Congratulations! You’re now engaged…let the planning begin. Is your head spinning yet? While getting engaged is exciting and new, you now are beginning realize how much is involved int he beginning stages of planning. It can be overwhelming to say the least. Well, we’re here to to offer our best tips to making the planning process stress-free, organized and productive.
Tip #1 – Let’s Talk Budget
Talking about a wedding budget is the biggest elephant int he room so we might as well talk about it first. Take a day to sit down with your future spouse first and foremost. After all, this big day is planned around the two of you! It’s important and imperative that you two discuss your vision for the day and what’s really important to you. With all of the excitement surrounding your big news, the budget talk can be forgotten about and before you know it, you’ve spent way more money than you intended to. A great idea is to open up a joint checking account at this point to start learning how to allocate your money together. Discuss you’re all in budget and where you want to spend the majority of your money. It’s also a great idea to create a rough timeline on when and how much each of you need to contribute to your wedding account. The next step is to sit down with any parents/grandparents or anyone that may be contributing significantly to financing the wedding. If you’re involving anyone outside of your relationship, it’s good to hear them out with their ideas and how they want to see their money well spent.
Tip # 2 – Pick Your Wedding Date….& your back up dates
In a perfect world the one date you and your significant other pick would be available for all of your vendors (ceremony venue, reception venue, dj, photographer, etc). Unfortunately, there are hundreds of other engaged couples in your general area looking for the date(s) you are. In reality, it’s first come first serve in the wedding industry. It’s important to narrow down your ceremony and reception venue first and foremost before you start worrying about all of your secondary vendors. It’s always a good idea to have back up wedding dates so when you do find your perfect ceremony and reception venue and they don’t have your first choice date available, you can immediately ask your second choice dates. Time is always of the essence when booking dates so this is a good way to eliminate going back to the drawing board.
Tip #3 – Do Your Research!
If you’re making a sizable investment in your wedding day, do your research carefully and thoroughly. No one wants to spend money blindly so making sure you’re getting the best value for what you want is imperative. WeddingWire.com is a great informational website for newly engaged couples. It provides general information for venues, photographers, djs, officiants and so much more. It also allows you to narrow down your top picks in each wedding category. While online sites are great for the general legwork involved in planning, it’s always best to reach out to each vendor personally. Vendors represent their own segment of the industry and speaking directly with each one of them can help narrow down your choices even more. For example, there may be engagement specials they are running and you would never know that information by just searching their website!
Tip #4 – Create a Timeline
Some people may think this is over board, but it really does help to schedule out everything and keep you and your future spouse on track. Once you have your wedding date, you’ve done your research and you’ve chosen your vendors – it’s time to buckle down. First, you should create a spreadsheet to keep track of all of your deposits and future payments to each of your vendors. It’s easy to forget when something is due when you have your every day life going on. Second, create a timeline for all of the items you want to accomplish in the time frame you have to plan. For example, when you want to purchase your wedding dress or make food selections at your venue. You can always search your nearest Barnes & Noble as well and purchase a wedding planning organizer too. They’re great because it keeps everything in one place and it’s something tangible you can always look back at. You can also find really helpful templates online for wedding checklists and planning timelines!
Tip #5 – Remember What’s Important
Once you get engaged and you dive full in to the wedding planning, sometimes we forget what all of this planning is for. Planning and budgeting can easily get out of hand and so can other people’s opinions about what you should or should not do. It’s extremely important to just take a step back every so often, take a deep breath and remember the whole reason you are getting married. While planning is fun and sometimes very stressful, always remember that it’s one day out of many that you and your future spouse will have together. Try your best to not lose sight of the reason you’re getting married and what your focus is for your big day. You only get married once!