How To: Begin Planning a Wedding

by | Jan 14, 2019

Stefanie Keeler Photography

Did you just get engaged over the holiday and now you find yourself asking – now what?! Well, it’s time to hop into the wedding planning process now, because the sooner you get started, the more you will be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy being engaged!  To help you get started today, we have outlined five steps for you to take to begin planning your wedding with ease (and still have fun while doing it)! So, let’s get started!

#1 Hire a Wedding Planner

You can immediately eliminate a ton of pressure from the start by hiring a wedding planner. Who else will have all the best tips, tricks and ideas than a person whose entire career is spent planning weddings? You might ask what a wedding planner can do for you?  In amongst many things, a wedding planner can help you establish a realistic budget for your big day while educating you on current trends, venues, and vendors. Additionally, a professional planner (And I’m not talking about your Aunt Sally turned wedding planner for the day) can help you choose the best venue that fits your style, wedding size, and budget. A planner can refer you to florists, bakers, caterers, photographers and DJ’s whom they know personally and trust! You can cut down on the number of phone calls, and the time you would have spent communicating with vendors through hiring a planner because they will handle that for you.  In turn, having less worry and stress will make the days leading up to your ceremony much more enjoyable.

#2 Begin Compiling a Tentative Guest List

It’s never too early to start planning your guest list. Choosing exactly which people you do (and don’t) want to invite to your wedding can be one of the most challenging parts of the planning process – so it’s a good idea to start early! Sit down with your fiance and start talking about who is most important. You can start by asking yourselves who must attend your wedding. Once you’ve established that, then you can begin chatting about which guests are still significant but a bit lower down on your list. Getting an idea of the exact number of guests you hope to invite is especially important when choosing the size of the venue you’ll need.

Sarah Annay Photography

#3 Choose a Few Possible Wedding Dates

Flexibility is beneficial when planning your wedding, so we suggest selecting two or three potential dates for your big day! This advice might sound strange but imagine if your heart is set on one particular day and then you, unfortunately, learn your perfect venue is booked that day. With a few different dates in mind, you can more easily secure the venue, caterer, photographers, and of course DJ that you really want. Also just as a side note, some venues may have discounted rates on certain days – so being more flexible with the date of your wedding can also save you money if you are on a budget.

#4 Select and Secure Your Wedding Venue

Once you decide on your guest list and find a venue available on your day – book it! Do not make the mistake of waiting because most wedding venues book up very quickly, some as much as 18-24 months in advance. When it comes to wedding planning, it’s not just about “saying yes to the dress” but also “saying yes to the venue.” It’s imperative that you book your venue at the beginning of your wedding planning process. The venue quite literally sets the stage for every other step that follows it. PS. If you need recommendations, we know some GREAT ones!

Ivey Pictures

#5 Research and Hire Your Wedding Vendors

As we mentioned earlier, a wedding planner is a tremendous asset when it comes time to choose your wedding vendors.  However, if you decide to do all the planning on your own then make sure you do your research. Bad vendors can destroy a wedding!  Now is when I would like you to please pause and reread the previous sentence because I cannot emphasize it enough! This principle applies to your photographer, videographer, florist, baker, caterer and most certainly applies to your DJ and Master of Ceremonies! Next, once you have done your research and decided on the professionals that you would like to use do not hesitate to book them.  It may be surprising, but as a DJ company we have some dates that book out as far in advance as 12-18 months for us, so it is critical to book early especially if you are planning to get married on a Saturday, or during popular wedding seasons such as the Spring or Fall. We know that all of this info is a lot to take in, but based upon our experience we promise that if you follow these five simple steps you will be on the right track to planning one memorable wedding!  So Cheers from Brandon and I, and happy planning!!  Oh and if you need a super cool and crazy fun DJ…..let’s chat!

Zack Robinson Photography

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