So, you are admiring the new piece of shine in your life (or maybe you just GAVE some bling to a lucky lady) but unless you have multiple spouses you are wondering what’s next!? Wedding planning is kind of a huge undertaking, and there is a giant wedding industry pulling brides in every direction. It can get overwhelming. I know when I was planning my wedding, at each step I had a period where I was excited, then overwhelmed, then so overwhelmed I didn’t care. I had a “I don’t care WHERE/WHEN/WHO marries us at this point!” moment for every thing I had to book. I feel you – the struggle couldn’t be more real.
So I’m here to give you some engagement & wedding tips. I’m not a wedding planner, and planners can be a great resource for someone who wants to relinquish the reins and accept all the help. A few weeks ago I talked to an event designer, Chelsea of Details by Chelsea Ann, which you can read that blog here. Today’s blog advice is more for the brides who may want to take on everything themselves, and I say you got it girlfriend, just maybe bring some wine along for the journey.
I know this seems silly but you don’t need to jump into everything RIGHT AWAY. Take some time to just enjoy this period. Celebrate with your friends and family and if (more like when) they start asking all the deets just shut it down. “Right now we are just celebrating. When we set a date, we’ll let you know!”
Before you contact one vendor, sit down with your boo and talk about the day you want to have. 50 guests? 500 guests? At the plaza in the ballroom? Outdoors overlooking a lake? Black tie? Spring? Fall? Basically how you want the overall feel of the day to be. Choosing these will help narrow down who you might contact next. Choosing a date, or a loose date will be helpful as well because vendors will need the date to let you know if they are available.
You definitely don’t have to choose them right away. However, I think for most people they know right away who they want standing by their side. It’s those first few people you send the selfie of you and the ring to. Choose people you want, not people you feel obligated to ask. People who will support, and encourage your love.
Once you know the main points, you can start your search. Websites like weddingwire, and theknot can be great for planning resources as many of them have lists of vendors with reviews. Keep in mind, many of the people listed on those sites pay a good deal of money to be there. Simple google searches for the type of wedding you are looking for may also be helpful. They may bring you to blog posts from photographers or vendors and you can see examples of similar weddings.
Personally, after you choose a date I would say venue and photographer would be the first two things to book. These two things tend to book the furthest out, and if you have your heart set on one you can see if they are available and adjust accordingly if they aren’t.
Other big vendors you want to consider:
Along with the multitude of things you are going to need to consider, you also should consider (especially if you have a strict budget) where you want to allocate funds. If you are getting married outside or somewhere scenic you may not need as many flowers. Some venues provide all tables, linens and chairs for both ceremony and reception so rentals aren’t necessary. Some venues also have lists of certain vendors like caterers that you have to choose from. Depending on your dress, some dresses need to be ordered 6-9 months prior to your wedding as well.
As you can see the list starts getting longer which can leave you feeling stressed. If you aren’t hiring any planners, utilize your bridal party. They are there to help you on your day, and throughout the process. Let them help stuff or address envelopes, or hot glue gems onto your centerpieces. Don’t carry the load alone or you will have a breakdown. Engagement is supposed to be a fun and joyous time, so remember to relax. It’s just a day, it won’t go 100% according to plan but it will still be perfect because you are marrying the love of your life!
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