Congratulations! You are engaged! This should be one of the most exciting times in your life but when you sit down to google wedding vendors, you quickly become overwhelmed with all the results. Where do you begin? What vendors do you book first? How do you create a guest list? How do you create a budget? We are going to walk you through some of these questions today!
The very first thing to do is to create a guest list. Ask your parents to help get involved with this, but remember, to have more bang for your wedding buck, you should keep your guest list down. So, create a list of all the people you think you should invite. Next, try to make some cuts. Your mom may want to invite your great aunt Suzy's granddaughter, but when is the last time you saw them? Do they get a Christmas Card? Would you invite them out to Ruth's Chris for a steak dinner that you pay for? Do you know their last name? If the answer is no to these questions, then cut them from the list. Weddings generally cost about $500+ per person. So, remember to lower that guest count.
Next, create a budget. Like we said before, weddings generally cost about $500+ per guest. This is a great way to help create both a budget and the guest list. Take $500 and multiply by your guest count to get your budget. $500 X 100 guests = $50,000 budget. Now, this is an average. If you are planning a wedding with tenting and extravagant decor you will need to be prepared to spend much more than this.
Now that we have those two things out of the way, we can start looking into booking your planner. This should be the first vendor you book. Before you tour a venue, before you book a venue, before you even reach out to a venue! Why? Because an experienced planner can help you know the ins and outs of the venue. Will your guest count work here? Will it fit into your budget...realistically? Will they provide catering and bar services? Will there be a back up rain plan? An experienced planner will walk you through all of this before you fall in love with a space that won't work for your budget or guest count. So, take our advice and book your planner first! You do not want to fall in love with a venue only to find out that they charge $20,000 for their rental - which doesn't include food or beverage. You may think, "oh, I can afford that with a $75,000 budget!" But the truth is you probably can't. You will need to make sure you still have enough for a quality catering company to come in and provide food and beverage. You will still need to bring in tenting and rentals. You will still need to book floral design to accent the ceremony and reception spots. And don't forget the transportation you want to provide for the guests! So, do yourself a favor and hire the planner first!
Now that you have a planner, budget and guest count your planner will set you up in their online planning portal so you can stay organized! Not only do they provide you will planning tools and resources, they also provide a planning structure to walk you through the process and make it easier. We divide this into 3 planning phases: Planning, Design, and Production. In the planning phase we will help you book your fabulous vendor team to create a spectacular wedding day. In the design phase we work with you to create the design of your dreams and then book the rentals, florist, and help cultivate stationery, favors, and all the fun parts of a wedding! In the production phase we pull together all the behind the scenes logistics like timelines, floor plans, confirming all items and details with vendors, etc.
Now that you have a plan together, it doesn't feel so overwhelming now does it? So, homework or this week is to create a guest list, budget and book a consultation with us!
Photo by Sheila Mraz Photography