You’re Engaged? 4 Tips to Help you Plan!

CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is an exciting moment in your life! After you make all those excited phone calls to your best friends and family members, there will be a moment when you think, “OH. MY. GOSH! I’m getting married, now what?!?” Below are 4 tips that will start to set your mind at ease. They are really the 4 first things you need to do in a timeline of having the wedding of your dreams. Also, they all require a bit of planning and most of them should be booked about a year ahead of the big day (to have the most flexibility in choice).

  1. Set a date: Consider this carefully. If you have an open wide budget, choose any date. If you are on any type of budget, know that the day is the biggest expense or biggest budget saver. For example, if you are getting married in the most popular months of June, ,August, September, or October – those will cost you way more than say January, February, and March because those are the least popular (which means the least expensive). Additionally, Saturday night is the most expensive day/time. Friday and Sunday are the second most expensive and the rest of the week is the best for budgets. It’s true you know. Those that love you will be there any day of the week. Those that like a good party will come on the weekend and bring a +1, which will cost you more.
  2. Select a Venue: Definitely think about this carefully. Do you want the location you love, but it will entail 80% of your guests to drive more than 2 hours? Will you be getting married one place and then have the reception somewhere else? If so, it’s best to not have more than 1 hour between the two and no more than 50 miles apart. This will help not only save the guests but will save your budget photographers and other vendors may charge additional fees for that – as a photographer may charge a travel fee and if you pay for 5 hours, he/she will only get a small part of the reception. My best advice to brides about the venue is you will never find a perfect venue in your budget. There will always be a few things that you don’t like. If you manage your expectations, you will end up with a wedding of your dreams. Remember nothing (and I mean nothing) is truly perfect
  3. Day of the Event Planner (or friend not involved anywhere else in the wedding): Whether you pay for a wedding planner to help your wedding planning go smoothly or not. You WILL need someone the day of the event to help ensure that things go according to plan or manage those things that don’t – so you don’t have to. This person should not be mom, or anyone in the bridal party. They will need to be able to handle anything and everything that can go wrong and someone you trust to make the best decision about that and handle it. I’m a control freak but I had the best wedding because I did this. I found out after all the things that would have had me freaking out on that day but instead I enjoyed myself fully.
  4. The Dress: Most dresses, if you want to be able to pick any dress you want, will take about 8-12 months to order. Yes, you can order of the rack, but that will limit your options and may increase your budget. It will also take longer to find. Something else you should think about is budget. If you have a $1000 budget for a dress. You should plan on spending $500 on the dress. You will spend on average $250 for alternations and everyone needs them to fit properly. Additional, depending upon what you have in mind for your wedding/dress you will need, shoes, belt, veil, undergarments, slip, jewelry, and the list goes on and on. Plan accordingly.

If you start with these four tips, you are well on your way to having your wedding planned, staying on budget, staying on schedule, and having the wedding of your dreams.