We, planners, know and understand how daunting of a task it can be to sit down and start planning your wedding and creating your wedding checklist. Today we are going to provide you with all the information you will need to fearlessly set yourself up for a successfully smooth planning process! The following are the types of things you want to know before you go booking your venue or photographer, etc. Maybe you want to jump into that water-front venue or that Mexico destination wedding with both feet, but we can’t stress enough the importance of sitting down with your partner (and any other important people who will be involved in the planning process) and have some big conversations about the kind of wedding you’re looking to have, and how to logistically make everything come together.
First things first- budget!
It may not be the most fun conversation to have but it is certainly crucial to have a light conversation about what kind of budget you will be working with on your wedding day. The best way to do this is to figure out what you and your fiancé/ee are comfortable spending, then add in any contributions from family members. This final number will help narrow down things like venue choices, vendor selections and most importantly it will make sure you have the available funds to bring your vision to light!
Save the date!
If you’re anything like me, you’ve always pictured yourself getting married in spring when the flowers are blooming and the temperature is 70 degrees, 0 percent humidity, sunny (crossing our fingers for no rain!), with a light breeze during the day. Then you pause, come back to reality, and realize that the weather is the only thing you can’t predict or plan for! The easiest way around this is to choose a date that will work and fit your vision and budget.
Many venues will have fees associated with hosting your event during the “busy” season- so if you’re looking to save in this department, try and pick a date that falls just outside their peak months (e.g. peak months for your venue are June thru October, see if they have anything early November available). Seeing if your venue will offer a price break for getting married on a Friday or Sundayis another option (if this is something your family/friends can swing)!
Location location location
Does the location of your venue need to have significance to you and your future spouse? Or have you always pictured a destination or mini-destination style wedding? These are logistics that require going that “extra mile” in every sense of the term. Consider blocking rooms far ahead of time, booking any required transportation for you and your guests, and this should all be done before finalizing where you end up signing on the dotted line!
Are the church bells ringing?
The ceremony of your wedding is where you’ll make the promises that’ll last a lifetime, so you don’t want to leave planning it until the last minute. Are you and your significant other more traditional or have you always pictured getting married in the church/temple you’ve been raised in? You’ll want to plan around this and make sure the venue you choose isn’t too distanced from the reception space and it accommodates all your needs! Vice versa, if you’re going the secular or non-traditional route, make sure that the venue you’ve had on your mind offers a ceremony space & check on any additional fees that may incur!
What’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
You wouldn’t think to start talking about food choices until halfway through the planning process, but it’s great to think about ahead of time as if can help you decide on the time of day to host your event. If you’re looking to have brunch style food at your wedding, maybe a daytime event is more appropriate for the feel you’re going for. Contrasted with providing a dual entrée seated or buffet style meal which typically fits better with an evening party. It all goes on your wedding checklist before booking the venue!
Décor & Theme
Deciding on the look of your day is especially important to check off your wedding checklist before picking your venue! This all should do with your overall vision and what you want guests to walk away with. If you haven’t already started doing so- Pinterest is an amazing tool to use to start getting inspired with the look and feel for your wedding. As you start collecting pictures you like you’ll notice trends and common themes such as colors, lighting, and photography. This will help you narrow down not only what you ultimately would like to do as far as décor but it will make finding a photographer that fits your style that much easier!
Wedding party and everyone else!
Are you picturing a small and intimate gathering with your nearest and dearest? Or does the thought of leaving your best friends cousins brother off the guest list seem like an unpleasant task? Your guest count is going to come into play in so many ways, especially when it comes to catering (the more heads you must feed the more expensive things become). All venues can accommodate a small guest count, but options become fewer and farther in-between when you start getting over 200 people! When the times comes ask your bridal party, you won’t want to miss our Bridal Party Proposal Ideas!
When you’re ready to begin booking your vendors, be sure to check our Must-Ask Questions for Any Wedding Vendor!
You can also use a handy dandy wedding checklist from our friends at Wedding Wire!