CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is an exciting moment in your life! After you make all those fun phone calls to your friends and family members letting them know that you’re engaged, there will be a moment when you think, “OH. MY. GOSH! I’m getting married, now what?!?”

These 5 steps will help you to create a wedding of your dreams.

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Engagement Session at Mt. Madonna County Park in Watsonville, California

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.

Select a Venue:

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The Club at Ruby Hill, Pleasanton, California

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 headaches, but will save your budget.  Also photographers and other vendors may charge additional fees for travel.  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, except the fact that you are marrying the person you love!

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 and to manage those things that don’t – so you don’t have to. This person should not be mom, or anyone in the bridal party. The person you select will need to be able to handle anything and everything that can go wrong, so you’ll want to pick someone you trust to make the best decision about anything that arises and handle it. I’m a control freak, but I had the best wedding because I chose to do this. I found out after my wedding – all the things that would have had me freaking out on that day.  Since I didn’t know, I had the best time and enjoyed myself fully.


The Dress:

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Wedding in Sonoma, California – Wine Country

Most dresses will take about 8-12 months to order. Yes, you can order off 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 budgeted $1000 for a dress, you should plan on spending $500 on the dress. You will spend on average $250 or more for alternations and everyone needs them for the dress 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.  This means you need to plan accordingly, so your budget doesn’t get away from you.

Book the Photographer:

Some of the best photographers will only take a certain number of weddings a year.  If you don’t book someone right away, you may have to settle on someone you aren’t in love with.  Make sure that you meet with the potential photographer.  If you can’t enjoy a coffee or tea with them, then you certainly don’t want them to be engaging with friends and family at your wedding.  When photographers take the time to get to know you, you will end up with better images.

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Bouquet with something Old Sonoma Wedding Hotel Depot Restaurant20180421VenessaMarlonWedding-467

Congratulations again!  Mark these first 5 things off your list, and you’ll be well on your way to having your wedding planned, staying on budget, staying on schedule, and having the wedding of your dreams.

If you are engaged, I’d love to take you to get coffee or tea to find out if I’m the right fit for you, click HERE to schedule.