Just engaged? 4 steps to start the wedding planning process
Firstly, if you’ve just gotten engaged – congratulations!
Make sure to enjoy every moment; have the engagement party, meet your friends for a celebratory dinner and drink the all the champagne, it’s all part of the incredible engagement bubble. There is plenty of time for the wedding planning!
And everyone always underestimates the joy and love of ‘just engaged bubble’ and how quick it flies by!
But, if you’re ready to start the wedding planning, you might be asking yourself – where the eff do I begin?
Here are five steps to getting the wedding planning process started without getting overwhelmed.
Choose Your Time of Year
First things first when you’re starting your wedding planning journey: time of year.
Do you have a favourite time of year? Is there a time of year that means something to you and your partner?Maybe you both love Christmas, or you guys met in June.
A good place to start is to agree on a time of year you’d both like to get married. Start with a season, and from there you’ll likely be able to whittle down a month.
Note: It’s important to take into account that the summer months and the Christmas period often come with an additional fee or higher prices for venues and vendors.
Initial Number of Guests
When you’re starting the planning, you don’t need to have a completed and solid guest list. Create an excel document and get working on the ball park figure for the number of people you would like to have at your wedding.
Split this initial guest list into must-have guests (close family, best friends, bridal party) and the would-love to haves (extended friend groups, plus ones, parents’ friends etc).
It is really hand to have a ball park guest number in mind when you’re looking for venues.
You’ll also be surprised at how quickly your guest list grows!
Wedding Venue Research & Pricing
Number if guests and your chosen time of year will feed into your wedding venue selection.
List a number of venues that you’re interested in, and reach out to the wedding co-ordinators, or view the wedding venue packages and prices on the venue’s website.
Time of year, day of the week and size of your wedding will all impact the cost of a wedding venue, and the package prices of wedding venues.
There are several other things to consider when looking at and choosing a wedding venue:
- Will you have the ceremony and reception all in the same venue?
- Or if not, consider how far is the ceremony venue from the reception venue
- What is the price difference for a weekend date or a weekday date?
- Are you looking for a private venue (eg. a country house) or a hotel venue?
- Does the venue cost include catering or is this a separate hire?
- If the venue hire cost includes catering, how many guests are included within that price? And what is the price per person there after?
- Is there accommodation for guests on-site or nearby?
- How easy is the venue to get to and go home from – would you need to provide transport for guests?
Decide on (Initial) Budget
So, the next step is to decide on your initial budget.
Some people decide a wedding budget from the get-go, but from experience, this it is pretty hard to create a really accurate budget until you have prices for your selected wedding venue and guest numbers.
It’s likely that the biggest chunk of your budget will go on your venue. Once you nail this figure down, then add in estimated costs for the other big decisions like – photographer, videographer, wedding flowers, a wedding band, hair and make up, wedding dress – and most importantly add in a figure for ‘spillage’.
It’s best to accept the fact that you’ll likely review and revise the budget about 5 times!
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