THE moment finally happened. He popped the question and you said “YES!” Days or perhaps weeks have gone while you blissfully enjoy this moment. You wear your ring proudly and share the special moment to all who ask. Suddenly it dawns on you, you are engaged! Your euphoric feeling fades away as thoughts of who should you invite, wedding dress shopping, wedding hashtags overrun your mind.
If this describes you, fear not, you are not alone. If you have never planned an event before, you may be puzzled where to even begin. Below are 5 tips to get you started.
1. What is your budget and where is the funds coming from? You may ask, why should I start here? This sets the tone for the rest of your planning. You may be thrifty and the queen of DIY but you cannot have a 200 person wedding on a $2000 budget. Catering alone can quickly add up. Once you establish your budget, determine where the funds are coming from and when they will be received.
2. Set the date! While you can do some things before setting the date, the big ticket items (like your venue, photographer DJ, caterer) usually cannot be booked until a date is picked out.
3. Create your guest list. Not only will your budget determine how many people you are able to invite, but so will your venue. If your dream reception hall can only hold 100 people but you want to invite 250 people, you’ll need to revisit your guest list or the venue.
4. Book your primary vendors. You would be surprised how quickly vendors get booked. Especially if you have your eyes set one a particular vendor. If you are able to tour the ceremony/reception sites, take advantage of seeing the venues. Ask for an estimate based on your potential guest list. Are there any hidden costs (like taxes, gratuity, etc)? Is there a place to get ready? When choosing a caterer, ask if they offer a tasting. Most offer a complimentary tasting of a few options. Are they a full-service caterer who sets everything up, serves the meal, and cleans up? How much do they charge in gratuity? Expect anywhere from 15% - 20%.
5. What is important to you? If you don’t want to run around on your day but rather relax and enjoy the company of family friends, hire an event planner to do the heavy lifting. They can be as involved as you want. From full service planning for those who find the whole process overwhelming to only day of assistance. Is capturing all your special moments the most important part, then find a photographer that you can connect with for your special day. If sticking to tradition is important, then go for it! If you could care less about the cake but you want a killer DJ, then adjust your budget accordingly. Is walking down the aisle, barefoot, adorned in the perfect boho wedding dress on a beach in Cancun is super important? Establish your must haves and discuss how you can incorporate them into your day.
Still not sure where to get started? Take our Bridal Style Quiz to help spark your style or reach out to us. We'd love to sit down and get to know you!
Amber and Stephanie