Establish A Realistic Budget:
It’s hard to create a budget when you don’t really know what things should cost. You’ll need to do your research. Start reaching out to vendors to find out what the going rates are. Contact at least 3 of your favorite vendors in the same category and compare pricing. This way you have an idea of what it costs on average for that particular service. It is important to remember pricing is based on experience, expertise and quality of service. Make sure the vendors that you are reaching out to are all on the same level since pricing will vary significantly. If you are looking to provide your guest with a luxury experience, then the quotes from your vendors will mirror that, so your budget should account for that level of service also.
Decide On A Guest Count:
How many people are you planning on inviting? You can choose your magic number based on the capacity your dream venue is available to seat or you can choose your guest count by the cost per person you are able to realistically afford to invite. Just remember to account for your number to double if you plan on allowing your guests to bring a plus one. Also keep in mind that you will have to include your day of vendors and their staff into your head count as well. Anyone working more that 4 hours that day should be provided with a seat and a hot meal. For example: photographer, videographer, wedding planner, day of coordinator, DJ etc.
Start Scouting Venues:
You’ll want to start making appointments to visit a few venues that you’re interested in. Have a list of questions on hand to ask while you are there. Find out if you are allowed to bring in outside vendors as well as how many hours are allotted for setup and breakdown in case you are looking to transform the existing space. The more questions you ask each venue will help with your decision in choosing the right space that meets your vision and design goals. It’s best to know this information well before you’ve secured a deposit and entered into a contract than to find out later than you are restricted by what you previously envisioned for your special day.
Hire Professional Help:
Once you have your date you’ll want to ensure that the Wedding Planner, Designer and/or Coordinator you want for your day is actually available for your wedding. Wedding planning can be very stressful especially because you’ve never done it before but you don’t have to endure the process alone when there are many wedding professionals experienced and well equipped to assist you. Whether you are looking for full or partial planning; design or day of coordination only, you’ll want to book their services from the very beginning of the process to ensure the best experience with minimal to no hiccups along the way.
Create & Finalize Your Guest List:
The sooner you start this process the faster you’ll be able to mail out your “save the dates” and get a better idea as to what your actual guest count will be. You guests will start to confirm receipt of your “save the dates” and even let you know if they definitely plan on being there or won’t be able to make it. This can provide you with significant savings when it comes to sending out your actual wedding invitations. This goes a long way, especially if you are ordering custom invitations that are priced per invite. An invitation that’s $22 per person seems like a drop in the bucket until you realize that 20 of the people you’ve sent “save the dates” to can’t make it so now you can save $440 on those invitations. Might not seem like a huge save now but in the grand scheme of things; that’s 20 less place settings, chairs, menu cards, food and beverage cost; I could go on but I think you’ve gotten the picture.
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