I’m engaged! It’s crazy to me still. My fiancé proposed to me in what can only be described as something out of a movie. He’s still proud of himself. Above is me, my gorgeous ring with O’ Brien’s Tower off in the distance. The castle like tower where he asked me to be his wife, at the start of sunset, overlooking the magnificent Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.
We wanted to wait to start planing our wedding, because we were blessed with our daughter and I wanted to not be pregnant when I got married. You dream about your wedding day, and I didn’t want to rush through it. So we waited. I’m still happy about that choice.
I started actually thinking about the wedding and starting the process of planing just over a year before our chosen date (which is this September, labor day weekend). Even though, I am in the wedding industry and I create invitations for such events, and have friends in the industry…I still wasn’t completely sure where to start. I can only suggest now that I am 8 months away from our wedding date things I wish I would have known up front to think about and how to organize it all.
Here is my sort of starting checklist of what you should try to do as soon as you know your date. If you don’t know your date, then that should most definitely be the first thing you figure out! So get a calendar and start picking!
Picking your Date –
Sit down with your fiancé and go over a few things to figure out what is going to be the best date for you.
1. Are you going to have an indoor or outdoor wedding? This will help you determine the weather of that time of year and what month(s) you should consider.
2. Are you planing on having out of town guests from other states? If yes, you’ll want to be considerate of the money and time it might take them to travel, if you really expect and want them to be able to attend. Also consider if they have children or a partner to make it. (This might not seem like an initial priority, but it helps when it comes to writing your guest list down the road as well.)
3. Day of the week. FACT: Wedding not on a Saturday are typically less expensive for your venue. Most couples get married on Saturday’s, and with only 52 Saturdays in 2015, over 2 million weddings per year in the United States alone, you can see how that date can be in high demand. So my tip is…if you can pick a weekday, holiday weekend where you’re able to choose a Sunday or Monday you’ll save on costs there. Summer weddings are also most popular, so a non-Saturday wedding in the Fall or Winter, you’ll save on the venue expenses for sure!
After you’ve determined the date….you’ll want to make sure you have the answers to these questions before moving forward…because every venue and vendor is going to want to know these answers, especially to give you an accurate quote.
To be best prepared, you should know the answers to these questions:
1. What is your date?
2. How many guests? (this can be a range or rounded up number, it doesn’t have to be a final number but better to round up because you’ll know your highest cost and there will be less chance of a ticket shock at the end.)
3. What is your budget? This was definitely a hard question to figure out. Especially when you are either dealing with someone else’s money like parent’s or a mix of contributors. So now is the time to ask your family members, bring up the question and know. Then look at your finance’s and determine what is a COMFORTABLE amount for you and your fiancé to be spending on your wedding.
4. Are you having an Indoor/Outdoor wedding? If you picked your date with my suggestions above, then this answer should already be made.
5. What is the theme or style of your wedding? Don’t think of “theme” as like a costume party or something, but think of the look, the feel. As a graphic designer, the best way I can think of this, is to consider that you are “branding” you and your fiancé with your wedding. It should be a representation of you both, and feel like an extension of who you guys are and what you love.
There are more questions for sure that will be coming up. But if you know the answers to at least these 5, you can feel better prepared when you have vendor consultations and you’ll get the most out of your meetings.
If you need help figuring out the budget I’ll be posting a blog about that one next, because that subject is worth it’s own blog. But if you need suggestions there are a few great resources online specifically meant to help you keep track and figure out your budget.
Here are a couple helpful Budgeting Resources:
Track Spending : weddingwire.com
This is an awesome tool, and provides you with estimated costs. The hardest part is knowing a reference point.
Wedding Budget Checklist : wedding.theknot.com
The Wedding Budgeter is completely interactive and customizable to help effortlessly guide you through your wedding payments and purchases.
$119 Wedding Planner Pro App from iTunes : iTunes.apple.com/app
I’m not sure that you or anyone needs to spend $119. But the app seem’s pretty detailed to help you keep organized. Not sure if it’s worth the cost, and it has no reviews.
Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have questions just ask me below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!