Updated: Oct 12, 2020
YAY! You are now officially engaged! There’s new bling on your finger, so pop some champagne and go smooch your man.
My advice – don’t take away from the celebratory moment & jump into the planning just yet. If you jump in blindly, you will most likely get overwhelmed.
Wedding planning can be a daunting task for those who have not been engulfed into the wedding industry before. Hannah Strickland Events strives to make clients feel comfortable with the unknown. We guide you through your Wedding Vision Board, offer vendor referrals, assist in design & theme creation, & most importantly, support you!
I’ve listed the 8 initial steps you take after your engagement that will propel you into confident wedding planning.
#1 Let's talk Basics- destination, stateside, vibe, tone, theme, dreams, vision, etc. Avoid the budget, the contacts, and the vendors. That comes later. Get with your fiancé, grab a cup of coffee, snag the iPad and start browsing. Start with brainstorming season, time of year, & themes you find most appealing. After your thoughts are gathered, enter into the stateside/destination question. Do you want a glorious castle venue in Scotland or do you want a backyard wedding with close friends and family? These ideas will set the foundation for the months of planning to come. *****Make notes of the MUST HAVES & the NEVERS.
#2 Discuss Location + Browse Venues – country, state, town, etc.
Once you’ve address the stateside/destination question, you & your fiancé work to narrow down your location – city, town, outdoor, indoor, etc.
#3 Talk Money to me – GET A PLANNER - budget, payment, spreadsheets, who pays what, etc.
This is the big one, I recommend having a planner who can assist you with these large financial decisions. Investing in a planner who is familiar with vendors, pricing, venues, aka the industry, is a great way to save on your wedding (more on that later).
Settle into a space that allows you and your fiancé to be comfortable talking numbers. Decide who will be paying for the wedding. If parents, grandparents, or other family members are contributing, schedule a time to meet & discuss details with them. I recommend keeping a master spreadsheet to track all vendor costs, contract details, payment schedules, travel expenses, and overall financial info. We are not keeping receipts like it is 1970. Get on excel and start working the costs!
#4 THE PEEPS (Guest list/Bridal Party)
In my experience, the guest list always starts out as an exciting part of planning, but soon moves into a more annoying task. Firstly, set your bridal party straight. Secondly, calculate each family member on both sides that fall under the MUST INVITE category. (Guest count is important for venue selection & catering).
#5 Venue Selection – reflective of personality, needs, accommodations, guest count, & budget.
I love this part!! There’s a unique gratification in finding a venue that reflects you and your fiancé. The excitement of booking a venue is like no other. This place should reflect your wedding vision. It will hold all of your visual ideas in place, so make sure it is a venue that is timeless for years to come.
#6 Choose Date
Planning usually begins a year in advance, so start checking dates that fit with your ideal season. Keep in mind some venue costs fluctuate depending on season. December-March (wedding off-season) is usually cheaper. So choose wisely & pay attention to $$$$.
#7 Design Details – florals, Pinterest party, colors, etc.
This is where you let the creative juices flow. Have a Pinterest party, follow ALL bridal accounts on Instagram, browse color pallets, wedding dresses, veils, jewelry, florals, cakes, lighting, etc. This is super fun, but my advice; guard your budget with your life. Pretty things are pretty. Being broke is not!!!!
Get a PLANNER! (me, duh), but if not me, someone who knows the industry & can guide you through major decisions & also provide a bobby pin or a tide pen on your wedding day. You want someone who works well with you & also for you. This does not just apply to planners. In each category, you need someone who fits your style, budget, personality & work ethic. All vendors should reflect you & your fiancé by being well-mannered, helpful, flexible, kind, hard-working and honest.
I HOPE THIS HELPS. By following these steps, you and your fiance will cascade into the planning with less stress & more EXCITEMENT.
Faith Inman Digital Media
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