You Are Engaged! What's Next?
STEP 1: SELECT A DATE
A few thoughts on selecting a date:
1. Weather. Farmer’s Almanac is a great guide to historical weather information on specific weekends of the year. If you are planning to marry away from your hometown especially, please pay attention to the weather in your selected city historically.
2. Time of year and cost. Some things to consider. Hotels and venues have “heavy booking times of year” that are more in demand than others. Looking to save on your budget? Ask the venue if they have “out of season booking date incentives” available. Keep in mind #1 above. On the same note if you have a MUST HAVE flower for your arrangement, you may want to do your research. Depending on the time of year you may double or even triple the cost on one specific flower if it is an exotic out of season.
3. Holidays. My advice: avoid them. Flights are more expensive, people make plans, and the roads are awful. National holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. It is easy to fall into an emotional, well… if they love me they will show up… but really you don’t want to burden the people you love with overpriced travel, busy roads and having to choose, plus it is more costly on your budget as venues are packed and providers are generally very busy.
4. Hold the date in your head. Don’t send an eBlast with the date information just yet. This is NOT YOUR FINAL DATE (it may be but we want to be sure the venue you fall in love with is available that day, as well as your officiant first).
STEP 2: DISCUSSION ON BUDGET
The next step for any wedding is talking between the two of you and deciding what is a realistic spending budget for your wedding. Anyone can get married on nearly any budget… it is a matter of what your vision is and how that translates from the reality of your budget.
Envision your wedding and draw up a spending allowance and agree to it. If you need to map out what that means in terms of regular contributions to the fund, do that also.
STEP 3: DECIDE ON THE PLANNING STRATEGY
Will you hire a wedding consultant or are you a DIY couple? When deciding, realistically think about your current commitments, budget, vision versus organization, and resources for help. If you are a busy executive, work 40 hours a week or a full-time student, hiring a consultant might be the best thing you can do for yourself and your fiancé. When considering time and commitment to planning a wedding I want you to keep in mind that you will be researching your vision, providers who can pull off your vision, pricing, availability, and meetings. If you have a full schedule already will you be spending the next 52 weekends researching, calling, making appointments, sampling and deciding yourself? That is the question.
Friends who want to help: Everyone loves a wedding and unless your friend with their hand raised is in the wedding industry, or has absolutely nothing else to do... all of the best intentions can hurt a friendship. When people tell me their cousin or friend is helping them plan their wedding I ask them two things, “Are they a wedding planner?” and when they respond no, I ask, “Do you not like your cousin?” Planning a wedding can be fun, but on the day of it is a lot of work and I believe that on your wedding day you want to actually spend it with a family member or friend who loves you SO MUCH that they would offer to plan your wedding with you. They must mean a lot to you. Do you really want to only see the back of their head as they run around taking care of things on your wedding day, or would you prefer that they be a guest at your wedding and celebrate your wedding day with you. Just my two cents.
"Don't sabotage your own wedding. You have hired professionals to handle the details. Allow them. On rehearsal night - take a deep breath, relax and stop planning. Focus on "now". Don't miss the most important moment in your life. Be in the present and enjoy your family and friends who have come to be part of your "Now". Even if you feel some element of the day has to be changed, no one will notice except you. You are hyper-sensitive to everything right now."
- Jeff Christenson