First things first: Congratulations! If you are anything like me, this moment was long overdue, and you’re chomping at the bit to get your dream wedding together. Now that the initial excitement has settled, it’s time to get started! I was absolutely one of those girls who planned their wedding since grade school, and because of this I wanted every detail to be perfect and to effortlessly reflect my vision and aesthetic. As exciting as this time is, it can be hugely overwhelming. There are so many things to figure out from the dress, to the venue, to the florals, to the food, to the guest list (oh don’t even get me started on the guest list), it’s easy to tell yourself, “I’ll start later!”. I promise you, this process can and will be fun, you just need to know where to start.
Make a List, or several.
I am a lover of lists, and this love really helped along the journey of planning my wedding. Within the first few days of diving into the planning process, lists will be your best friend. First, sit down with your fiance and family to figure out a budget (if your family will be contributing).This will help so much with everything, from all the vendors to the guest list, as everything effects cost. This will also help you decide where to splurge and where to save, and make the overall process a little smoother. You can adjust this later, but give yourself rough estimates for each vendor that you’d like. This is also a great time to do a little bit of market research to understand what the median price point is for vendors in your area. Here’s a quick list of major vendors and items you’ll want to budget for:
Caterer (note whether or not they include bartender, place settings, etc.)
Beverages (alcoholic and non)
Smaller things may come up later, but we’ll come back to those down the line. Once you have a budget somewhat established, you can get started on the fun! Now’s the time to start looking at Pinterest (if that’s your thing!), put together a mood board, or browse those bridal magazines. Personally, I found the most inspiration from Pinterest and wedding blogs (June Bug Weddings is my favorite for inspiration!). I also found it very helpful to separate my pins by category, so that I could easily find something (ie: dress inspiration, bridesmaid dresses, venue decor, etc.). You will come to find I like to be very organized and planned out, sometimes to a fault!
Keep in mind, your vision may change along the way, and that’s totally okay! I can’t even remember how many times I emailed my florist to tell her my vision had changed so the bouquets would need to as well. Luckily, she was incredibly accommodating and made the changes without a problem. Most vendors will, and if they don’t, they may not be the right fit.
Now grab yourself a glass of wine, knock out that budget, and start to get inspired! It also helps to have a designated notebook or stationary for this, and it doesn’t hurt if it’s pretty, too 🙂 Stay tuned, as I’ll be sharing more and more details of my planning process, as well as photos from our magical day!
*Photos by Rachel Walker Photography