5 things couples should know before planning a wedding!
Let's face it, planning a wedding can be daunting, stressful and downright exhausting. As a seasoned wedding planner I have had the pleasure of educating and helping numerous couples plan a stress-free and enjoyable wedding. Below I have outline 5 elements to consider before planning your wedding!
1. Set a Budget - Ugh!!! Let’s rip the band-aid off right away on this one. Yes, I know this is an uncomfortable topic and a stressful one at that, but let's face it, setting an estimated budget will not only save you from wedding challenges as you continue with your planning, but also help you set a realistic expectation on what you can and cannot do on your wedding. It's quite okay to set a budget and adjust it as you get more into your wedding planning…but you need to have a baseline to start with!
2. Pick your wedding date strategically – Strategically picking up your wedding date can make a difference between having a wedding of your dreams that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg (balling on budget :-) to having one that might cost you a pretty penny. For example, having a wedding around major holidays could inflate the price of things around that time and find yourself paying a higher fee for goods and services that could have otherwise been cheaper had it not been around that major holiday.
Another aspect to consider when picking your wedding date is looking into doing your wedding on what is considered an “off season” time. Cost associated with weddings (venues, photographers, videographers, etc.) tends to me more expensive around spring and summer time as opposed to fall and winter time. Off season months tends to have deep discounts from venues and other vendors to attract customers which comes from less competition for their services arounds those months. Your chances of getting all your friends and family attending your wedding may also be improved due to the fact that most people tend to have plans to travel around spring and summer time.
3. Create A Guest List - Although often overlooked, this is one of the most important things to do as you plan your wedding. It goes hand in hand with your need for budget.
As a planner, I advise all my clients (both bride and groom) to create and categorize their guest list in 3: Family, Close Friends, and Acquaintances. I then take each category and divides them into a priority of A, B, and C.
A - is for family and close friends that must be at the ceremony.
B - is for additional friends, extended family, and acquaintances that you are planning to
invite to the ceremony.
C - is for guests that would be nice to have at your wedding if your budget allows.
You now have your wedding list ready to go! Based on your budget and venue, start refining the list in preparation for your big day.
4. Pick your top 3 priorities for your wedding - There are so many components to planning a perfect wedding day. It’s vital to identify the top three must-haves that are important to you, things that are near and dear to you, that in your opinion will make or break your big day. Let’s consider décor for example…to some couples, they most important thing for their big day is a fabulous atmosphere at the venue. In this case, you may want to give décor a higher priority on your budget. On the other hand, a stunning wedding cake may not be a priority for your big day celebration, in this case a cake budget would not make the list of the top 3 priorities.
5. Hire a PLANNER! Pop quiz for you … what is one of the first thing you do if you win a lottery? Answer - hire a professional, legal and financial advisors. They can be the difference between being set for life and going broke within a few years.
Now, what is one of the first thing you do if you get engaged? Well, after you have both screamed with joy, and after calling your loved ones and share the great news, the very next thing I highly recommend you do is hire a wedding planner. A wedding planner can be the difference between having everything you have imagined on your wedding day and having a stressful of an experience that takes away from what is suppose to be one of the happiest day of your life. One of the biggest misconceptions is planners are too expensive, and I can do it all by myself. There are different types of services that typically will fit your budget, whether you need a full service planner or a partial planner. Get what works for you. And although you may be able to do everything by yourself, there are a lot of things that needs to be taken care off, leaving you too stressed to enjoy what is supposed to be one of your happiest day.
P.S. ~ Stay tuned for our next post as we dive deeper into each of these categories above... until next time.
Evelyn Kibwana, Founder & Lead Planner of Events by Evelyn