THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS ASKED YOU TO BE HIS WIFE….You’ve shared the news with family and friends, you posted about it on social media, but now what?
I bet you have already been bombarded with hundreds of questions, “so when is the big day?!”…am I right? You literally just said yes and not even 24 hours after the fact your people are thinking you already have the whole shebang planned out!
Sure, what girl didn’t have an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to the biggest day of her life? Except for one little problem, the moment he got down on one knee everything became REAL and now these are actual choices that we have to make! This can seem very overwhelming at first, but I promise that it I can help you kick off your wedding planning with a BANG!
HOST A WEDDING PLANNING PARTY!
This is a great way to get your feet wet in the planning process, it also gives you an opportunity to celebrate the good news with all your favorite gal pals and family!
The event doesn’t have to be anything super fancy, just create a private event on Facebook and send out the instant notification to everyone you would like there! Why should you create a private Facebook event as your form of invitation you ask? It is a great way to instantly notify your friends from any age group that you want them to be a part of your big day! Honestly though, my favorite part about the private Facebook event is that anyone who can’t make it to the Planning Party can share their personal tips, input and helpful web links right to your event page!
Invite who ever you’d like! Besties, family, fellow friends who have already been through the wedding planning process!
DECIDE ON YOUR FAVORITE SEASON, NOT A DATE!
Whether it is spring, summer, fall or winter every season has it’s pros and cons! Personally I think most of us ladies already have a pretty good idea on what season we have always wanted our big day to be in! I promise, if you do your research and work together with vendors- your wedding DATE will come easily if you focus your efforts on finding the perfect season first.
What most brides forget to also take into consideration is different seasons compliment different colors, floral, venues and even cost! Different florals survive better and are even more obtainable by florist (which will bring that final cost down) if you choose your colors and flowers that are IN SEASON with your wedding season to tie your entire wedding look together and make it as stylish and timeless as possible!
Another key point with season choice is venue availability! Did you know that some venues offer discounts to couples who wed in the “off season” (winter and early spring?). Check with your favorite venues to see what type of discounts and pricing they offer for different times of year! (Beware though, I know from living in Colorado, some “high country” venues are actually closed in the off season due to snow fall).
SET YOUR BUDGET!
Regardless of who is going to be paying for the big day, it is important to set budget guidelines BEFORE PICKING A DATE OR BOOKING A SINGLE VENDOR!
Sit down with your fiance and who ever else has a say in the budget to talk about the “big ticket” items. What and who do you have your heart set on, where do you feel comfortable spending the extra dime and where can you save? Typically budget are mostly put towards Venue, Catering, Photography, Flowers, Wedding Dress…etc. Maybe if you want a more pricing photographer or venue you will choose to save money on catering by having a buffet style instead of served dinner?
MEET WITH VENDORS, GET TO KNOW THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE SCENES OF YOUR WEDDING.
I know, we are ALMOST ready to pick a date, but first you need to sit down with the vendors (venue, photographer, florist, hair stylist and many others) to make sure they are the perfect match for you and your fiance! Communication is key with vendors, make it clear what your vision is and what you are looking for! Vendors care just as much about your big day as you do and if either of you feel like you aren’t meshing well-move on! Narrowing down your wedding vendor tribe and making sure everyone is on board with what YOU WANT, will ensure complete satisfaction for all parties involved!
My biggest advise as a wedding and engagement photographer is this. Brides, choose a photographer based off their work, not their price tag! If you pick a photog who loves the candid bridal portraits and edits very dark and moody, you should also LOVE candid portraits and dark unique edits! Don’t pick a photographer and expect them to change their style of shooting and editing just for you. If you don’t like their edits or posing style, move on to the next photographer! It will save everyone a lot of heartache in the long run! I am always meeting with potential brides and walking them through my past engagement session albums plus wedding albums, explaining what each different lighting scenario could possibly look like while also talking about my shooting style and approach.
Sit down face to face with your vendors to get to know their work and what to expect before booking!
PICK YOUR DATE! (BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE…)
Drum roll please! You are ready to set your wedding date!
Meet with family and friends to brainstorm wedding ideas?
Pick a season?
Colors and flowers that go with your season?
Set a budget?
Meet with vendors to find out who you want in charge of all the moving parts come wedding day?
If you answered yes then you are right on track! The last step to picking out a wedding date is going to be a BREEZE!!
Pick a handful of dates in your desired season or month, talk with your favorite photographer and venue, working side by side with them both before officially booking a date! Venues and photographers typically book completely up a year in advance so it is important to work with both of these vendors to ensure you get both of them and not just one of them! Time to BOOK, BOOK, BOOK!
So there you have it! Five simple steps to helping you get a head start on wedding planning!
Congratulations to you and your man, I am so happy for you and I hope this helps take a bit of the stress off your plate!