Engagement season is in full effect!
Your social media feed is blowing up with the ultimate “ring shot” announcement and the energy in the air amongst the newly engaged is simply dreamy. If you were one that got that special proposal this season, I have two words for you….KEEP READING! ☺
This is a very special time in your life. You’re surrounded by love from family and friends rejoicing your engagement. But, soon after that, you’re face to face with the fact that you have to start planning a wedding. Your mind starts reliving every single wedding you’ve attended or taken part in, and you’re legitimately stumped. To alleviate some of your stress, I’ve compiled a few steps to ensure you are on the right track to planning a successful wedding.
ENJOY THE MOMENT: Very rarely, you find a newly engaged couple enjoying their engagement. When you two take the time to appreciate the epicness that just happened, you’ll be in a better place moving forward with the actual planning.
SET A [REALISTIC] BUDGET: Absolutely no planning should take place before you have decided on a budget. Whether you will be paying for the wedding on your own or will have the assistance from parents, this is an important conversation that needs to be had. Once the formality of who is contributing and how much they will be contributing is taken care of, you are then in a good position to move forward.
PICK A DATE [OR SEASON]: Pick out a few dates; try not to have your heart set on exact date. You don’t want to have your heart set on a specific venue only to find out that one date you wanted to get married on is not available. If you are flexible with the date, you should definitely pick a season. This will help visualize the type of wedding you want, and you can then start adding all of the different components.
CREATE A GUEST LIST: Refer to your budget for this. You have to be realistic with how much you will be investing and how many people you would like to invite. Ideally, the smaller your budget, the less people you will want to invite. If you want to invite more, your budget will have to match with that number. Many believe that you have to invite everyone you know. The truth is, you don’t. Think about the experience you would like to have and provide for your guests. Invite those that you would like to share that moment with.
HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER: It was once a commonality that hiring a wedding planner was a luxury; however, more and more couples are seeing the value that one provides. Maybe you are attending school full-time or have a very demanding career. Planning a wedding is a full-time job. From finding the perfect venue/vendors, attending appointments, to reviewing contracts, and deciding on a specific style to create a cohesive look. The list only continues to grow, so once you have found a planner that you mesh well with and completely trust, the assistance they will provide from is invaluable.
STYLE: Determining your style is the preliminary to searching for a venue. Do you want an outdoor wedding? Do you want a tent? Full service at that ritzy hotel you absolutely adore? Maybe you want a vineyard wedding with an emphasis on wine. These are a few questions that you want to ask yourself, and will help in sourcing that perfect venue.
VENUE: Sourcing that perfect venue is not as simple as liking something and booking it! Make a list of questions that answer your “wants and needs” in a venue to narrow down your search. Will your venue allow outside vendors? Will it allow outside food and/or beverage? You have criteria that you are trying to meet [i.e. guest count, budget, and so much more]; therefore, you want to make sure you do your research very thoroughly before you start scheduling your venue tours.
STYLE & DESIGN: Picking a style or design to your wedding is more than picking a color palette and matching some flowers and napkins. When assisting my clients in the style and design of their space, I advise them to think about the experience and feeling that they want to have and provide for their guests. Whether it’s a palette pleasing culinary journey or a lush and romantic space that exudes love and happiness, the point is to CREATE an unforgettable experience.
VENDORS: One of the reasons my clients come to me is because they are looking for professional sourcing. They are overwhelmed with all of the choices available to them and are unsure of who will be a good floral match or which photographer captures that fine art quality that you’re looking for? Most importantly, are they event in your budget? Research all of your potential vendors by visiting their website, read their reviews, visit their social media, and most importantly- meet with them! Before you sing on the dotted line, you want to make sure that you click and can fully trust that they will deliver on what you’re looking for.
DRESS SHOPPING: Yes! Wedding dress shopping is an experience all on it’s own. Whether you are gathering up your family and friends or keeping it intimate with your nearest and dearest, find a boutique that carries the style you are looking for. If you are interested in a specific designer, call ahead to ensure they carry that designer. If you have already picked out your dress via your online search and have your heart set on that specific dress, I suggest that you still keep an open mind when attending your appointment. Your bridal stylist does this day in and day out, so when they make a suggestion for a specific style or dress; hear them out! ☺
FINAL PLANNING STAGE: About two months before your wedding day, it starts to get a bit hectic with communication with vendors. If you are not planning on hiring a planner to assists with the final planning stage, you definitely want to make sure you take some time off to meet with your vendors and your venue to provide final counts, provide any last minute changes, schedule your rehearsal/rehearsal dinner, create and communicate a day of timeline with all your vendors and venue. The more organized your remain at this point, the less stressed you will be.
Wow! That was a plethora of information that I know will help you get on the right track to planning your wedding. My final piece of advice would be to continue to enjoy your engagement! It’s a time you want to cherish and appreciate as much as you can ☺
Wedding Professional Team:
Venue: Meadowood | Photography: Hannah Suh Photography | Planning & Design: Gigi Mallatt Events |
Florals: EV Floral Design | Rentals: Encore Events Rentals | Cake: Batter Up Cakery | Model: Chloe Gretler |
Hair & Makeup: Christi Reynolds Beauty | Bridal Dress: La Soie Bridal | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen