You got engaged, your Pinterest boards are overflowing with images of stylish wedding gowns and lush bouquets. Now what?
01. Get the budget talk out of the way first.
Seriously.. Just do it. Make a list of the top three things that are important to you. That’s where you should spend your money. If the food isn’t on that list, don’t splurge on catering. If flowers aren’t important to you, forgo those trendy floral installations (because they are not cheap, trust us). If entertainment is important to you, reach out to a booking agent and have them send you a list of bands that will bring the house down! The budget is nothing more than a reflection of what you want your wedding day to look and feel like.
02. Two week waiting period
If you haven’t set a date, do not commit yourselves to any vendors within the first 2 weeks of getting engaged. If there’s a vendor you know for certain you want to work with, call them first and inquire about availability. Ask them to give you 2 or 3 dates that they’re available around the time you want to get married, then call the venue to see if they’re available on any of those dates. Most vendors will put a temporary hold on a date to allow time to get your vendors lined up. Take the first 2 weeks to establish a budget and talk with family members who will be financially contributing to your wedding.
03. Create a financial game plan
Open up a separate checking account for your wedding expenses. Most of your vendors will invoice you with an option to pay online and will require you to keep a credit card on file. It becomes confusing (and frustrating) when you pay some vendors with a check and some vendors with mom’s credit card and some vendors with your personal debit card, etc. Worst case scenario? Often vendors will charge the card on file for the remaining balance and oftentimes the card on file is not the card you wanted to use for the final payment. We’ve had this happen to friends and clients on their honeymoon, and guess what? They were stuck in another country without funds.
04. Tackle the guest list
Creating a guest list is one of the most difficult tasks involved in planning a wedding. Remember, you’ve already set your budget which means you’ve most likely already discussed your estimated headcount. Now that you’ve started to create your guest list, you’re probably becoming aware of the fact that the more people you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be. Say it again out loud with me. “The more people you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be.” There’s just no way around it….
05. Have a Rain Plan!!
Mother nature attends every wedding, so you need to prepare for her presence. I’m not exclusively referring to rain; extreme temperatures and wind can also disrupt your wedding plans. If you are having an outside wedding, please consider budgeting for a tent. It not only serves as coverage from rain, it also shields your guests and decor from the wind. If you are battling extreme temperatures, renting heaters or an AC unit will not suffice if you don’t have a tent to hold the temperature in. Also, I can’t stress enough about how important it is to hire a reputable, local tent company. This is not an area you want to cut costs in. Ask your planner who they recommend. Read online reviews. Talk with your venue manager about it. If there is a drastic difference in cost, there’s probably a reason why, so do the research and make an educated decision.
I hope this list helps ease a little bit of the anxiety that comes with planning a wedding. Happy Planning!