There are so many thoughts and questions that you will be asked the moment you become engaged. The first ones on our list are, have you chosen your wedding date? or when is your wedding date? It will be very repetitive, but bare with it, choosing a wedding is literally the start of your wedding planning journey. Planning your wedding day is serious and sometimes stressful, however ooh so rewarding, especially during the fun and exciting moments! I hope and believe this season is a special one that you will celebrate once in your life. We are here for the simple bride, the boho bride and even the extra brides because guess what it’s your day and you can be. We are here to help! Below is a list of steps in planning your wedding as it’s not just a day thing but a journey of planning and events.
- You have your fiancé and your ring ✓
“He proposed, and I said Yassssss”, I mean yes haha. Do this! Choose a time and a place, actually make it your favorite place, go on a date and celebrate. Spend an intimate time together whether that’s a stroll on the beach or a picnic at a park. Do this before the rush of planning begins (trust, you’ll thank us later).
- Planning on having an engagement party?
Yes, most people do. While it doesn’t have to be anything grand, it is however, a great way for the two families to get together, get to know each other and enjoy a few drinks at the same time. Of course you’re welcome to customize it however you want, some ideas are I do BBQ, luau party, American Picnic, Formal Dinner or even Wine and Cheese Tasting. The engagement party is usually scheduled 2-3 months after he proposes.
- Budget, talk money to me
Talking about money should not be awkward and in fact, being up front and comfortable with your budget will help you navigate through the million choices that will come up. Once you’re engaged, it is ideal to find out who is paying for the wedding. Traditionally, it’s been said that the bride’s parents are the one to take financial responsibility, however, times have changed and you now have options. The wedding can be funded either by both sets of parents or even yourselves. Setting the budget will make it easier to understand where you stand and how far you can reach. Discuss this with your fiance and come to a conclusion, understanding both your wants and needs to avoid arguments and conflicts. Try to remember that the budget is there to be a guide and avoid financial burdens in the end.
- Choose Your Timeline
At some point during your engagement, you should decide what your wedding timeline will be. Whether you are planning on being engaged for 6 months, a year or two, focus on what you both want. There might be a lot of pressure to get married quickly by family and friends but we suggest after thinking about what you want, to choose what works best for you both. In all honesty, this part might be a little stressful because your parents might want a 6 month engagement and are willing to finance the wedding while you both might want a one year engagement as one is still finishing up college. Whether this is your case or not, we don’t want you to look back and wish you would have chosen differently. Start with taking a deep breath and make a list of what you’re able to manage. Some things to take into consideration are budgeting, life events and what season or venue you desire for your wedding.
- Save the Date and Wedding Invitations
When it comes to Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations, they are assumed to be expensive. Keep in mind, when designing your Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations, this is your guests sneak peek of what your wedding will be like. Make sure to include what type of wedding attire it will be whether that is formal, semi-formal or dressy casual. A great stationer will help you make custom and unique invites, dinner menus and whatever else that relates to their work. There are many options to choose from but we recommend choosing someone who makes those special personalized pieces to incorporate instead. To save some coins, maybe consider having digital Save the Dates while continuing with the actual printed Wedding Invitations.
- Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Proposals
Bridal party or no bridal party? Keep reading. We suggest making the proposal something fun and unique when choosing your bridal party. “Will you be my bridesmaid” boxes have become very popular but you may also like custom bags with bridesmaid names on them or “I can’t tie the knot without you” necklace or bracelet makes for some sweet gifts. Some items to add in a proposal box or bag can be a scented candle, customized bridesmaid mug or personalized handwritten card. You might feel pressured to include certain people in your bridal party but it’s ultimately who you want by your side of your day. If you decide to not include a close friend or cousin make sure to keep their feelings in mind and make time to let them know, it might be awkward, but they will appreciate it afterwards. For the men, this might not be the same, sometimes it will just be a simple text or wait months into the engagement to finally get to asking their close guy friends. Am I right? LOL. Many couples even decide to not have a bridal party to avoid the stress it might come with having to gather different friends and the expenses that come with it. Many times when couples decide to not have a bridal party, they still choose to include those closest to them in small ways throughout the engagement and wedding day.
- Guestlist Prep
When planning your wedding it’s important to keep in mind who you’re inviting to celebrate this special ceremony of love. This will also determine if you’re having a small intimate wedding or large wedding gathering. A small wedding gathering can be anywhere from 10 to 60 people or less while a larger wedding can be anywhere from 50 to 200 people or more. Based on experience, this question might also be hard depending if your parents are funding the wedding or if you are paying out of pocket. Please please, only invite people who you truly believe are there to celebrate with you and are personal to your lives. You shouldn’t have to worry about if someone is going to judge you or cause more stress than joy during this time. When making a guestlist consider evaluating each guest with these questions. Have you seen or spoken to them in less than a year? Are they a third cousin who you don’t have a personal relationship with? Is it a work friend who is begging to be invited but you know they only want to go just for the party.
