Congratulations! You are engaged and beginning an exciting journey with more steps than those down the aisle. The process of wedding planning involves finding the dream location, a picturesque venue, choosing your colors, wedding attire, entertainment, the food and a seemingly endless list of other details to make your wedding day just like the dream. You will also be planning other events simultaneously, such as the rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon. This guide to wedding planning should help you create the wedding of your dreams.
The First Steps to Wedding Planning
Booking the wedding venue is one of the very first steps you will take in your journey to wedding planning, since it will start the clock and get the events on your timeline in motion. However, before you book the venue, there are several things to consider and tasks to accomplish. Before booking the venue, you will need to establish a wedding budget, pick a date, estimate your guest count and think about some important elements that you want part of your wedding day. These considerations will help you choose your wedding location and everything to follow.
Choosing the location
The location is the essential foundation to the event you are planning. Choosing a location is about the setting. Think about how you envision your wedding day. Walk through the daydream and take important notes along the way. How do you imagine the space? Is it indoors, outdoors or in a luxurious ballroom? Choosing a wedding venue is more than finding a beautiful space. Not only should this picturesque venue encompass the fairy tail, but it should be in a meaningful location, accommodate your guest count and entertainment needs, and should meet specific requirements on your unique checklist. On top of all of the necessities to make the magical day come true, the dream must fit within the parameters of the budget.
Wedding Planning on a Budget
Wedding planning involves a budget. Your budget is more than just a projection of the overall amount you hope to spend on your wedding day. It should be categorized, allocating a specific dollar amount for each element of your wedding day. Your wedding will likely include a wedding dress, flowers, catering, entertainment and multiple other details. The average wedding has about ten wedding vendors on the team. Create a budget that is realistic and has some wiggle room. It should be flexible and always changing. As you find savings in one category, you can quickly allocate the extra money to another category. Wedding planning on a budget can involve creative financing or just a few industry secrets. This guide includes both.
Touring Wedding Venues
Since the wedding planning journey begins with the wedding venue, let’s consider the wedding venue. All wedding planners agree that touring the wedding venue in person is important. You must walk the space beyond a photograph to fully experience the ambiance. Some venues are bare and offer nothing more than the walls. This would require renting furnishings, décor and extensive design services. There are also other services beyond the design, such as bartender staff, banquet staff, day of event coordination services and food managers. Some venues are all-inclusive, offering the venue, furnishings, décor, chinaware and staff services. A venue with the entire package can save you thousands of dollars by bundling the services. Wedding venues that bundle packages and provide upgrades are key to saving more. Create a list of experiences you want to create on your wedding day and bring it with you on your tour. This is the best way to share your vision and to guarantee that you find a wedding venue that can create your unique experience.
Wedding Planning with a Date
Wedding planning involves a date. Some couples have that special date set in their heart and will not budge an inch, while others are a little more flexible. Think about your date, and decide which category you fall into. Sometimes, more than one couple share the love for the same special date; therefore, your wedding date might already be booked and unavailable. The best way to guarantee that a venue has your date, is to book your venue far in advance. Most couples take about a year to plan their wedding. Some couples book two years in advance. If the date is available, you should pay a deposit to secure your date. This is especially important with popular venues.
Talk About the Calendar
If you are booking at a popular wedding venue, it is possible that your wedding will occur on the same week, weekend or day as another. Popular venues hold more than one wedding on the same day. If you are planning an evening wedding, there could be a daytime wedding just before yours. This information is important for logistical reasons. Opening times, closing times, and how much time you require are important factors to consider when booking with a venue. If you desire an evening affair and a party that extends beyond midnight, you will need to know how much time is available. You might need to negotiate with the venue and book extra hours. Wedding venues usually have packages with extra hours. Talk about the calendar, your concerns and book accordingly. Consider the extra savings a venue provides, and take that savings to apply it towards the extra time you want at the venue during your celebration.
The Cost of Wedding Planning
On average, couples spend between $25,000 and $35,000 on their wedding day. Do not worry about meeting the nation’s average. Every couple will have a very unique wedding budget. The goal is to have more and spend less. Your wedding day should never sacrifice. There are several ways to save on your wedding day without creating sacrifice. Before you can determine how much wedding planning will cost you, think about the type of wedding you imagine and the wedding vendors that are required to bring the dream to life. We will revisit the budget soon enough.
