First Steps to Planning Your Wedding
This is the time of year when many couples get engaged and begin the journey of planning a wedding. So where do you start? There are three initial steps that you will need to take to kick off your planning process.
Photo Credit: Studio This Is
Determine Your Wedding Style
With all of the ideas floating around in magazines and online, it can be easy for brides and grooms to be overwhelmed by what direction to take their wedding. Your wedding style should reflect your personalities as a couple. You want your wedding to feel like you. Whether you are a duo who loves the rustic vintage look or a couple who enjoys the finer things and formal pomp and circumstance, focusing your wedding style should feel comfortable and natural. A good wedding planner will help you get focused.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
As a Chicago wedding planner, one of the first questions I ask a couple is what are your “wedding must haves?” For some of my foodie clients, it’s all about the cuisine; other clients are all about the décor while yet others focus on the band or photographer. Prioritizing will help you across the board with defining your guest list, choosing a venue, vendor selection and more. Identify the high priority items to ensure they are included in all key decisions both logistically and financially.
Beware of online wedding budget calculators – they are too generic and don’t take into account your specific market. As planners, we develop budgets for each client based on their specific priorities, expectations and the relevant pricing for the area where their wedding is taking place. All couples want to be aware of how much they are spending on each element and how that will affect their overall wedding budget, regardless of how much they have to spend be it $5000 or $500,000. Once you identify a rough budget, you can compare it against your priorities and your style to make sure that your expectations are realistic.
It can be fun to jump straight into the pretty things and details, but remember to focus on the major building blocks first. You will set yourself for stress and frustration if you get carried away with the smaller elements and fun Pinterest finds before you square away the basics.