relationship – to share the load! Divide the tasks by what you’re most interested in tackling, or what is easiest for each person to do. For example, one person might feel really excited to look into bands or DJs, while the other feels confident they can find the perfect venue.
Create a fun, scheduled time to discuss vendors and options you’ve found. You can even have fun challenges to see who can find the best vendor! A bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone.
Wedding planning doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Working together will be the most important part of making the most of your wedding planning. Most importantly, remember to take the time to enjoy your engagement. This is a special time in your life – so rely on the experts to help you and have fun!
Need help planning your wedding? Then reach out to our dedicated team of event professionals today!
Written By Brad Dalli from Dalli Digital