Building a Wedding Team
Immediately after booking your wedding venue, you will need to begin building your wedding team of vendors. The average wedding has about ten wedding vendors. Weddings usually have flowers, cake, entertainment, food, an officiant and photography, at a minimum. Depending on how you envision your wedding day, this could be very different. Some couples want a live band, a master of ceremonies, an elegant garden of fragrant flowers brought inside of a romantic venue, a fine dining experience, a sculptured cake, variety acts to add the perfect entertainment to their fantasy theme, a coffee bar with a barista, bartender services, banquet staff, wedding attire, a day of event coordinator, a photo booth or photo mirror experience, limo service, other transportation, hotel accommodations, photography, videography, live stream services to share their special day with those that could not make it, a hair and makeup artist and an officiant to shape an unforgettable ceremony.
Creating a Budget for Wedding Planning
Once you make a list of essentials and everything you absolutely must have, you are ready to create a budget for wedding planning. Find your dream wedding dress and note the cost. Count your guests and estimate the catering experience. Envision the cake, the flowers, the centerpieces, guest favors, place cards and invitations. Think about how you want to capture you moments, and consider whether you want photography, videography or both. How do you envision your entertainment? How do you imagine your ceremony and traditions? Make a list and note the cost of having it all. You will want to conduct an exhaustive internet search to find the average cost and best savings in each category.
Wedding Planning Secrets for the Budget
The best wedding planning secret is to find an all-inclusive wedding venue that can make your budget work for you. Instead of reducing the guest count or settling for a different dress, find a venue that can eliminate the need for other vendors. All-inclusive wedding venues include an in-house design team to decorate the entire ceremony space and reception ballroom, all of the furnishings, décor, linens, chinaware, bartender services, banquet staff, and almost everything required to create your magical day to perfection. This can save you thousands on wedding planning, and give your more to spend on other elements of your wedding.
The Wedding Planning Timeline
After booking your venue, you should begin booking your wedding vendors. During the first few months of wedding planning, you should hire your caterer, florist, photographer, cake designer, live band or DJ, and shop for the wedding dress you will wear on your magical day. This is also the time to reserve a hotel block for guests and the wedding party. Have fun creating your gift registry, and a wedding website that will keep your guests and wedding party in the loop.
Six Months Before Your Wedding
Six months prior to your wedding day, purchase invitations, begin planning the honeymoon, shop for wedding party gifts, hire your transportation, create a day of event timeline, and if you have not already, hire your wedding officiant. The wedding officiant is sometimes forgotten until the end; however, the officiant is the most important part of creating the wedding ceremony.
The Last Few Months of Wedding Planning
During the last few months of wedding planning, you will provide your bridal shower host with your guest list, create a playlist for your deejay or band, and finalize the catering, cake and floral arrangements. Purchase or make your wedding favors and place cards. This is the time to request that your special people make speeches at your rehearsal dinner and on your wedding day. Shop for lingerie and the honeymoon, schedule a fitting for your wedding dress and purchase wedding rings. During the last couple months, you will follow up with all of your vendors to review details and the timeline. Make sure your band or deejay has your playlist, and communicate important details with your videographer and photographer.
During the last six weeks, you will mail out wedding invitations, obtain a marriage license, purchase beverages to stock the bar and schedule one last dress fitting. You will also attend a bridal shower, a rehearsal dinner, a rehearsal ceremony, a bachelor party and a bachelorette party. During the last couple weeks, plan the seating arrangements, provide the final headcount to the caterer and pack for the honeymoon.
Crystal Ballroom Rock Hill
Crystal Ballroom Rock Hill is an all-inclusive wedding venue with an in-house design team that is dedicated to creating every element of your wedding day. Beyond making the picturesque venue and elegant designs affordable, Crystal Ballroom offers additional day of event coordinator services to make every wedding a happily ever after memory. Every wedding package includes all of the furnishings, décor, a bartender, banquet staff and an in-house design team to decorate the entire ceremony space and reception ballroom. Relationships with vendors provide access to professional services at reduced rates to save couples even more. Crystal Ballroom creates an affordable fairy tale. Contact Crystal Ballroom Rock Hill to schedule your private VIP tour.