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Wedding Planning Guide is here to help!
Need some guidance to your wedding planning? Most likely you are newly engaged or thinking about it’s time to put on a wedding planning game face on if you are reading this. But do you know where to start? How would each decision you make during the process will affect anther? This Wedding Planning Guide will give you some good ideas how to prioritize your tasks.
First Step to Your Wedding Planning – Set Your Date First, get rough guest count
Hooray, you are engaged! What’s next? This is the easiest step of all wedding planning. Set your wedding date or have a few possible dates with your partner before you could move on to anything else. Believe or not, I have received inquiries in the past that the couples didn’t even set up a date yet. I couldn’t go on without date, no vendor could.
At same time, come up with a rough guest count with your fiancé. Without this count, it will hold you back on some other tasks, such as booking a venue that fits right amount of guests, sending save the date or invitation etc.
Most Essential to Wedding Planning – Find a Vision for Your Wedding when booking a venue
With a vision for your wedding style and a wedding date(s), now you are ready to move on to the next wedding planning task. Research on possible venues and reach out to book an appointment for tour. Many venues offers open house. Be sure to follow them on social media or to be on their email list. You will be one of the first to know when they announce their events. Book church as well if you will have a church ceremony.
This is one of the most important wedding planning step since it will define what type of wedding style you will achieve. For example, you might have a chic style with downtown venue like State Room in Boston, MA vs. a boho style with a barn venue like The Barn at Gibbet Hill in Groton, MA
Most Exciting Part of Your Wedding Planning – Dress Shopping – Laser Focused!!!
You need to consider the time frame from you book an appointment to get alternation done and actually picking up your dress. Sometimes, you might visit a few bridal shops.
Most Importantly, YOU NEED TO BE LASER SHARP FOCUS while having fun dress shopping!!! It is important to keep your wedding style vision in mind while you shop. Do you know why? Because you could be easily get lost in this bridal gown wonderland which will make you indecisive and wasting your time.
Why so soon? First, it’s the most fun and exciting moments of wedding planning! You probably waited for this moment for a long long time. Second, it will help you make other decisions if you already knew what you are going to wear, such as hair and makeup.
Groom’s attire usually don’t take as long a bridal gowns. But take alteration for consideration.
Finding Rest of Wedding Vendors – Find a Planner if you need to
If you are looking for a seasoned full service planner to help out with your wedding planning, this is the time. They are usually booked up one year or more ahead. But if you are just looking for day-of coordination service, you get a little break here.
I find mostly couples find venue coordinator is sufficient enough especially for some top venues with great service, such as Danversport Yacht Club. I had opportunity to chat with staff during a wedding and other events there. They were highly speaking of their employer how they treat their staff with respect and treat them like family. So I believe if the venue takes care of their staff, with no doubt, they will treat you, the couples in superior manner.
But if you are planning for a destination wedding, finding a planner local to your venue would be on top of the list.
Book Photographer and/or Videographer
Now, with a date and venue, it’s time for you to move on to booking other wedding vendors. Most of couples will be looking for a photographer and / or videographer next before looking for other vendor.
Why? Because we are one of the most important vendors of your wedding day. We would be the only vendors who will tag along with you all day on your wedding day. And we are the ones who will capture all the big and small moments, tears and joys throughout this day. Every couple would love to have someone whom they will trust to capture their big day and help them creating precious memories that they will cherish for lifetime. So booking a right photographer and/or videographer is on top of the list if wedding photography or videography are very important to you.
Typically the suggested time frame for booking a great photographer or videographer is 10 months to one year or more before your wedding day. For example, I have booked two weddings already for year 2021 as of Feb. of 2020.
Also, you need to set up your engagement session as soon as you book your wedding photographer if you need images for Save the Date.
Depending on your preferred months for engagement session, weekend availability varies. Seasoned wedding photographers have less availability during wedding season (May to Oct.) and more availability during off season (Nov. – April)
Take Care of Some Wedding Details
There are still many wedding planning to do in this phase. Finding a catering company if your venue only offers space. Booking a specialty vendor, such as a mobile wet bar, cotton candy truck etc. Taking care of cake, floral at this point. No particular orders here. But most of these vendors need a consultation appointment. So be aware of waiting time accordingly.
Book Your Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist
You have done so well so far with your planning. Now it’s time to book your hair and makeup trial. They are typically booked one year in advance as well. So don’t wait to reserve your wedding date especially if you love someone’s work and would love to have them to work with you on your wedding day. After reserving your date, book a trial.
If you already have a wedding gown at this time or know exactly what style it would be, you could book a trial coordinated with your engagement session. Why waste the perfect opportunity for being glammed up? Take the advantage, get your engagement session done and then have a date night afterward. One perfect ending!
If you have not decided on your wedding gown at this point, then book your trial towards close to your wedding day. Because you will have your wedding gown and other wedding details ready by then.
Continue Working on Rest of Details and Vendors
This would be the time to book a DJ or a band. Work on your Save the Date or Invitations with calligrapher. Finding an officiant. Shopping for your wedding bands. Dress alteration. Majority of wedding planning is pretty much done by now couple of months before our wedding day.
Confirm Details with Vendors and Create Final Timeline
It is important to confirm wedding day details with all your vendors two weeks before your wedding day, including logistics, contact person and their cell phone number, etc. Make sure you have venue coordinator’s cell as well. Work with DJ, photographer and/or videographer on your final timeline of your wedding day to ensure smooth transition throughout the day. This is pretty much the last on to do list of your wedding planning.
End of Your Wedding Planning – Get Married!!!
The big day is finally here! Woohoo!!! This is the end of wedding planning journey! Try to relax and enjoy this day. Let your people (MOH, sister, your mom, or mother in law) take care of errands on your wedding day. That will help you reduce the stress you don’t need. All you should focus on is being pampered, glammed up and get married!
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