Congratulations! You’ve probably just experienced the happiest day of your life, so far. Once the realization sets in that you’re engaged(!), the questions will undoubtedly start rolling in…what’s next?? Luckily, we know weddings and we are here to help! Read on for a few tips on where to begin once the reality sets in that it’s time to plan a wedding:
1) Decide on a budget. This is #1 because everything else will depend on where your budget is set. Sit down with your fiance and anyone else who may be contributing to your Big Day (parents, in-laws) and come to a conclusion on a number. To give you a point of reference, the average all-in cost of weddings we do florals/design for is between $80,000 - $100,000. That might sound like a lot (or not) but when you add up all the details that go into a wedding, you’ll see how easy it is to reach, and exceed, that number.
2) Decide whether or not you’ll hire a planner. Most planners offer either full or partial service planning to accommodate your needs. Think about your strengths and weaknesses - are you detail oriented and organized, with experience in planning events? Or maybe you work 60 hour weeks as it is and don’t know the difference between a plated dinner and dinner stations? Working with a planner you trust can be wonderful because they know your budget and vision and have the resources to make it come to life! Keep in mind that using a planner is an expense that not all budgets have room to include. However, we DEFINITELY recommend having a month-of planner, at the very least. You need someone to guide you through the rehearsal and make sure everything goes smoothly the day-of. And that someone should not be your second cousin, Rhonda.
3) Choose your vendors. Venue should be at the top of that list, because the availability of your venue will most likely determine your date. Venue, caterer, photographer, videographer, florist (that’s us!), band/DJ, officiant. The Knot and WeddingWire are both really helpful when looking for vendor referrals!
4) Think about the extras. Your dress(!), bridesmaid dresses, groom’s tux, groomsmen apparel, hotel accommodations, invitations, welcome gifts, thank you gifts, gifts for your parents, wedding party gifts, special songs for the ceremony & reception, escort card table, seating charts, etc. There are A LOT of details that go into a wedding! Luckily, there are plenty of resources (hello, Pinterest!) out there to help you, and if you’re already feeling overwhelmed, it might be a sign that a wedding planner is a great idea for you :-)
5) Breathe. This time of engagement will fly by…try to enjoy it! Keep dating your fiance, make time for yourself, ask for help when you need it, and don’t forget to savor this time in your life.