3 Wedding Planning Tips for Getting Started
“There is so much to do…where do I start?”
Photo credit: Corrina Walker Photography
Where to Start
You are probably feeling overwhelmed by the looming to-do list or worse…..you don’t even have a list! The question I receive the most is definitely “where do I start”? After all, you have never done this before and a wedding is a HUGE undertaking. There are a few key things you can do at the beginning of the planning process to ensure you and your sanity remains intact.
1. Checklist – don’t start checking things off the list until you actually have a list! There is a natural progression to planning a wedding. You can’t send out the save the dates until you have a venue, you can’t book a venue until you have an approximate guest count, you can’t book the ceremony music until you have a ceremony location, you get the idea. If you start randomly booking vendors and then fall in love with a venue that isn’t available for the date you have booked music, entertainment, and so on, you may be in some BIG trouble. Caution: the venue may dictate your wedding date, so if you have your heart set on a certain date and a certain venue, call early to avoid disappointment.
2. Budget – set one! Although the budget for certain items may change as you find out how much things actually cost, set an overall budget for the wedding and then you can move things around within it. More importantly, find out how you will be paying for everything and where the money will be coming from. You want to make sure if you find a vendor you love that you are ready with a deposit to avoid losing them. Will you and your fiancé be contributing the bulk of the funds? Will your parents be chipping in? If so, you need to know how much you can count on before you get too deep in the planning process. So have the difficult conversation if you must, otherwise, assume everything will be coming out of your pocket.
3. Color Scheme – I have seen the color scheme for so many weddings change drastically once the bridesmaid’s dresses are purchased. A gorgeous purple wedding could turn black, pink or blue when you can’t find the perfect purple bridesmaid’s dress. Depending on how bold your colors are you might want to get the dress shopping out of the way before going overboard on the linens, stationery and flowers.
My advice? Get yourself a good checklist, a budget, and a vision. Any professional wedding planner should hold the mother of all checklists and budget calculators, complete with a chronological order and timelines when everything should be done. Even if you don’t plan on hiring a wedding planner, you might want to consider booking a consultation at the beginning of your planning process to get you started on the right foot.