You guys! One of the most magical times of year has finally arrived – it’s engagement season! And this means that thousands of brides and grooms to-be are going to be tasked with planning a wedding. I’m not sure if you know this or not but prepared to be shocked … wedding planning can be really challenging! Why else do you think so many people hire a wedding planner to help them keep their thoughts straight for the next three to fourteen months? It may seem really overwhelming but you can do it!
So many of my couples and recently engaged friends have told me that they had no idea where to start when they first got engaged. To be entirely honest, there is no real right way to go about planning a wedding. However, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before diving in too deep. The answers to the following questions are your best bet at getting your footing at wedding planning.
Let’s start off easy. These are the most important questions to ask yourself at the very beginning your wedding planning: What are the most important parts of the wedding to you? What should you book right away? How quickly should you book certain vendors? How do I pick a wedding date? Now, I’m going to attempt to help you answer these questions (or at least give you tips on how to come to your own answer).
1. Picking a Date
This is the most important step and it’s the most daunting! First, consider the season or month you want to get married. Does it fit your vision or theme? Try not to be too picky about an exact date until you’ve narrowed down your venue options.
The most important step in picking your date, is to select a venue. Find the venue that you love that fits most of the things you’re looking for. Take into consideration the number of guests, the location, available parking, price, and any potential requirements such as picking specific caters or other vendors. The biggest take away when it comes to picking a wedding date is to take into consideration the season of your wedding, the theme/style you’re aiming for, and the availability of your favorite venue and other important vendors.
2. Venue – Photographer – Dress
These are usually the first three things a bride and groom get booked at the very beginning of their wedding planning. I know selecting a venue may not be that big of a deal to some, but if sticking to a certain vibe is important to you, picking your venue location should be your top priority. Sticking to a certain vibe or style could dictate most of options when it comes to planning.
For example – You want to get married on the beach. Do you really want to wear a tight-fitting lacy wedding dress with a long cathedral train? Some might and if that’s what you want, cool! But it doesn’t necessarily match the vibe of a beach wedding and that’s something you should take into consideration.
The photographer is included in the top three vendors to book because photography is super important. The average photographer books weddings at least a year in advance! If there’s a specific photographer you really want to work with, it’s totally acceptable to reach out to them and ask for their available dates during a specific month to ensure you pick a wedding date that they’ll be available on. The dress is included in the top three because that’s one of the most iconic parts of a wedding. Most girls grew up dreaming about their weddings and what dress they would wear. It’s a pretty big deal!
3. Book Early!
Building off of the previous tip, these are the most important wedding professionals to book as early as possible: venues, photographers, and videographers. As mentioned in tip 2, photographers (and videographers) can book as early as 12+ months in advance!
The more desirable or well-known the photographer, the harder they are to book at last minute! Depending on the venue and the season, you could be fighting with a lot of other couples for a prime spot! Wedding professionals are usually at their busiest during the summer and fall months. Wedding season is April or May through the end of October. Take that into consideration when picking your wedding date!
Some venues are able to book multiple weddings a day! For example, Franklin Park Conservatory has four different rentable areas for weddings and each area can be rented during the morning, evening, or all day depending on your budget! Venues like Jorgensen Farms book just one wedding per day. Regardless, if a venue you have your eye on is pretty popular, be prepared to book super early to ensure getting the date you want OR be willing to book during the off season. If you need help in picking a wedding venue, check this blog post with some of my favorite venues in Columbus!
4. What’s Important to You?
This is one of the easiest tips to give, but one of the hardest to follow. When planning your wedding, really think about what’s important to you and allocate more of your budget to those areas. Usually, picking three or four top aspects is best.
If you want your guests to have a fantastic time and dance the night away, invest in 5-star catering and a kick ass DJ! If having someone else do a majority of the work in planning and decorating for your wedding, plan to hire a wedding planner. And of course, picking an amazing photographer is really important. If you’re going to be spending thousands of dollars to throw an awesome wedding and celebration, you need the right photographer to document the day. If you need help selecting the right photographer for your day, check out this blog post.
It’s my goal to be an awesome resource to my wedding couples! That’s why I include a recommended vendor list in my welcome guide that all of my couples get after booking me for their wedding. And I’m a huge fan of writing these Tuesday Tips posts so I can be a constant resource to my couples (and to the rest of the web). If you need any more tips or advice when it comes to planning your big day, don’t hesitate to reach out!