The most important thing to do is establish your budget, guest list and venue before doing anything else. Putting that out there as early as possible will ensure you don’t go over your budget later on.
Having a clear vision will also help you stay organized. Consider putting one person in charge of coordinating with vendors, a second in charge of collecting home addresses and a third to keep track of RSVPs.
Set Your Budget
Setting a budget is one of the most important first steps you’ll take when planning your wedding. Plucking a number out of the air or spending until you’re broke doesn’t make sense and will only lead to stress down the line (imagine running out of money at your reception). It’s also important to set a realistic budget that includes an amount that can serve as a cushion for unexpected expenses, such as catering costs or flower prices going up.
It’s also important to determine how you and your partner want to split the cost of your wedding. Some couples choose to follow traditional etiquette and ask the bride’s family to pay for the majority of the day, while others opt to go the other way around or find other ways to contribute. Once you’ve figured out who will be paying for what, it can help to create your budget based on this information.
If you’re going the traditional route, it may be helpful to consult a bridal budget guide to ensure that you are staying on track with your goals. Once you have your wedding date in mind, it can be helpful to talk to vendors about what’s included in their packages so that you can get a better idea of the total cost.
Finally, it’s important to decide if there are any “must-haves” that you’re willing to splurge on. Maybe you want to have amazing floral arrangements or really splurge on your food. Just be sure to offset these splurges by saving or lowering your budget in other areas.
Other things that are often a must-have include your wedding cake, entertainment, and photography. If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend asking your photographer for recommendations or taking a course like Financial Peace University together so that you and your partner are on the same page regarding the finances of your wedding. This will help to keep the tension off the budget and allow you to truly enjoy your big day!
It may be tempting to jump right in with a plethora of wedding planning tasks, but it’s important to set your priorities and stick to them. This will help you avoid cost overruns that can force you to cut corners or rework your plans at the last minute.
Make a list of your top three wedding priorities and determine what you are willing to compromise on. Once you’ve established this, it can be easier to lock in vendors and other suppliers that will fit within your budget and give you the best bang for your buck.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not every aspect of your wedding will go exactly according to plan. Be sure to include a contingency for this in your budget, so you don’t feel rushed or stressed when things don’t go as smoothly as you planned.
It’s also important to have a system in place for keeping track of all the details related to your wedding. This could be as simple as using a spreadsheet, folder, or checklists to keep all of your wedding-related information organized and in one place. Creating a system for sharing this information with your team (wedding planner, caterer, DJ, etc.) can also be a great way to stay on track with your planning and ensure that all the key people are in the loop.
You can also use free tools and apps, such as WeddingHappy and AllSeated, to help you visualize seating arrangements and create a floorplan of your venue, which can be a huge time saver. Setting up a separate email just for wedding-related communication is another easy way to keep your information in one place and easily accessible.
It’s also a good idea to have a few trusted friends or family members help you stay on track with the many tasks involved in planning your wedding. Whether it’s your mum helping you with sourcing favours or your maid of honour taking charge of ensuring the best man has the officiant’s fee envelope on the day, delegating tasks will help take some of the weight off of you and allow you to enjoy your engagement!
Know Your Venue
When it comes to selecting your wedding venue, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s important to choose a space that matches your style, theme, and vision. Some venues are full-service and include all of the essentials, while others may require you to hire vendors on your own. Be sure to read contracts carefully and pay close attention to cancellation, refund, and payment policies.
You will also want to know how many guests the venue can comfortably accommodate, as that can have a significant impact on costs. Most importantly, make sure to visit the venue in person before committing to it. Take note of the layout, lighting, and atmosphere to ensure it will be a good fit for your big day. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, schedule tours and visit the venue at different times of day to get a feel for how it functions.
Once you have a clear picture of your budget, priorities, and the number of guests you’re expecting, it’s time to start searching for the perfect place. Many couples choose a venue that has some connection to their story, like the site of their first date or where they got engaged. Others look for a space that fits the aesthetic of their wedding, such as art galleries, well-designed restaurant spaces, or warehouses.
Some venues offer in-house catering services while others require you to find your own vendors and hire rentals on top of the venue fee. Be sure to price out your options and consider the extras you might want to add, such as decorations, floral arrangements, or entertainment.
Before making a final decision, make sure to tour the venue a few weeks prior to your wedding and ask about any additional fees or restrictions. Check how easy it is to set up and break down, as that will affect your timeline. You’ll also want to check on the location and surrounding area, including nearby hotels and how safe it feels for your out-of-town guests.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to wedding planning. It’s crucial to start early and set realistic goals for yourself. A great way to do this is by creating a wedding timeline and checking off tasks as they are completed. It will help keep you on track and ensure that you don’t miss any important steps.
It’s also helpful to determine what sort of wedding you want before you dive into the details. Think about what you want your guests to see, hear, smell, touch and taste on your big day. This will help you narrow down your options and make sure that you hire the right vendors for your needs.
Setting your budget is one of the most important first tasks when it comes to planning a modern wedding. You don’t want to fall in love with a venue, dress or vendor only to realize that it’s completely out of your price range. To avoid this, sit down with your parents or other potential contributors and come up with a total wedding budget. Then, break it down by item so that you have a clear idea of what you can and cannot afford.
Another task that should be done early on is creating your guest list. This will give you an idea of how many people you can invite and help your vendors book appointments accordingly. It’s also important to keep your venue’s capacity in mind so that you don’t invite more people than the space can accommodate.
Once you have your guest list nailed down, it’s time to create your save-the-dates. Sending these out as soon as you have a date, venue and rough guest count will let your loved ones know to block off the date in their calendars and can help them plan accordingly. If you’re having out of town guests, it may be a good idea to reserve rooms for them as well.
If you’re still unsure of what to do to plan your perfect wedding, there are plenty of resources out there to help. From former bridal designer Molly Rosen Guy’s Stone Fox Bride, which helps couples strip away the “Dos” and “Don’ts” of traditional weddings, to Modern Wedding: Creating a Celebration That Looks & Feels Like You, top industry professionals offer their best tips for putting a modern twist on your big day.