One of the first things I did after Zac and I got engaged was search for wedding checklists and timelines. I love a good list and love crossing things off of lists even more, so I figured establishing a wedding checklist was the first step in planning, right? Well, after a quick search through Google and Pinterest, I was quickly overwhelmed. There are SO MANY THINGS that go into wedding planning! So, I decided to dial it back a bit and focus on the things I needed to get done in the first month. Here are my three things to do to start wedding planning.
Estimate Your Guest List
The first thing that Zac and I did was get a rough idea of our guest list. Realistically, our list won’t be finalized until the caterers need a final head count (usually ten days before the wedding), so we tried to at least get a ballpark number of who we want to invite. Having an estimate will help you with the next step, booking a venue.
Book a Venue
The number of people you want to invite, along with budget and an approximate wedding date, are crucial details that need to be established before picking a venue. We knew we wanted to get married in the fall, and after getting engaged this past August, that pointed to fall 2018 for our wedding.
You would think trying to book a venue for an event that’s over a year away would be easy, but the wedding industry is bonkers. I contacted 15 venues and over half were full for 2018 and were already booking weddings for 2019. I wasn’t about to wait two years to get married so finding somewhere that would take us next fall turned into a full-time hunt.
We got lucky in that one of our top-rated venues had an opening next fall, even if it isn’t our ideal date. But after looking at dozens of venues online, getting in touch with those that had open dates we were interested in, and touring the available sites in real life, we were thrilled that we had found a place that met the majority of our wish list items. Booking a venue is definitely a pragmatic process in the midst of all of the romantic and whimsical wedding planning.
Start Your Playlist(s)
I’m a sentimental person and I firmly believe that the right song can make or break a moment. So, in the midst of all the wedding politics (the guest list gets STRESSFUL, guys), I started filing away songs that I want to be played during our wedding day. From getting ready with bridesmaids in the morning, to walking down the aisle, to dancing with friends and family, I keep thinking of songs that I want to be played in those moments.
Every time I add a song to one of those playlists, I get a little more excited for the big day. It’s important to remember what you’re working towards, especially when you’re on your third discussion of whether or not to invite kids to the reception (just for example, not because I know from experience or anything).
I will say that getting our venue booked was a huge relief. We have a solid date to work towards now and that has helped frame the rest of our planning. Now we just have to figure out everything else!
Anyone else wedding planning right now? Or has anyone gone through it recently and have some advice? I’ll take it!