Your partner finally went down on one knee and popped the question? Congratulations! Now it’s time to start planning your wedding! For some of you the planning of an event comes naturally, but for most (newly) engaged couples the process seems daunting. At times the process will be daunting and stressful and you will wonder if you shouldn’t just elope. That's not, however, a question I can, or want to answer (right now). I am here to help you navigate the wedding planning maze and make everything a little less daunting.
So where to begin. In my opinion, there’s no real strict rule on where to begin, but setting a date is kinda crucial. Another way to go is with a theme or colour scheme. This might seem a bit odd, so let me explain. If you feel like using rich colours such as Bordeaux red, a mustard yellow or burnt orange (very popular right now; check my Pinterest board for inspiration), a fall wedding might be the best way to go. If you’re really into more romantic colours such as a dusty rose and green colour palette, you should consider going for a spring or summer wedding. Summer also lends itself pretty well to a tropical wedding theme. Turquoise, pinks, yellows and oranges are perfect for a summer wedding. White and light blue are beautiful for a snowy winter wedding, just like a Christmas theme for example. Picking a theme or colour scheme narrows down the list of possible dates significantly. You just went down from 12 months to choose from, to about two or four.
Now that you’ve picked a theme or colour scheme, you can narrow down the possible dates. Most couples choose for a weekend wedding, but more and more people decide for Thursday or Friday wedding date. I’ve even attended a wedding that took place on a Wednesday. Scheduling for a mid-week date has its ups and downs. One big plus is related to your wedding budget. In general wedding venues are a lot cheaper on a weekday versus a Saturday or Sunday. Another one is that even the popular wedding vendors (photographer, florist, caterer, cake designer etc) are available during the week where their weekends are usually fully booked years in advance. A negative side effect of planning a weekday wedding is that it might be harder for your guests to come to your wedding. Another thing to take into consideration is birthdays, anniversaries, national holidays and so forth.
By now I’m sure your list of possible dates has slimmed down to at max just a handful of dates and you can start (Seriously) thinking about picking a venue. Most venues require a date (or a range) to provide you with an estimate. Reach out to a couple of possible wedding venues, and if possible, schedule a tour as well. See what the possibilities are and if there are any regulations to consider (maybe there’s no music allowed after 10 pm?).
Most venues have a list of vendors they recommend. You are in no way obligated to hire these vendors (although some venues require to make use of in-house catering for example, just make sure this isn’t the case before you sign anything), but it might help you in a big way. These vendors are trusted partners of the venue you just booked. You can assume (to a certain extent) these vendors are trustworthy and deliver high-quality work each time. In addition, because a vendor has already worked at this location, they know their way around. A photographer knows the best spots for a romantic photoshoot, where the light is the best and at which time etc. If a florist has already worked on a luscious wedding at your chosen venue, with floral decorations everywhere, it’s very likely they have pictures of this in their portfolio. This can help you in visualising the possibilities and the florist might have some great ideas you would never have thought of in your wildest dreams.
Budget-wise, if you’re considering hiring a venue's partnered vendors too, you might be able to negotiate a combination deal of some kind, a budget proof option.
However, be sure that it clicks with these vendors as well. Maybe their caterer isn’t equipped with doing a vegetarian or halal menu for example. Or maybe you want a fun wedding band, instead of the venues harpist. Do your research and meet (or schedule a video call if meeting in person isn’t possible for whatever reason) with the individual vendors as well. It’s your wedding day, and you only get one chance to do it right. Stay true to yourself.
When you’ve figured out the theme, or colour scheme, date and venue, it’s time to start thinking dave the dates and invitations. That’s where I come in hahaha
In my case, you can choose from a selection of pre-designed wedding invitations or I can custom design an invitation suite for you personally. In that case, especially, having a theme and/or colour palette is most important. You will want the invitation to match your wedding day perfectly. A summerly, floral invitation makes no sense for your New Years wedding for example. Things such as the date and location can be altered later on, but the sooner the better.
I hope this little break down has answered your question about where to start planning your wedding. Good luck and don't forget to enjoy the process!
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