5 To-Dos Before You Set Your Date
Congratulations on this exciting, whirlwind occasion! We know how easy it can be to be swept up in all of the little details, so let us help you figure out a few key items before you and your honey decide on a date.
Decide on what you can spend. This is a great starting point, because most all of your decisions will depend on your budget! Sit down with your fiancé and other contributing parties (parents, grandparents, etc.) and formally decide who is contributing and what the overall budget will be. From there, discuss as a group what is most important to everyone, and rank the following categories by what is most important/what you want to spend your budget on:
Hair + Makeup
Music + Entertainment
A Stress-Free Wedding Day
Start thinking about what you’re going for, style-wise, and ask yourselves how you want your wedding to feel. Are you thinking about having a modern wedding? Something more bohemian? Classic? Are you planning on allowing children, or do guests need to make other arrangements if they have kids? Is it going to be a formal occasion, or something more relaxed? Would you like a small, intimate wedding, or a large celebration? Talk with your fiance about what you each envision and go from there.
Work on that guest list! This can sometimes be a more daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Start off really simple – pull out a sheet of paper and divide it down the middle. On the left side, write down every guest that will be coming from the bride’s friends/family. On the right side, do the same for the groom. Mutual friends can fall either way – just list them as you see fit. Make sure to indicate whether these guests will have a +1 (or +3 if they will have three children with them) so that you can account for the total number of guests. You can also do this in Word or Excel, if you prefer! After you have figured out your total guest count, multiply that number by 0.8 – this assumes that 80% of your invited guests will be in attendance on your big day.
250 invites x 0.8 = 200 guests estimated to attend
Use your estimate number when looking into venue options, but make sure there is capacity wiggle-room in your selected space should you have a higher turnout rate.
When you're ready to start collecting addresses for your guests, we recommend setting up a free online form using Postable. Then, all you do is text friends and family a link to put in their OWN addresses. From there, download into excel and mail away. This saves you so much time!!!
Decide on the “when” and “where” of your big day, at least generally. While your venue budget and guest list will affect your venue options, you need to make sure that you are also considering time of year! Have you dreamed of a summer wedding? Or, do you imagine getting married during the winter? Decide on a season, then break it down to an eight week period. Example: “I want to get married during the summer, either in July or August.” After you have figured out this timeframe, flip through a calendar to make sure that you won’t overlap any other events on the weekends included during your timeframe. Does the 4th of July fall on a Saturday? Is there a family reunion, birthday party, or other event that may conflict with weekend dates? How about a big football game such as Bedlam? Black those out, and what you will be left with are dates viable for getting married! Woo! Now that you have the “when” down, decide on the “where.” Are you going to get married where you currently live? The city where you met? Are you having the wedding in the bride’s hometown, since she has the bigger family, to reduce their travel costs? Or, are you wanting to get married on a mountaintop in Colorado? Decide on the where, so that from there, you can really begin to seriously consider your venue options based on their – and your – availability!
Talk to a planner! We would love to help you maximize your budget, your day, and your guests’ experiences by partnering with you during the planning process. Planning a wedding is by no means a small undertaking, and we have the resources and experience to make it as smooth and easy for you as it can possibly be! If you are considering working with a planner, let us know. We would be happy to meet with you to get to know you and learn more about what would make your wedding dreams come true!