The Journey to Your Wedding Day

Wedding CalendarFrom the moment you say “I do”, time speeds up drastically and the wedding planning process begins. Even if you aren’t having for wedding for a year or two, a newly engaged person will start to see wedding details in every object they see. If you’re like most brides, the journey to your wedding day will be very strange and new, plus you’ll want to make everything perfect for your special moment. There are a lot of things that need to get done; so much so that it can seem overwhelming, but just going through the steps one after another can prove to be the right process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process of getting to your wedding day starting from the moment you’re engaged.

Getting Started

The first thing that you’ll need to do is make an announcement to your friends and family. Often times you can place a wedding announcement in the local paper for free, but you also need to call everyone that’s important and tell them personally. Once that’s done, you’ll need to sit down with your significant other to discuss the initial details of the wedding.

This discussion should be quite in-depth and include topics like what you want out of your wedding day experience, where you want to get married, how much money you’ll be able to spend, and when you want to set the date. These initial stages are all very important because the rest of the wedding planning process will take shape around the choices that you make together.

Guest List

Once you have some of the initial details roughed out, you’ll need to compile your wedding guest list. This can be a tough moment in the planning process because every person you add to the guest list is another chunk of expenses. The best way to go about this is to start with your friends and family, then work out from there. Don’t invite a bunch of your work friends or people you haven’t seen in several years; just try to keep it to the important people in your life right now so the list doesn’t get out of control.

Choose Your Venues

Once you know when you want to get married, the budget that you have to work with, and an estimate on the number of guests that you’ll be inviting, you can start to look at wedding venues. This is probably the biggest decision you’ll make regarding your wedding, so make sure you take your time and look at all of the options that are available. You’ll need a venue for the ceremony and a venue for the reception, but if your budget is tight you can consider a single venue that will work for both.

Hiring Vendors

Hiring the right wedding vendors can be tricky, especially if you are on either a time or budget crunch. The best way to ensure you are hiring the right person is to extensively research their reputation online and find real couples that can give you a testimonial about their work. The term wedding vendors is a blanket term for every professional you’ll hire for the wedding such as your wedding photographer, the musicians, florist, caterer, and more. This will be a very long and tedious process to choose the perfect candidates, but all of your hard work will pay off huge when your wedding ends up perfect.

Dress Shopping

Shopping for your wedding dress can be both fun and stressful all rolled into one. There are few events during the wedding planning process that are more important, and that can lead to second-guessing and stress. The best tactic to achieve success is to choose a practical dress with as little emotion involved in the choice as possible and then never look back from your decision. This can be easier said than done, but you will be very happy on your wedding day if you just go with your first instinctual choice of wedding dress.

Invitations

Your wedding invitations can be one of those things that end up eating up way too much of your time. The best choice is to choose something simple, elegant, and to the point, and remember that pouring too many resources into a piece of paper that will eventually be discarded is just a waste of time. You want to send out your wedding invitations 6 to 8 weeks before your wedding date.

Being Well-Rested

One thing that many brides forget to do in the days leading up to their wedding is to take care of themselves health wise. To look your best on your wedding day and alleviate any potential stress, make sure you get good rest for at least a few days leading up to your big day. You should also try to do relaxing activities with your bridesmaids such as a spa day or a girls’ evening out. Though it may sound obvious to some that you want to be rested, hydrated, and in a good mood entering your wedding day, you’d probably be surprised at how often this isn’t the case.

Prepping for Meetings With Your Wedding Vendors

Wedding Vendor MeetingsIf you’ve already started planning your wedding, you’ve probably realized that you need to deal with a seemingly never-ending parade of wedding vendors in order to organize everything you need for your big day. Everything from your flowers shop to your caterers will have a liaison that you need to deal with personally, and the number of meeting you need to schedule and attend just to get everything finalized can seem very overwhelming. Fortunately, prepping for meetings with your wedding vendors can be a fun and relaxing experience if you know what to expect and what to ask. Below you will find some things to be prepared for before you go to your meetings so you can get every detail right without pulling out your hair or going gray.

Know Budget and Priorities

Before you schedule any meetings with your wedding vendors, you need to know your exact budget. This will help you figure out which vendors can take priority financially over others so you can negotiate the best prices. For instance, if your really want your reception dinner to be delicious, you can set aside more budget room for the caterers. If you really like the taste of a fine wine, you can make you alcohol budget a little larger and cut back on something else. Your wedding budget priorities are a personal choice and completely up to you as a couple, but you want to make sure you have the details worked out before you go to your meetings with your wedding vendors.

Shop Around

Before you schedule and vendor meetings, you should get an idea of their prices and shop around with their competitors. The cost of a specific wedding service can vary from vendor to vendor, so shopping around can end up saving you a big chunk of money. Also, don’t be afraid to use a vendor’s competition as leverage to try to get a better deal. Mentioning that their competition offered you a better price can sometimes get them to beat their price or offer you a more inclusive package. Doing your negotiating with multiple prospective vendors instead of price shopping in advance will add unnecessary time and stress to the planning process, so try your best to get this taken care of before you go to your vendor meetings.

Be Detail Oriented

Focusing on the details can not only ensure you find the perfect vendors for your wedding, but it can also ensure that you get the most or your money. Make sure you talk in depth with each of your vendors to make sure that you know exactly what services they will provide you and how much it will cost. The last thing you want is to be expecting something on your wedding day that isn’t delivered because it was never part of the original agreement. The best thing to do with your wedding vendors is to put everything in writing so both side know exactly what to expect when your big day arrives.