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You’re Engaged! 9 Fabulous Tips to Start the Journey of Planning Your Wedding (pt. 1)

You’re Engaged!  You said “Yes” to the love of your life over the Holiday Season!  Your heart is racing, everyone is congratulating you and want to know all the details!  Then someone finally asks the question, “When is the big day?”.  Then everything pauses because reality has just set in and now you have to plan a wedding.  Don’t worry, we are here to help you through this process.  Follow us on our 3-part series that will guide you through the process of planning your wedding day.  So let’s get started!

1. The Date

When selecting your wedding date, make sure that it is one that you both agree will be most convenient for the two of you.  Select a date that will provide you with adequate time to save and the opportunity to finance (wisely) for the celebration.  Lastly, when selecting the date be aware of any special holidays and how this will affect the attendance of your wedding, if any.

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Real Weddings by Perfect Planning Events • Michael Clark Photography • The Alexandrian Autograph Collection

2. Budgeting

Money is always a tough discussion in any type of situation.  However, budgeting for your wedding will help make the decision and planning process definitely stay on target, and it lets you aware of what you can do, where you can improvise, and those things that you just have to say “NO”.  An agreed upon budget helps to keep everyone calm.  We will go more in-depth of budgeting in Part 2 of this series – so stay tuned!

3. Communicate

Communication is a critical component of planning a wedding.  Communication includes many key players that need to receive vital information for pre- and post-planning stages.  As with anything, the more informed people are the more relaxed all involved and plus it makes everyone feel like they are important to contributing to the success of your special day.

  • Your Fiancé: With any decision regarding the planning process, both persons getting married should always agree on the details, finances, logistics, etc.  The more he/she knows the happier each will be and the planning process will be a breeze.  Create a centralized location for all of your wedding documents (budgets, timelines, contracts, guest lists, etc.) so that both of you will be informed at all times.  Google Drive is an excellent centralized resource tool for sharing and storing all things wedding!
  • The Parents: Parents sometimes want to plan the wedding themselves or take complete control.  After you have mapped out the planning process, share this information with them and the role they will play.  This will let them know how they can be involved and not overstep any boundaries that you may not want them to cross.
  • The Wedding Party: Start early with your wedding party by informing them about the details that pertain to them only.  Provide them with deadlines related to their attire, special wedding related events, and how they play an important role in the wedding.  Utilize a messaging App such as GroupMe, to communicate in a centralized location with your Wedding Party on the go!

4. Be Flexible

Keep an open mind and be flexible regarding your ideas, the possibility of reducing your guest list, and, also the date that you have selected with your wedding day.  Your flexibility will allow the planning process to run smoothly and for everyone to be calm.

5. Organize & Schedule

Be Organized!  Can’t repeat the word “organize” enough!  Create a planning calendar with tasks and deadlines, and with whom will be completing with these tasks.  Go to your local office supply store and buy a planner/calendar that also allows you to make notes and has dividers.  You can also utilize online tools from WeddingWire or The Knot (great for task checklists), or create a separate calendar in your Google Gmail Calendar or Outlook Calendar (great for centralizing all your appointments).  In organizing your calendar, create “time off” every 4-6 weeks; this allows everyone a time to have a little relief from the planning process and for you to concentrate on the love of each other and enjoy being engaged.  Oh, and for all those random thoughts about your amazing wedding ideas, utilize Evernotes or Google Keep, to store your great ideas; and you can share this with your Fiance.

6. What’s Important

mad men styled shoot featured in grace ormonde wedding style
Real Weddings by Perfect Planning Events • Evelyn Alas Photography • Hilton McLean Tysons Corner

As you are organizing details and creating your guest list, make a list of “What’s Important” to the both of you!  List only (5) things that are most important and that both of you will agree upon which will be the focal point of the planning process.  This helps when it is time to make critical decisions and it keeps you on the right path.

7. Delegate

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!  As a couple, take your tasks and divide the responsibilities but knowing that some of the responsibilities can also be accomplished jointly.  Outside of yourselves, delegate tasks to family members, the best man, and matron of honor that you “know” will get the job done and not individuals that will only procrastinate and cause friction.  Give everyone deadlines and possibly do a Skype call every 30 days to keep everyone on the same page.  If you have allocated in your budget, a Wedding Planner will be essential to taking on the majority of your tasks and alleviating the stress of the planning process.

8. The Location

When selecting your location, create a list of what you are looking for in your venue.  Do you want modern, rustic, classic; do you want to get married in a church; do you want to be in the city; do you want to get married at a location where you can have both ceremony and reception?  These are just some of the things to consider so take the time and research the locations that meet your criteria.

9. Resources

Utilize resources!  The best resource is a Wedding Planner!  Professional Wedding Planners have extensive knowledge of the wedding community and have cultivated strong relationships.  Planners can recommend and connect with other wedding professionals without the extensive research and able to negotiate on your behalf (saving you money!).  If you are not able to afford a Planner, get advice from your most valued friends that have recently gone through planning a wedding – ask whom they used and their thoughts of the company.  Other great resources for recently engaged couples, are online wedding publications such as WeddingWire, The Knot, Washingtonian Bride & Groom, Munaluchi Bridal and Carats and Cake to name a few.  Lastly, as you are securing wedding professionals, ask them about other wedding professionals that they have worked with and who they recommend.

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Real Weddings by Perfect Planning Events • Sokolov Photography • The Mayflower Hotel Autograph Collection

We hope these tips will help you with the beginning phase of your wedding planning.  Your wedding is a once in a life time moment that you want to treasure forever; and those memories start with being engaged – to the planning process – to the day of “I Do”.  Join us in our next series, when we discuss, “Top 5 Vendors to Book First for My Wedding”.

(Note:  ALL pictures in this blog post are events by Perfect Planning Events)

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