Congratulations, you’re getting married!
A new chapter starts to unfold in front of you, and with a wistful grin on your face you remember dreaming about your big day since you were just a little girl. Now that you’ve been lucky to find the right person, and decided to set out on this journey together, it’s time to materialize the wedding of your dreams.
If you haven’t been involved in any wedding planning before, this can be quite a challenging task for you. You might be wondering where to start – should you choose the date first and then the venue or is it the other way round? Maybe you should just call this whole thing off and spend the money honeymooning with your sweetheart instead? Of course not.
Don’t stop reading because we got your back! Snuggle down on your favorite sofa, grab your wedding planning binder – yes, you’ll definitely need one! – pour yourself a glass of wine, and say goodbye to your wedding worries with our simplified wedding guide.
Draw up a Budget
I know you are probably trying to postpone the money talk with your partner since it’s the least glamorous part of the planning. However, knowing your budget limit – and sticking to it – is necessary to arrive at the planning phase in the first place.
According to Value Penguin, in 2019, the average cost of a wedding has reached just under $30,000. Broach the subject and discuss openly how much the two of you can afford to spend, and whether you expect both of your parents’ contribution as well. If that’s the case, try to get them to give you a realistic sum as soon as possible.
Get a Guest Count
Weddings are by far important life events, and since it’s your big day it’s only natural to want to have everyone present as you are walking down the aisle. In your head, you start naming all these relatives, friends, friends of friends, co-workers, plus-ones. You get carried away and the list seems to be never-ending.
A word of advice though – try to stay realistic and bare the cost in mind. Make a preliminary list together with your partner and your immediate family. All you need for now is a ballpark number to make the hunt for venues a bit easier.
Name the Date
There’s no strict rule whether you should set the date first or choose the venue. It really depends entirely on how flexible your time is. If you and your spouse (or your family) seem to have super-busy schedules then it might be a better idea to discuss the date and then choose the venue according to your availability.
Remember, Saturdays usually get booked first, but they’re a lot pricier compared to Fridays or Sundays. Moreover, summer and early fall are the most popular months for a wedding, so if you have your mindset on them as well, you’ll need to book a venue in advance.
Go for a Destination Wedding
Instead of booking the closest venue, why not treat yourself with a wedding held at one of the many dream locations around the world? Choosing a setting away from your hometown can be challenging but extremely rewarding. For one, it removes much of the troubles and stresses around the whole planning since you can arrange every detail with the resort consultant.
For instance, picture yourself having the wedding of your dreams on a magical island, surrounded by your closest friends and family. Situated in beautiful Jamaica, that’s exactly what Rose Hall has to offer. Their venues include a plantation house, an aqueduct, a church on a hilltop, and a beach venue with a gazebo. There’s no way your guests will remain impartial to such an other-worldly experience!
Deciding on a Theme or Style
Try to match your chosen venue and its existing décor with the story you want your wedding to tell. Is it leaning towards a more rustic, fairy-tale-like theme, or are you aiming for a more modern industrial kind of style?
Browse through various sites like Pinterest or Tumblr to get some more ideas, or even take this fun quiz to give you some insight into what you prefer. Remain authentic and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Find a Wedding Dress
When it comes to finding the perfect wedding dress, you have a couple of options. In most cases, brides opt for a custom-made dress, preferably ordered nine to 12 months before the wedding. This way, you’ll have plenty of time for fits and alterations. As for the style, if you tend to be indecisive and don’t have a particular wedding dress in mind, consulting the latest wedding fashion trends might prove inspiring.
According to an article on The Knot, this year’s obsession is still with regal fashion. That means going for capes and capelets, puffed up sleeves and embellished dresses with sequins and flashy accessories.
Another option is to redo your mother’s wedding dress, i.e. if it’s not too outdated, and go for a timeless vintage look with a few tweaks here and there. However, don’t forget to take the season and your wedding theme into account as well.
Consider Hiring a Professional
If all this is getting too much for you, and you lack the time and energy to take care of everything, hiring a professional wedding planner might be for you. A lot of times brides start planning the wedding on their own before they realize it’s actually a full-time job, so they leave the details to people who know how to deal with them.
At first, it will seem like an additional cost but that person and the connections he/she has in the industry would undoubtedly help you stay on budget in the long run. Don’t forget that this day should be a source of enjoyment and happiness for you, not one full of stress and anxiety.