So as some of you probably know, my “real” job (in addition to being a mom) is as a wedding planner/coordinator. I have been coordinating weddings for the past six years, and went full time about six months ago. I own and operate Falon B Weddings in the LA area, and have traveled all over to help brides and grooms make their wedding visions a reality. As we are smack dab in the middle of engagement season, I thought I would share some of my wedding planning tips with you over the next couple of months. These are just the basics, but hopefully they will help any of you future brides and grooms out there get a good jumpstart on planning. More detailed tips and tricks will be coming your way soon, but for now, here’s what to do as soon as you get engaged!
1. Jump up and down, squeal, cry, call your girlfriends, send out lots of pictures of your ring, call your parents, call his parents, call your siblings, stare at your ring for a few hours, buy some wedding magazines, drink some champagne. Got that out of your system? Now it’s time to jump in to the actual planning!
2. As unromantic as this sounds, one of the first steps is to determine your budget. Who is going to chip in and how much are they going to contribute? You really can’t make actual plans until you know exactly how much you have to work with. Once you have the amount you can spend, work out a rough outline of a budget (note that this will probably change over the course of the planning process). Figure out what is most important to you and your betrothed and dedicate the majority of your funds to those areas.
3. Once you have a budget and know about how much you are going to spend, make a first draft of your guest list. This by no means will be your final invite list, but before you can approach venues or caterers, you need a rough guest count.
4. Think about how you want your wedding to feel. Decide on some of the basics. Indoor/outdoor? Time of year? Formal/informal? Get some general details figured out (make sure you include your spouse on this!).
5. Decide on your “must” list. Every couple with have their own list of non-negotiables. Want to get married on your anniversary? Your date is a non-negotiable. Have to have your bridesmaids in pink? That is a non-negotiable. Always dreamed of a live band? Non-negotiable. Try to keep this list to two or three things or your planning is going to be difficult!
6. Start researching venues. Your venue is going to determine many other factors of your wedding–caterers, vendors, music, feel, look, etc. It can also influence your colors, your date and your guest count. Keep those non-negotiables in mind. If you have to have a live band but a venue you like has noise restrictions, you might want to consider another location.
7. Once you have your venue picked out and reserved, the fun stuff really begins. Now you can think about cake tasting, flowers, photographers, music and all the other details that make wedding planning fun.
This is juuuuust the beginning of the wedding planning process friends, but don’t worry, more tips for planning success will be coming to you soon. And if you are in the LA area and want to work with an awesome coordinator (that would be me ;o)) hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Let me know if you have specific wedding planning questions you want me to answer, just drop them in the comments!