|Image courtesy of Sarah Maren Photographers|
Congratulations on your engagement!
This is a fun and exciting time of your life that should be enjoyed and cherished. Sadly, this period can easily be overshadowed with stress, be it from communicating with family, finances or an overwhelming to do list! The Team at Kate Miller Events has some tips for those at the very beginning stages of planning their wedding:
- Discuss Your Budget
- Develop Your Guest List
- Do Your Research
Discuss Your Budget
Dresses are fun to try on and cake tastings are pretty sweet – need I say more? All of this is part of the joy of planning a wedding, but really starting at square one should truly be the budget.After all, there’s no reason you should start breaking hearts right off the bat! Separation anxiety from the frothy Vera Wang concoction you fell head over heels with before you spotted it’s price tag can easily be avoided if you know your budget going in. Trust me, this is the toughest conversation to have – and getting it out of the way early means more time to delight in all things frosting and fun.
Getting a broad idea of your budget before booking your venue, hiring your photographer or buying a dress will avoid tough budgeting situations later down the line and save you tons of stress! If you spend $5k of your $10k budget on a fabulous photographer what are they going to capture if you don’t have a venue, cake, catering, dress, DJ, and more?
Having a tough time figuring out the market and local costs of each line item? Hire a wedding planner! They can match you up to the right vendors for your unique style, budget and needs. It will save you loads of time making phone calls and doing research.
Develop Your Guest List
Let’s be honest, $10,000 doesn’t go far for a guest list of 500, chockfull of everyone you and your fiance know (inclusive of the church congregation, and day care besties you haven’t spoken to since you were 4). Paying for delivery pizza could easily cost you $2,000 alone.
However, an elegant soiree for your 25 closest of friends and family? $10,000 seems a bit more bright on the budget scale! Starting out by developing your guest list will give you the bigger picture. After all, several items in your budget are multiplied by that guest count – catering, centerpieces, stationery – just to name a few! Once your parents see the bottom line, it’s much easier for them to say, “Well, I guess we don’t have to invite the Smiths.”
Do Your Research
When I say research, I mean: find out what YOU love. Find out what your FIANCE loves. Clip out photos, save blog posts, take pictures and store it all somewhere. Of course, if you’re having a tough time with finding your succinct style, hiring a wedding designer can help sort it all out and find the consistency within.
However, having a strong sense of what YOU love ensures that Aunt Mildred’s sudden distaste for cupcakes will not send you into a shocking distress, before you realize that while your guests’ enjoyment is important, this wedding is about YOU and your FIANCE. Aunt Mildred can bear the taste of a Red Velvet cupcake for one day.
In fact, for this reason alone (so long as no severely hurt feelings will result), we usually recommend that you find your least opinionated friend to bring with you to at least one venture out to try on wedding dresses. Your next appointment? Bring your Moms, your opinionated BFFs – whoever! At least you already got to try on that crazy amazing Lhuillier before they stopped you!
Optional: Hire a Wedding Planner or Coordinator
I completely understand that a wedding planner isn’t for everyone. However, hiring a “Day of” Coordinator is becoming more and more common. After all, no Bride wants to be lighting candles and hanging lanterns on their wedding day, no matter their budget!
A Wedding Planner will take you from point A to B and ensure that the decisions you make are sound, be your liaison if you are too busy to take it all on yourself and connect you with the best of the best in your area.
A Wedding Coordinator will step in about one month prior to tie up all your loose ends, coordinate with your vendors, create a meticulous timeline and assist with the setup of your day.
Quick Tip: Don’t be fooled by the Venue Coordinator who promises the world. After all, they have a job to do and their priority will always be what’s best for the venue. It’s impossible for a Venue Coordinator to plan 100+ events per year and still give the same quality of service of a Wedding Planner who services less than 1/3 events per year.