10 Steps to Planning Your Dream Wedding Day
You’ve probably been dreaming of this moment for the longest time. But, it’s actually happened! You’re engaged, now what?! Your phone is probably buzzing with notifications of congrats from friends and family. Your mind is swirling with dreams of the perfect wedding day. Now how do you actually make that happen?!
Pick a Season
One of the first questions you’ll get is, ‘What’s the date?!’. It can be easy to just decide on a date and tell friends and family. However, that date is likely to change. Of course, sometimes this date is not negotiable. However, venues tend to book out fast. Especially if you’re planning for a season that is super popular. For instance, rustic fall weddings are all the rage right now. What are the odds your venue is going to be available on a popular Saturday in October? So, decide what season you must have. Then, consider what feel you’d like your event to have. While rustic is popular, you might consider a spring or summer wedding in a garden.
2. Discuss a Budget
Once you’ve nailed down the season and feel for your event, discuss with your partner and any other important persons who might be helping to pay for your wedding. You’ll want to consider your guest list as well as any extras you might want and whether they will fit your venue and budget.
3. Pick Your Venue
Now you can reach out to those venues and decide which fits the aesthetic, can accommodate your guest list and has availability.
4. Finalize Your Date
Once you have your venue booked, you can officially announce your date! Save the dates are a fun way to announce and are generally sent out six-ish months before your event.
5. Hire Your Most Important Vendors
Good photographers, videographers, and DJs tend to book popular dates a year or more in advance. To ensure your top choice of pro, be sure to inquire at least 9 months ahead of your date. My best piece of advice here is to consider not only whether your photographer fits your budget, but is their personality the type you can spend 8-10 hours with on your wedding day? Your photographer and/or videographer will likely spend more of your wedding day with you than your spouse. Be sure to get to know them, their personality, shooting and editing style as well as budget before you decide they are the perfect fit.
6. Schedule an Engagement Session
If you’re considering an engagement session to use photos for your save the dates, you’ll want to make sure you hire them enough in advance to ensure their availability for your choice of season for your session. For example, fall is the busiest time of the year for photographers. For good reason. Who doesn’t love a colorful backdrop?! However, you’re not likely to get that engagement session scheduled for October if you’re just inquiring at the beginning of the month.
7. Plan a Timeline
All too often, I find couples skip a wedding timeline. While it might seem like a trivial aspect if you’re not the planning type, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a guideline for how the day should run. On your big day, you’re going to have so many emotions, details, questions, etc. running through your mind it’s often easy to feel pulled in ten different directions. Avoid this by planning a timeline and delegating tasks to your bridal party and/or wedding planner.
8. Find Your Tribe
A great bridal party makes such a difference in having a stress-free wedding. Find the friends and family that you can count on to step up and be proactive about making your vision a reality. Don’t be afraid to delegate. All too often I hear brides fear being labeled a bridezilla and instead attempt to take everything on themselves. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap. Let your tribe help you so you can actually be present at your wedding.
9. Enjoy Your Engagement
Remember that this is a fleeting moment in time and soon enough you’ll be married and on to the next chapter. Don’t stress perfection and remember the reason why you’re planning any of this. Remember, a beautiful marriage is way more important than the most beautiful wedding.
10. Take in the Moment
Your wedding day will be one of the greatest, most emotional days of your life. But, it will be done and over before you know it. Take time to just be in the moment. Forget the details and soak in the emotion. You’re marrying your best friend!