Congratulations!! Is there anything more exciting than being in the happy haze of a new engagement? We don’t think so! You’re about to embark on planning a beautiful wedding, and we’re here to help! There are three things to think about first. Once you have those figured out, it will make some of the other decisions much easier.
1. Create your guest list.
Who do you want at your wedding? Think about the people who are most important to you and that you can’t imagine the day without.
2. What time of year do you want to get married?
In addition to the season, take into consideration your career responsibilities, other friends’ wedding dates, and family obligations.
3. What is your overall wedding budget?
History and tradition says that the bride’s family pays for the wedding, but in today’s world, we see many couples and families of the couple sharing in the cost. It’s very important from the beginning to define your budget and be clear on who is paying for what.
A little more about the budget because weddings are expensive, especially when you consider the vast range in cost for bands, photographers, caterers, florals, invitations, and fine details. A tip: identify your priorities from high to low in the very beginning, and spend accordingly. Many times there’s a collaboration of funds and the couple may choose to contribute if their priorities are different from their parents’, i.e. they want a super creative invitation or floral arrangement or bottle of wine.
The Venue. After deciding the foundation of who’s invited, when the big day will be, and how much you’re spending, it’s time to think about where you want to get married. Searching for a venue is best done once you’ve defined your guest list and your budget. When planning your wedding with us, we operate on a 12-month calendar, but some venues and vendors book out more than 12 months in advance. If you’re dreaming of a popular venue or vendor (such as a band or photographer), you may find that you have to plan further ahead. There are a lot of details that go into choosing a venue. Review the venue’s preferred vendor list and make sure you like the options presented. Talk to other people that have hosted their weddings at the venue to get their feedback. Consider other logistics such as the proximity and travel time for your guests from the hotels. Will you need to hire valet or provide shuttles for your guests? What are the venue’s rules and regulations that might limit your creativity or vision for your party? Is there a sound ordinance? Does the venue have a liquor license or can you bring in your own alcohol? Can you host an after party on the property?
The Photographer. Your wedding is such a monumental event in your lives, so it’s important to have meaningful, personal, and gorgeous photographs of when you say your vows. When choosing a photographer, look at their photos of other weddings and see whose images you like the best. A tip: interview the photographer in person. You’ll be spending the day with them, so it’s very important that you have a personal connection.
The Design. Our goal when designing a wedding is to create a captivating environment that celebrates the couple’s personal style and taste. Some couples have a clear vision and know exactly what they want to plan, while others have many ideas, but haven’t decided on the right one just yet. To help fine-tune the details, we ask questions such as, what are your favorite colors? Are you formal or relaxed, traditional or modern, elegant or organic? Do you want to celebrate your marriage outside in a tent, inside a museum, in a hotel ballroom, or do you envision a more non-traditional wedding venue? Your answers will help us to craft a stunning wedding that truly speaks to the two of you.
If I could give one piece of advice to all newly engaged couples: embrace the process and talk to each other about how you want to work together to plan your wedding. Do you both want to make all decisions together or are you going to divide and conquer? Sometimes the groom is not involved at all and other times we see the groom taking an interest, such as in the menu and drink decision-making process. This is your wedding and you should decide how you want to work together based on your schedules and your priorities.
At the end of the day, we are here to support you and guide you so that you can enjoy the planning of your wedding. Our process is systematic and very organized; our goal is to plan ahead and set deadlines so that we avoid stress and anxiety, but we know it happens, especially when our couples have careers and full lives. When things get hectic, we recommend that our couples rely on us and ask for help. We are here to help you navigate the world of wedding planning.
Some of my favorite, memorable moments of a wedding: I love watching the father of the bride see his daughter for the first time. I love the look on the groom’s face as he sees his bride for the first time. I love watching the lineup of the processional and the moments before the father and the bride walk down the aisle. I love witnessing the couple’s first look at the wedding reception; we always choreograph a private moment for the couple in the dining room before the guests come into the room so they can experience the beauty of the space all alone in the quiet.
Posted Under: Planning