Updated: Feb 27
If you follow us on social media, you know that we recently launched a monthly video series on Instagram (aka IGtv) and YouTube! We'll be discussing the in's and out's of event and wedding planning, the how-to's, tips and tricks and we'll even have guests who will come talk about everything related to their part in the industry. Our goal is to not only help our viewers, but to also educate.
With that being said, after an episode is launched we will write a quick recap here on the blog for those of you who like reading rather than watching or if you are just a bullet pointed person and want to see everything in writing. So here we go....
We are at the peak of engagement season; we had Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years and now we're going into Valentines Day, even spring vacations. So now it's time to start wedding planning, but where do you begin?!? Here are a few steps to get you started and get those wheels turning:
1) Know your budget and be knowledgeable of what things ACTUALLY cost.
A lot of people aren't aware of what things actually cost which in result of, their wedding budget won't cover anything they want and/or need. For example, there are multiple articles out there that say wedding planners are $500. Not true! We are affordable and do offer payment plans (at least we do), but there aren't wedding planners out there that charge that little unless they're super new. For us, we do have set up only packages that are in this price range, but there are no actual planning packages. Photographers are another great example that people think are in this price range as well. Again (and for some reason), there are multiple articles out there that say they're under $1000. Our best advice is when you do start thinking about your budget, feel free to email professionals and get their pricing FIRST so you have a REALISTIC idea.
2) Create your guest list and then pick a venue.
Most people book their space about 1.5 years in advance. So if you want a specific season or date, get on that! But first, you need to make that guest list and narrow it down. We don't want you to fall in love with a venue and then realize that your family will take up the whole space (my husband has 80!) and then not be able to invite a lot of friends because the venue only can fit 100 people.
Some snippets I included in the video just as little side notes:
-The venue can determine the theme of your overall wedding...or maybe you had a theme in mind and now you have to be more picky on what venue you want. In general, it does help with the feel of the wedding (including your dress when you really think about).
-Think about the location. If you have a lot of people who will be coming out of town in which they'll need to stay in a hotel, you want to make sure that it's close to the venue. Think about that transportation time, especially if you're getting a shuttle; How many shuttles are you getting? What is the capacity? Which then leads to, how many trips do they have to take to get everyone there? If you're getting 1 shuttle and you have a lot of guests to transport, most likely you're going to have the first arrival be super early!!
-Don't forget about the parking situation too, not only for your guests but us, your vendors ;)
3) Read your venue contract over and over!
This sets the tone for everything! It may determine who you can and cannot work with. This includes whether you can have a band or a DJ and what time do they have to end by. Caterers are also a big one!
This can also determine what you can and cannot have; popcorn bar, feather boas for that photo booth, confetti, etc.
Side note - Most likely that Event Coordinator listed in your venue contract is NOT a Day of Coordinator like us where we do the setup, run the timeline, etc.
4) Book your vendors.
Vendors get booked out super quickly such as wedding planners / day of coordinators, photographers, hair and makeup, etc. If you really want someone specific, someone else probably does too.
You should also have an idea of when you want your ceremony. Photographers for example, sometimes have a certain amount of hours in their packages. If you want to book an 8 hour package, then you create the timeline, you may realize they are going to miss your first dance because they came in so early. By that time, you probably are tapped out of your wedding fund so somehow you have to come up with extra money. It's a domino affect.
Don't be afraid to interview potential vendors. As an event planner, you and I are basically going to be dating for a year, if not more. We have to get along and we have to make sure my vibe fits what you want. This is super important for photographers as well. Having a wardrobe styling business where I do photo shoots ALL THE TIME, you have to be comfortable with the camera and bond with that photographer otherwise your poses could be affected and then there goes your photos. Again, domino affect ;)
I hope this helps! If you missed our actual episode or if you want to tune in every month, follow us!
Till next time,
Want to hear about a specific topic? Write us on our website!
Photo credits: Photographer-Heather Hanson Weddings, Hair by Jonathan Badboy-Gibson, Makeup by Mandy, Dress-SVG by Christy Avila, Venue-W Minneapolis The Foshay