“Engagement Season” is here, which is an exciting time for us at Sully’s Party Rental!
To help you out! We have listed 10 things you need to do first to get started with your wedding planning.
1. SET A BUDGET
You shouldn’t be doing anything before deciding on your budget. Sit down with your parents, family members, or just the two of you, figure out who is contributing, how much they can contribute, and what your total budget will be. Then you can move on to #2!
- CHOOSE 2-3 POSSIBLE DATES
To be safe, choose 2-3 dates to have your wedding. Think of the time of year you prefer, the weather, work schedules/vacation time, holidays, and more. Then choose your #1 preferred date, and have a #2 and #3 available in case your preferred date isn’t available. Because venues book up fast-some even book up to a year and half in advance!
- START YOUR GUEST LIST
This can be a tough task because you want to invite everyone you know to your wedding. Well just remember: the more people you have, the more you have to spend.
Example: You want to have 200 guests. Your budget is $20,000. This means that you will have $100 per guest. Which may seem like a lot but if you are wanting a higher dollar venue? Then you are not even going to be close to $100 per person for food and beverage. And that doesn’t include flowers, decor, and all your other vendors!
As you can see, starting your guest list and knowing your estimated maximum guest count early is important. And keep in mind that guest counts usually go down by the time your wedding day comes around.
- DECIDE ON YOUR WEDDING’S STYLE
Vintage, Modern, Classic, Eclectic, Handmade, Rustic… there are SO many styles out there! No need to design your whole wedding right now though- just know the general look and feel of how you want your wedding to be. Once you know that, it’ll be easier to move on to #5…
- DECIDE ON YOUR VENUE
All of those first 4 steps above can essentially be done all in one sitting. Then once you have all of those decisions made, you can start researching and touring venues. When you’re researching and you find a venue that you like, I recommend contacting them and asking if they have any of your possible dates available. If they do, then go ahead and schedule a time to tour the venue. Give yourself a few (1 to 3 max) weeks to tour all of your possibilities (depending on how long you have before your wedding date of course), crunch numbers, envision your wedding there and then book your venue! Once you have your venue booked (meaning deposit made and contract signed), your date is secured and are on your way to getting MARRIED!
First and foremost, if you didn’t already hire a wedding planner during the first 5 steps, it may be something to consider as they may be able to give you excellent recommendations and save you a lot of time and frustration.
There are so many amazing wedding professionals out there now, and you want time to be able to choose the right ones for you. You definitely don’t want to be rushed, but at the same time, time is of the essence. When you’re researching, I recommend that you check out the vendor’s portfolio, bio, pricing info (if they have it available) and their blog. Feel free to do research on every single type of vendor you need, but the ones that are crucial and book up quickly are the photographer, videographer, and caterer. Moving on, the next steps are going to pertain to these 3 things. [After you’ve completed the following steps for the previously mentioned vendors, then you’ll move on to your entertainment, florals/event decor, rentals, invitations, and cake. And then you’ll go on to hair and makeup, transportation, tux rentals, favors, and any extras.
Yes, it’s in caps because it’s *that* exciting! Isn’t it pretty much the very first thing you wanted to do- look at wedding dresses? You want to be sure that you research the types of dresses you like and the stores that carry them.
- INQUIRE WITH AND INTERVIEW VENDORS
So by now you’ve done your research and you know what vendors you like. Now it’s time to contact the vendor and find out if they’re available for your date, check on their pricing (if you want to), and schedule a consultation. The vendors will get to know you, you’ll get to know them, you’ll get down to business, and then you let them know in a few days if you want to hire them or not! I recommend meeting with up to three of each type of vendor- one if you already absolutely love them and they sell you right away, two if you’re pretty set but want to know other options and three if you’re not sure. It just really depends on you, your decision making skills, and your taste.
- HIRE YOUR VENDORS
Of course the next step is to pull the trigger and hire one of those vendors that you’ve met and fallen in love with. After your consultations, try to let vendors know your decision a week or two from when they provide you with an estimate/proposal. And then hooray! You’re one step closer to your wedding day!
- WEDDING DRESS!
Alright, so you have some of your vendors booked… now it’s time to take a break and go wedding dress shopping!
- DESIGN & DETAIL INSPIRATION
Remember back in the first 5 steps when we had you decide on your wedding style? Well with the second round of vendors you will meet with next (florals, decor, invitations, rentals, cake) you’ll need to have a good idea of what you want your wedding to be like, so it’s time to focus on design and details!
Know that when I say “design and details”, it really just means what your wedding will look like. Design is more of a general term, and details are more of the specifics (and where your personality can really shine through!). I’m sure many of you have probably already started saving photos of things that you like and are Pinning away for your dream wedding. After all, this big, beautiful wedding world here on the internet does almost solely revolve around design and details! But you want to make sure that you have enough inspiration to be able to accurately convey to your potential vendors what it is you want for your wedding. And then in the same breath, you don’t want to have too much inspiration either! Oh and don’t forget to bring your inspiration with you to your consultations! You can probably even just pull up your Pinterest boards in your meetings.
Once you get to the last step for your first set of vendors, then move on to the next round of vendors!
So that was LONG and absolutely FULL of information, but we hope all of this will help some of you out and get you going on the right path as you start planning your wedding! There are of course other things that have to be done as you get closer to your wedding, but all of this will definitely get you started and prepare you for what is to come. And if you have any questions, please know that we are here to answer them!