So, the question was popped, and you said yes. Congratulations! You’ve popped the champagne, told your loved ones, and you might have even thrown an engagement party.
…But what now? After the initial celebratory champagne toasts, it’s time to start the exciting and involved process of planning your wedding! While this is a moment many dream of, planning a wedding involves many moving parts and a lot of organization. Luckily, we’ve broken it down into 10 simple steps that will help make planning your wedding a fun and memorable process:
1. Create a timeline
Once your engagement is announced, people will want to know when the big date will be. But like any seasoned event planner knows, the wedding date is dependent on a number of other major decisions, such as the location of your wedding and booking your venue. In order to determine your date, create a 15-month timeline including dates that work for you.
2. Start a Vision Board
Before you think about venue, time of year, and event rentals, it’s time to get creative. Think about the big picture and take time to really envision your dream wedding. Take inspiration from Pinterest boards, wedding blogs (like ours!), and magazines. Create a vision board to keep track of your creative inspiration.
3. Build a Registry Page
With all of the events coming up on your handy dandy timeline, it’s never too soon to create your registry. Although gifts are optional for engagement parties, guests may want to give gifts at any stage of your engagement.
4. Make it Social
You’re going to need an online hub to keep all of your important information, registry links, and dates on – so jump in and build your wedding site! There are a number of sites that offer free, simple-to-use, and customizable wedding website templates that will make the process simple (and maybe even a little fun!).
5. Location, Location, Location
Now that you have a sense of when you want your big day to be and what you want it to look like, it’s time to start thinking about location. Your reception venue will influence everything from budget to guest list, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Luckily, Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region has a number of both indoor and outdoor wedding venues and breathtaking natural locations to choose from. Need inspiration? Check out some gorgeous Rochester wedding venue ideas.
6. Establish Your Budget
Once you have an understanding of your guest list, your location, what event rental items you’ll need, etc., it will be easier to establish your budget. Talk to your partner and family and discern who will pay for what. To avoid extra stress, The Knot suggests allotting 5% of your budget for a “just-in-case” fund. For simple yet elegant design tips for budget-conscious brides and grooms, check out this blog post.
7. Choose Your Tribe
Building a guest-list is a team effort that takes patience – and maybe a glass of wine. To make this process easier, start by deciding on your wedding party. These individuals will be at the center of your celebration and will help make every moment all the more special – and a whole lot easier.
Now that you have a butt-kicking team of bridesmaids and groomsmen on your side, take a look at your timeline and pay attention to what overwhelms you. Not great with math? Ask your accounting-whiz cousin to help crunch the numbers. Not quite a foodie? Send your food blogging best friend up to bat. Delegation is also key when it comes to piecing together the key details of your reception, like linen rentals, table scapes, dinnerware and lighting.
Need help with those final touches? We’ve got your back.
9. Book Your Vendors
Your budget is taken care of, your guest list is fleshed out, you have an idea of what you want your big day to look like and your location is set – so what’s next? Time to book your vendors. While not to be mistaken for wedding planners, event rental services know a thing or two about the various pieces that go into making the perfect wedding reception a reality.
10. Enjoy the process
This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, so enjoy every moment of it – even the ones that might stress you out! With planning and a little help from your friends, family, and vendors, your wedding will be day you’ll remember for the rest of your life.