CONGRATULATIONS, you’re engaged! Now what?
Planning a wedding and beginning to get stressed? freaked out? nervous?, to the point where no words can express your feelings about this minute? It’s easy to let everything about wedding planning overwhelm you. I don’t care how long of a timeline you have, whether it is 1 year or 4 months. The process is still the same, and I know you’re doing exactly what I did; researching everything about planning a wedding and every website you begin to get more freaked out about how much you have to do with such little time.
I realized while planning my wedding and going through with helping other weddings since, you can simplify the list and break it down from there! Don’t fret about all the little details, because you can’t plan the little details until you have the big things planned. So, I have created a list of all the big things you need to put in place before going on to anything else that all your friends are going to want to help you with, and overwhelm you with. (Okay- I loved planning all those little things too; however, not having the big things set in stone made me overwhelmed).
First and foremost
- Pick a date- You can’t move forward with anything until you have that big date. Talk it over with your significant other and decided when you think will be the best time of year. Have a date? GREAT!
- Ask your Wedding Party– Planning alone is no fun! Get your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen on board to begin the process.
- Pick your Wedding Dress- Make this fun. You have your girls, start the wedding fun with taking them with you to enjoy celebrating.
- Pick your Colors- You will want an idea of your colors when you head over to pick the tuxes, a ceremony or reception location, etc.
- Pick your Tuxes or Suits- You know the guys who will be celebrating your day. Get the Groom to pick out a few options for what you will want them to wear on that day!
Now you have your big vendors. This is the most important section that you will need to focus on.
- Ceremony location- Book that one spot you want to walk down the aisle! Plan on a famous or popular event center? This will be extremely important! They are going to book up fast. Always dreamed of getting married in your friends’ backyard? They still need time to prepare, so lock this in.
- Reception location- Ready to dance the night away? Well, so is your hall! This is the same situation as the ceremony location. All of your “caterers” are going to need the location also, so that’s why this is so important. Sign that contract, leaving no open ended questions.
- DJ- There are only so many of these guys around, and they can book up to over a year ahead of time. Find your guy/girl and book them for your special day! The DJ’s are wonderful because he/she can help you plan the events of your wedding later.
- Cake- Whether it is cake, cupcakes, or whatever else you might decide to have for your dessert, these places can only take so many orders in a day. Find the place you want to order from- the rest (cake or cupcakes, the design, etc.) can come later.
- Food- Complete your big day with filling the stomachs of your party. You might have a specific place you want to cater your wedding, and if so, you need to get on their calendar right away.
- Alcohol- Every reception location and state will handle alcohol differently. Find out the Do’s and Don’ts of your reception hall and then if you need to, figure out where to get your alcohol from. Everyone is guaranteed to have a good time if you have alcohol at your reception!!!
- Flowers- A floral shop can only take so many orders in a day, so get on their calendar right away. You can pick out your flowers later and the way you want your bouquets. Just sign that contract with the floral shop so you are on their calendar.
- Photographer- Good photographers, at a good rate, are tough to find. Find someone you like and get on their schedule. By this time you know the location of your day and will hopefully have some idea the general time frame that you will want their services. Most photographers will work with you and even help you plan out your day if needed!
- Hair/Makeup Artist- Some people chose to have a hair/makeup artist and others do not. If you know someone (a friend, or family friend), even better! However, be aware that if you don’t give your friend a heads up that you’ll be wanting them to do 6 people’s hair, they probably will have made other plans. Get on this, even as silly as it seems when you have barely any of the rest of your day fully planned.
Remember, all these places are businesses.
The Food caterer does not care how good of a friend you are to them. If that restaurant already has 2 events that day (and 2 is their max), you are more than likely going to have to just look elsewhere! The same goes for all the other parts to your wedding. So, knock in the “big ideas” and the small details can come later! In fact, the best part about it is? All the big vendors have probably done a wedding or two before and can give you their advice, if asked.
As for all the other details? They will come next! But, you have all the big stuff figured out, so now you can begin setting a timeline and dealing with all the little details while breathing and having fun. Remember, the day and planning need to be fun and a time to remember. Everything is going to turn out fantastic, and your wedding party is always available to help, so let the