Where to Start When Planning A Wedding
The question I get asked the most by newly engaged brides is, “Where do I begin planning for my wedding?” Wedding planning can be very overwhelming when you do not know where to start the journey, especially when Pinterest and bridal magazines have so many great ideas for everything!! I wasn’t sure where to begin either, but I had only allowed myself 3 and a half months to plan so I just jumped right into it. I looked up “wedding master list” and “wedding planning list” on Pinterest and started making my own. This is the guide and order I used for myself, and I hope it can help you in some way.
- Pick a month and year- First you need to get a ballpark of when you want to get married. The date will be vendors’ first question. It will help to know this information before you start contacting venues and vendors.
- Weekday vs Weekend- Most brides want to have a Saturday or Sunday wedding. It is more popular then a weekday wedding, but it is more expensive that way! Getting married on a Friday will save you money and allow more money to go toward other things.
- Budget- You need to formulate a budget and stick to it! When I was figuring out my budget, I gave a list of the Groom’s responsibilities to his parents and let them decide how much they would like to spend. I then added up all the money and that was my budget. It doesn’t matter if it’s high or low, it is still important to stick to a budget!
- Location- Pick a town you and your fiancé want to get married in so you can start your research. It might be a good idea to get requests and input from family members.
- Chapel, church, outdoors, beach, or barn- The type of wedding you want to have is a discussion to have with your fiancé and will makes the research easier. Also, do you want the reception to be at the same location? Inside or outside?
- Venue- Now that you have a day, locations, type and budget in mind, you can start researching venues!! I started looking online at venues at the location and the type of venue I wanted to get married. “Barn wedding in Weatherford TX”, “Chapels in Dallas TX”, “Baptist Church in Ft. Worth”. I made a list of all the possible places and went to each website to look at pictures. Try to envision yourself getting married there. Next, I went to reviewing websites to see what over couples said. If you are still interested, then its time to call! (Try to call Monday- Thursday most venues are busy on the weekends and you will get a voicemail). Ask the venue if they are available the month and year you selected and ask them if they have a price sheet they can email you. Do this for all the venues you are interested in. Once you find venues that are available and are in budget, make an appointment to tour the place.
- Selecting the date- Now that you have toured venues, its time to choose one! The venue will tell you the available dates, and pick the one that fits best for you and your fiancé.
- Wedding dress- Depending on how much time you have until your wedding will depend on when you get your dress. For me, I had 3 and half months so my dress was picked out early on! If you have 6 months or longer, you may want to move this until after picking your vendors. Wedding dress shopping can take a few weekends before finding the right dress. If you pick a sample dress, it can take a few weeks to a month for your dress to come in. It can take an additional 4-10 weeks to get your dress altered, so give yourself plenty of time for your dress! If you ask the bridal shops for “off the rack” dress, you will be able to take the dress with you that day! That will save you a few weeks to a month.
- Wedding activities- Dancing, photo booth, advice cards, hay ride, alcohol, dinner, kids table, send off, photographer, videographer etc… There are so many decisions to make about what you want to do at your wedding! It’s up to the 2 of you, so make a list of ideas!
- Vendors- Now that you have your date, venue and activities, it’s time to start planning vendors! You need to plan for all the activities that you want. Caterer, baker, bartender, chair/table rentals, DJ, photographer, videographer, photo booth, wedding planner, officiant etc.. Start with the ones you want the most, and leave the “extra” for the end to make sure you are still within budget. I waited until the end for a wedding coordinator, videographer and photo booth. Vendors can take a few weeks to book so do it early! You will want to research vendors for location, price, and reviews! Reviews are huge when finding vendors! Read multiple reviews and make sure they are “likeable” before making your decision! I used the website thumbtack.com to help me find vendors. Head over to my Vendor blog for more information.
- Pick your colors- This is a very important decision that only you and your fiancé can make together. My husband and I decided on red and grey because those are our favorite colors. Then I researched red and grey weddings on Pinterest to see if I liked it before finalizing it as ourcolors.
- Pick your wedding party!- Once again, this is a decision that you and your fiancé need to make together. If you are on a tight budget, consider having a smaller wedding party. Each member will cost you extra money, so keep that in mind. Don’t forget to consider having flower girls and ring bearers in your wedding party.
- Wedding party and Grooms attire- Now that you have the wedding dress picked out and the color theme selected, it is time to get bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen tuxedos! Men’s Warehouse was great for us!
- Engagement photo session, Save the dates and Invitations- When selecting a photographer, ask them if engagement photos are included. I used the photos from my engagement session for my wedding invitations and for decoration on my tables during the reception. I decided Save-The-Dates were not necessary for my wedding because I was getting married quick. I designed my invitations on vistaprint.com and they turned out better then I had expected! Save the dates will be sent out one year to 3 months before the wedding and invitations will be sent 6-8 weeks before the event.
- Decorations- Now that you have your venue and vendors, you will have used up most of your budget. But that’s ok, because decorations wont cost as much! I started by making different Pinterest boards for centerpieces, archways, signs, cake table, table number, aisle..ect and I started to envision what the wedding would be like with certain decorations.
This is the order I used to plan my wedding. I wrote this post as a guide for you to start your own plan. Some people start with a wedding planner and have them do all the work. I did not want a planner and I wanted to do everything, so I only needed a day coordinator and I hired her 3 weeks before my wedding. We met with her 2 times in those 3 weeks, so she could get my visions for the wedding. The most important thing to remember when planning your wedding, is to have FUN!
Well, I hope this blog was helpful for you! Thank you so much for visiting EverythingKaysi!