You just got engaged and you’re excited to start planning your big wedding day! What’s the first step though? It can be very overwhelming to plan a big celebration such as a wedding. There’s so many options from a whimsical barn, a nice sunny day at the beach, an elegant ballroom, and even your own backyard!
Always consider how many people will be invited to the wedding. Make a list of everyone you’ll be inviting. Start with immediate family, moving on to extended family, and then any friends and co-workers. Some venues need a minimum number of guests, and on the flip side, you don’t want to book a small venue and have a guest count that the venue can’t accommodate. The last thing you’d want is to fall in love with a venue just for it to not be able to accommodate the amount of guests!
Choosing a theme
The next step is to choose what kind of wedding do you want, choose a theme and look up venues that fit, it’ll make decorating and other aspects of planning a lot easier as well. Think about whether you’ll prefer the wedding to be fully indoors, fully outdoors, or maybe host the ceremony outdoors and reception indoors. Take into consideration that most venues need to be booked months, sometimes a year in advance, so always have a backup plan if you decide to host any part of the wedding outdoors in case it rains on your big day!
Think of your budget
How much are you willing to spend on the entire wedding? Make sure to think of catering, alcohol, tables and chairs, decorations, flowers, cake, photography, videography, a DJ, and the venue itself. Some venues have great packages that include all of the above (or some) so that you don’t have to worry about shopping around, and some venues don’t. It’s still a great idea to shop around and see what individual companies offer compared to the packages on all-inclusive venue offers. A great idea is to go on Facebook groups and see what other soon to be brides recommend.
Hiring a wedding planner
Whether it’s a small or big party, a wedding planner can be a huge help to plan your special day. Although fun, it can be stressful to plan every single detail of the day. Wedding planners are there to take the weight off your shoulders and make everything as simple as possible! They can help narrow down venues, down to helping you pick your flower colors. After months of helping you plan, they’ll also be there on your wedding day to make sure everything runs smoothly and on time.
Picking a date
As stated before, most venues need to be booked at least a few months in advance. If you want to book a specific date such as the same day you and your partner got engaged, or maybe the same date your parents got married, booking a year or more in advance will typically ensure that your date is still available. If you don’t need a specific date, you can wait a bit longer and do some more research on different venues. No matter what, don’t wait too long though, peak wedding season is in autumn and spring!
Destination weddings & elopements
Do you and your significant other have an itch for traveling? Maybe an elopement or a destination wedding might be more your style! Elopements don’t typically require as much planning, and it’ll be just the two of you traveling to a different city to get married. Because there isn’t any guests involved, you’d be able to treat your wedding as a vacation and enjoy the experience of traveling to a new city with your partner; just keep in mind that your close loved ones won’t be there to celebrate with you. Destination weddings can be a lot of fun, and typically people book from just the weekend to a whole week for the event. You’ll still need a venue, but many couples book large houses from Airbnb to host the reception at, and depending on the size of the rental home, your guests could stay there too. The ceremonies are typically held somewhere with a beautiful scenery. Make sure to let all your guests know so they can make plans to ask for those days off from work, and to save for plane tickets as well.