As everyone knows, planning your own wedding can quite possibly be the most daunting task you’ve attempted up to date.
With a mountain of checklists, decisions must be made before leaping onto the next so I’m breaking down the TOP 4 things you MUST decide before doing just about anything else! You knock this list out first and the rest will be easy peasy! Minus the part where your families swoop in and try to have a say, lol. (It’s TRUE so be prepurred!)
The First 4 Things You MUST Decide When Planning Your Wedding
1. GUEST COUNT
Every other move you make is determined by the number of guests at your wedding. Many venues have a certain capacity so knowing how many people you’d like to invite will dictate which venues you start to look into. Small, intimate weddings under 100 guests have the most options so if you know you’re going above that number, start looking into banquet halls, ballrooms, hotels, and even outdoor spaces with a blank canvas for you to play around with. Once you figure out your guest count, budgeting for all the necessities like invitations, centerpieces, tabletop décor, flowers, escort cards, and all those little details become more defined.
2. SELECT A SEASON
Picking a date is a little passé considering venues book up fast and you are really at the mercy of their availability. Unless you have a specific date that means something special to you, I prefer to pick a season instead. Think about the setting: Have you always imagined a garden theme wedding with tons of romantic peonies set outdoors? Then spring and summer will be your best options since beautiful weather is almost a given and some florals only bloom during that time.
Love sunset hues with copper tones? An autumn wedding will surely give off that golden vibe. I absolutely knew that I wanted to rock tons of bling, fur on fur, and have guests come clad in red carpet gowns so a winter wedding was definitely what I was after. Pick a season first, preferably a year out, and start refining the month you’d like, then move onto the next!
3. SCOUT VENUES
Once you have a guest count, know what season (maybe even what specific month) you’d like, start doing your research. Don’t rely on venue estimates online via wedding.com, the knot, etc. to fill in your guest count and have an automated tally spit back numbers to you, they are totally INACCURATE! Figure out the cities you like first and google “wedding venues” for that location. My criteria was a “historic venue” in “Downtown Los Angeles” and boy was there a lot! We literally made appointments to see every single one and I just let my gut dictate this final verdict. Once I found the Los Angeles Athletic Club in DTLA, I allowed the venue’s vibe and colors to dictate everything from my palette, to my flowers, to the music, and yes, even right down to the dress!
4. SAY YES TO THE DRESS
Every bride-to-be needs to know that wedding dresses usually take between 8-10 months to order and receive so starting early with your dress shopping is key! I found THE dress on my first shopping trip, but did my due diligence and scouted a handful of others just in case I found something better.
Of course, I didn’t, and went back to number 1 with the help of my girls who fell in lallaaLOVE with her the minute I sashayed down that runway. But sometimes what you see with your own eyes could be too particular, allow those second opinions to help steer you in the right direction.
Next week, we’ll start breaking down the budget worksheet and I’ll show you where to splurge and where to save!