First & foremost, CONGRATS! It’s here! The day that you have been dreaming of all of your dating life is now becoming a reality. And if you haven’t dreamt about your wedding forever, it’s quite all right. Whether you have the wedding planning scrapbook from the early 00s or not, now that you’re engaged, you have all the questions with very few answers.
Before you venture down the rabbit hole of Pinterest boards, magazine purchases and best friend opinions, check out the top 4 things you and your mate should consider before you jump into wedding planning. Your wedding vendors will love you for this!
1. Take time to evaluate what you and your partner want
Depending on your social circle, you may have attended or have been a member of multiple weddings by now. When you announce your engagement, your friends, family and the random woman in the grocery line will have a thousand different “pointers” on what you should and should not do.
But here’s the thing…it’s not their wedding. It’s not even YOUR wedding (yep, I said it). This wedding is for the two of you! Take the time to evaluate what is more important to you about the entire experience from the engagement to the wedding weekend.
We recommend sitting down together, over your favorite beverages and music softly in the background, and together, create 3 lists: Must Haves / Nice to Haves / Absolutely Nots. Once you and your partner are on the same page about what is most important to the two of you for YOUR wedding, stay true to your vision. Leave the opinions of others at the door.
2. Take a hard look at your budget; Numbers Matter, Pt 1
The numbers. Yes, Numbers Matter (Your drinks may need to get a bit stronger here). When it comes to your spending plan, consider the following factors: Your Absolute Max, who will contribute, and the wedding day experience.
Your wedding will likely be the first time the two of you have planned to spend a large chunk of money, together. Being on the same page as to the absolute maximum amount the two of you can spend and feel comfortable with spending, start there. Take a look at your finances and consider other contributors such as parents, family members or monetary gifts.
Another consideration that many engaged couples often overlook is the actual wedding day experience. If you and your partner are known for your sense of style, your expertise in wine and dinner pairings and love live music, these are experiences you may want your guests to enjoy as well. Depending on the level of experience, your budget should be complementary to those elements.
3. Take a hard look at your guest list; Numbers Matter, Pt 2
Your budget is directly related to your guest list. Every decision that will ever be made regarding your wedding budget, will be tied to the actual guest count. Don’t be fooled by other blogs that guarantee 10%-20% of your invited guests won’t show; or you should over invite to get the number of guests you really want.
Pro Tip: If you invite them, expect them to come!
Your wedding shouldn’t be the day you play the percentages game. Be intentional about who you invite. Consider the following:
- Your immediate family (that you actually have a relationship with),
- Those that support your love,
- Those that actually know BOTH of you,
- Those you wouldn’t mind spending $300 a head on…yes, that’s a rule of thumb for OneTouch Events.
If you would give this person $300, invite them to your wedding. This is a conservative way to plan for your initial wedding budget. Then adjust accordingly.
4. Take time to Enjoy your Engagement!
Planning a wedding will be one of the most stressful times in your relationship. Life is still happening while you’re planning; your careers still require you to be mentally present; your friends and family constantly ask you for your date, the colors, what to wear, why you’re choosing that venue, the list will go on! Grumpiness is not a good look for a loving engaged couple.
Pro Tip: Implement a “No Wedding Talk” Date Night.
We recommend our clients taking a “No Wedding Talk” Date Night at least once a month and depending on how quickly your date is approaching, banning wedding talk all together once a week.
Hiring a Wedding Planner early on in your process saves you precious time, headaches and stress. But believe it or not, we don’t recommend every couple hiring a wedding planner. We get it, a Professional Planner is a luxury that you may not be able to afford and you do need to go at it alone.
At the bare minimum, we suggest hiring a knowledgeable, professional planner for Wedding Management 3 months prior to you wedding date. Minimize your stressors to fully enjoy the last few months prior to your wedding and enjoy the activities you’ve planned.
You may be thinking, 4 things, that’s it? No, we do agree there are like 15 other things we could have shared, getting your ring insured, picking a wedding party, book your vendors, and all the other fluffy fun details.
To truly get the most out of your wedding planning, these are our tried and true pieces of advice that steer all of our couples in the right direction, whether you’re planning for next year or in 6 months.
And yes, bask in the engagement glow, it’s beautiful and we want you to enjoy every single second of it! Contact us today to jump start your wedding planning the stress free way.
Photo Credits: Pexels.com and Cloud or Bird Photography