From wedding invitations to venue, there are a lot of things to think about when you are planning your wedding. If you are just newly you may be thinking about what kind of wedding you want, when to have it, should we elope, do we want a traditional or formal wedding or something casual? Do we want to send out wedding announcements? Purple Trail is here to help. We’ve put together a wedding planning checklist filled with questions you can use when you are in the early stages of planning your wedding.
This is an exciting time but it is also a busy time full of transition. So, try to go with the flow as much as you can because it will all work out. The most important thing you can do is focus on the fact that you are about to embark on a whole new journey with the person you love.
A good place to start in your wedding planning is to decide what kind of wedding do you want to have? Do you want a traditional church wedding? A destination wedding? Do you want to be married indoors or outdoors? If you find that you and your fiance have very different ideas about this, try and listen to one another with an open mind. This is a great opportunity to exercise a little compromise (both of you). Once you have decided the type of wedding you want, you create a preliminary guest list. One thing to think about with guest lists and destination weddings, you must keep in mind that not everyone can make a destination wedding so if there are people you really want to be there, unless you plan on footing the bill, you may want to check with them to see if that’s a possibility.
Creating a budget is very critical to do at the beginning. Once you have a feel for the type of wedding you want to have, now you can get down to the nitty-gritty and see how you can make it happen within your means. It’s so easy to lose sight of how much things cost in comparison to what you have to spend. You can create a simple spreadsheet in Excel to help you track your expenses as they happen. It can be helpful to create expense brackets like: Bridal Wear, Food, Rehearsal Dinner, Flowers, Attendant Gifts, Photography, Wedding Favors, Wedding Stationary (announcements, save the dates, wedding invitations, wedding programs, thank you cards etc), Ceremony, Reception, Rings, and the overall important category, miscellaneous. Once you have each category with a budget, be diligent and consult your budget when comparing your price quotes from vendors. If the photographer you love is way outside your budget, you may need to reevaluate what’s most important to you.
The three biggest things to that book out far in advance are locations, caterers and photographers. So if you are on limited time, try to book these things first. Venues often have their own caterers to choose from but if you are having a wedding in a private location that requires you to find the caterer, put that at the top of your list.
Venue. When searching for a venue, take a list of things that you are looking for in a place and see how the actual location measures up. Sometimes website photos don’t do the place justice you can be left underwhelmed or delighted by the real deal. Things to consider are what is included in the actual rental price. Will there be an extra charge for a rehearsal? Are you sharing the date with another wedding or event? Is there ample parking? Is there a charge for parking? Choosing an off season date can make finding a location a little less expensive but during the wedding season (May to August) you may find the venues charge more.
Caterer. If the venue you choose has an onsite caterer things to think about are: minimums cost, are linens included, types of dishes provided, free water, coffee, and tea service, cake cutting fees, tastings, and bar/bartender fees.
Photographer. Things to think about when choosing a photographer: Do they charge by the hour or will they spend the day with you. Are engagement pictures part of the package, is the photographer familiar with the venue, do they charge for travel, do you get the files of the photos, will there be an assistant helping, what styles of photo books are available, and what types of packages are available. Also make sure they are willing to meet with you about what types of photos you want and who you want photographed so important friends and family members aren’t left out.
Once you’ve decided on the date and the venue, send out save the dates. You can send out save the date cards or save the date magnets. These are nice to send out as early as possible especially if you are having a destination wedding so that you people can plan and make arrangements accordingly.
Now that you are swimming in details, remember the first part, relax. It’s going to be wonderful. Surround yourself with a good support system and enjoy this! It’s going to be a lovely day.
Shop Purple Trail’s collections of wedding invitations.