Congratulations! You and your fiancé have decided to take your relationship to the next level – like the ultimate level. To celebrate this commitment you may be wondering – how do I even begin to start my wedding planning?
There are so many elements to a wedding. Things to consider are how are you making your day meaningful, are your guests comfortable and having a good time, does your venue have the aesthetic you want, and does your outfit make you feel fabulous. It can get overwhelming – fast.
The good news is your feelings are completely normal. In fact, I don’t know a couple who doesn’t share those feelings as they are in the midst of wedding planning.
I have more good news for you. Here are some first steps to take as you start your wedding planning journey. These steps will help you get a solid start as you plan your special day.
1. Get Coffee
No seriously, create a comfy space for yourself as you plan. Get into the correct mindset to cultivate those “best day ever” wedding vibes. Also, be sure to reward yourself in little ways as you plan and check off those tasks off your wedding to-do list.
2. Find Inspiration
As you start your wedding planning – this is the time to let yourself dream. Social media is a great way to see a lot of wedding ideas and styles. Pinterest and Instagram are great places to look. While you’re at it, create a wedding vision board. Include the colors, decor, vendor wish list, meaningful details, everything that you want for your wedding. Put your wedding dream board in a place where you see it multiple times a day. There is something powerful about seeing your goals everyday. They often have a way of working themselves out. Also, when you describe your style to your florist, rental vendor, designer, etc, they will appreciate the visuals you provide.
3. Choose Wedding Planning Priorities
Take this time to discuss wedding priorities with your fiancé. Talk about both of your desires for your wedding. Get on the same page as quickly as possible. This is good practice for marriage. Talk about what you both really want for your wedding and what you don’t care about or don’t want. For example if having quality photos and video are super important, you might budget more money for those areas and look for ways to save in other areas. Wedding priorities for my husband and I were photography/videography and music. I felt like we were doing good if we had a meal at our reception, but it didn’t have to be steak. We had a modest sandwich buffet. We also kept the table centerpieces simple – cost-effective and easy to set out the night before, after our rehearsal. Check out this blog post about wedding traditions as you are planning your priorities. Dialing in your wedding priorities will help tremendously as you plan your budget which just happens to be the next to-do item on our list.
4. Plan Your Wedding Budget
While you are discussing your wedding priorities with your fiancé, also take the time to discuss wedding budget. Get on the same page about wedding budget as quickly as possible. You will most likely have conversations with key family members regarding budget as well. If you have family members that are contributing to your wedding budget, the planning you have already done will help tremendously as you share your wedding vision. Check out this wedding budget video from my mentor, Jamie Wolfer, as she outlines steps on how to create your wedding budget. If you are saving up for your wedding – remember to include your savings goal on your wedding dream board and mark down when you reach certain savings milestones for inspiration.
5. Estimate Guest Count
Get a good estimate on your guest count. You don’t have to have an exact number at this point, but you will need an estimate. When you start researching venues, you will need to have a guest count estimate to get a venue that will be able to accommodate your guests comfortably. Key family members on both sides will most likely have ideas of who to invite. It can be very helpful to have help with invite lists. My husband and I asked both our mothers to give us guest lists so both sides of the family were represented correctly. Thankfully both lists fit into a guest count we were comfortable with. If you have any concerns regarding guest count, if is helpful to have a heart to heart talk with that family member and let them know why you have your opinion on who to invite.
6. Approximate The Date
Some couples already have a date in mind when they get engaged. However, finding the right venue is easier if you can be a bit flexible when it comes to setting your wedding date. Some things to consider as you choose your approximate wedding date – do you prefer indoors or outdoors, what is your favorite time of year, what are your favorite flowers. These questions will help you and your fiancé decide on at least the season and time of year you choose and even possibly narrow it down to the month you choose. Keep in mind that the venue you choose will help you set your wedding date based on their availability. My husband and I got married at an inside venue that was perfect for our February wedding in the Pacific Northwest. I was blissfully unaware that it was raining on my wedding day.
You have taken the first steps toward your wedding planning. Remember to reward yourself for your hard work. Now, you are ready to go venue shopping with confidence because you already know your budget, guest count, wedding priorities, and wedding design. And, bonus – when the time comes to order invitations – you will have all the necessary information to put on those, too.
One more thing, now is the perfect time to start researching wedding planners/coordinators. There are so many details to plan and manage leading up to your wedding and on your wedding day. You don’t want to put all that on your family or friends. If you have any questions please contact us, I would love to talk with you about your special day. Let’s set up your free consultation call and see if Weddings By Jess is the right fit for your wedding.