Talking with friends and looking at Facebook this past month I have seen many of you have gotten engaged! Super great news of a lifetime! After the thrill fades just a bit and you start discussing your wedding plans one of the first things you will need to do is set your wedding date. Seems a simple thing to check off the list but as your plans start to solidify it becomes more important to leave some flexibility there until you have all the pieces in place.
You’ll need to consider the time to plan your wedding, what season you want to be married in and even the church or venue you want to be married. So leave the exact date until you and your fiancé have had more time to look at your options and discuss your plans. Will you have out of town guests? That can certainly alter the wedding date a day or two depending on what part of the country or world they may be traveling from. So all of these factors need to come together before you can set a firm date.
Do you want a destination wedding? Then you will need to have plans that may take you and your guests to an exotic location. Destination weddings are very popular during the winter months in the mid-west where we live. It’s just so nice to get away during those super cold months and go to some far more inviting climate. Ow about a beach wedding? The great thing about destination weddings is they usually provide as many options as local weddings, and with the help of a great wedding planner, you can turn over most of the legwork to a professional. Either way your location and wedding should be about your style and budget.
Set your budget next and be ready to make changes in your initial expectations. We can provide spreadsheets that help you decide what you should spend in each category of your wedding day, and can get your plans started. We find every wedding is unique. So understand that you should alter these spreadsheets to your own tastes as well. For example, if your priorities are to have a great party and you want to save money elsewhere, simply adjust the recommended percentages provided by the person who wrote the spreadsheet to recalculate the budget in that category.
You will need a guest list before you decide on a venue for your reception. So this is your next step. After you have that ironed out, then decide on your venue and all of the details.
Certainly photography is a very important part of your day. So aside from the standard things you should ask your photographer, (our FAQ page can help there) you’ll need to discuss with your fiancé just how important wedding photography is to you. Assuming like me you understand that your wedding photos are one of the most important items you will have to purchase for your wedding day, then here’s some advice: Since the number one regret most brides have from their wedding day is not hiring a great photographer, discuss that with your fiancé and make your photographs a priority. Skimping in this area seems to be both common and one of the most regretted decisions. Remember that your wedding day will be one of the most beautiful and emotional days of your entire life, prioritize what important to you. Then book them right away because great photographers can be booked up to a year or more in advance so decide and book quickly, or you may be out of luck.
The other advantage that a great wedding photographer brings to your day is order. Since chances are they have ben to far more weddings than you will ever be, they know the ins and outs of your day and can help you and your wedding planner (if you have one) get a timeline for your wedding day. Immediately after we receive a deposit to book a wedding date we provide tools to help you plan, and to make your plans go smoother. We can work directly with your professional planner if you so choose, or if your more the hands on type we will guide you through your day and help you make sure we can get the important wedding portraits or do some location shooting between the wedding and reception.
Make sure you register at your favorite stores before your bridal shower and consider one of our packages that include your own wedding website. That way you can get all of the important details out to your guests in an easy and timely manner.
Choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen and your colors. Weather your style is elegant or rustic there are so many choices to create that perfectly beautiful look your going for. Pinterest is a great resource for all things wedding, and I encourage couples to create boards that show their own personal style. This is also great to share with your photographer so they can see what you like too. Just don’t ask them to do the same shots another photographer has done. Hire a pro and give them the freedom to create something unique and special just for you.
Last but certainly not least get the dress! Depending on your personal style you may want to have a gown made for you. We work with some of the finest dress designers in our area and would highly recommend since their attention to detail and ability to create anything is just amazing.