- Let’s talk about your Wedding Venue
You might or might not already have an idea or mood for your wedding. If not let’s discuss. Does a certain season of the year or scenery stand out to you. Maybe a small intimate beach wedding with friends and family? Whatever you choose, decide on a season and venue that you both love and compliments your love story. Some venue suggestions can be a Rustic Barn, Garden with Water Fountains, Historic Museum, Cozy Small Inn & Breakfast, Country Club, your rich friend’s backyard Indoors or Outdoors setting. We can help you when reaching out to wedding venues and communicating with those vendors as it can be a lot to keep up with if you are in between one or two locations. You might also want to consider your guest list when deciding on a venue space and how many people will fit, including tables and dance floor. Keep in mind, when choosing your wedding venue, look at hotels in the area to make room blocks for your guests, making it convenient for them to stay and enjoy.
- Start to research and meet with vendors
While we have a list of some of the best hand selected vendors that we work with, you on the other hand have the choice to do your own exploring and researching. We personally suggest early on to get to know your vendors and build a relationship with them to make it more personable. We’ve witnessed those relationships to be so rewarding for our brides and grooms. When choosing your vendors make sure to do your research, read reviews and get a one on one consultation. We recommend having your date and venue selected first before booking any vendors. Vendors to choose after the venue are photographer, videographer, makeup and hair artist, florists, DJ, catering/pastry chef and entertainment just to name a few. See a list of our trusted talented professionals here (enter services tab from weddedlife website)
- Bridal Shower Inspiration
The Bridal Shower is the time to shower the bride-to-be with love and gifts. After months of planning a wedding, this is one time in the wedding planning journey that you will have to just show up and enjoy. Typically, the Bridal Shower is thrown by the Maid or Matron of Honor and the bride is not responsible for planning or organizing. The Bridal Shower should be fun and creative– some themes can be Brunch & Bubbly, Bohemian Chic, Tea Party, Garden Party, Tropical Shower, Nautical/Beach theme and many more. Usually, there are fun games played to engage your guests and rewards with prizes. Personal tip, book a photographer for your bridal shower. First, you will be so overwhelmed with greeting and interacting with your guests you will either not have your phone on you or will forget to take pictures. Also, some brides choose to open their gifts while others might want to do it separately with the fiance if they are reserved or shy.
- Bachelorette and Bachelor
Last time to party before saying “I Do”. Get your girls or guys together and create some unforgettable memories. Deciding on making it a trip or just a quick drive to the local bar, make sure everyone involved has all information such as the time, place and cost. A great idea is to have your bridal party plan your bachelor or bachelorette getaway and the rest should be a surprise to you– this could be a good thing or a bad thing LOL. The bride/groom might invite family or friends not in the bridal party which has become normal. Keep in mind, the budget, splitting costs, planning in advance and extra surprise expenses such as travel, transportation and food. Dayuse is a great app that allows you to stay at a local Resort/Hotel and use any amenities they have and avoid having to pay for overnight stays. If the bride is up for it we’ve seen more parties including a lingerie party at the bachelorette which includes each bridesmaids buying a lingerie piece and the bride has to guess who it was from.
- Yes or No to Rehearsal Dinner?
The Rehearsal dinner is scheduled the day before the wedding to do a rehearsal of the ceremony and talk about any last minute details or coordination. Many times, depending on your venue’s accommodations, you might be presented with the option to do a rehearsal brunch. Just like the name implies, the rehearsal dinner’s primary function is to practice and help those involved during the formal aspects of the ceremony. If allowed, use that time to bring in decor items, signs and any DIY components that your planner or vendors might need to speed up set up time for the wedding day. The more you or your vendors set up the day before, the smoother and less chance for mistakes or mishaps to happen on the wedding day. If you’re still reading, you are probably thinking, well the rehearsal dinner isn’t as formal as it sounds and you would be right, so after rehearsing, grab some pizza or meet and spend time with those guests that traveled from far to attend your wedding. Either way you decide, the point is, the more laughs the better.
Overall, it’s your day, and you can make it what you want. The truth is, we love the madness, the craziness, and the drunks. Celebrating with those you love and making unforgettable memories is what this is about. We take pride in offering amazing experiences, and each experience speaks volume about the character of our brides and grooms. We feed on your energy and together, we’ll make it an explosion.