So You Need to Plan a Wedding? Where do You Start?
Updated: Jun 9, 2019
We know weddings are such wonderful occasions. It's all about love and celebrating the coming together of two people and two families.
But we also know that it takes a lot of logistical planning and even some strategy to put together this special day.
I can understand that it may seem overwhelming at first and it can get confusing on where to start.
Definitely the help of an experienced planner is a good place to start but we understand that the financial strains of planning a wedding (especially for young couples) can be, well- daunting. And sometimes people can't afford a planner to do everything so there is need to plan and execute things on your own.
So where do you start?
Without giving too many trade secrets away here's 3 things to think of to help get the ball rolling.
When and Where? This one might seem obvious but if you haven't given it any thoughts, its time to think of what sort of weather you'd like on your big day. If you can't pick a day right now, pick a season. Beautiful blossoming Spring? Hot and sunny Summer? The romantic Fall? Or wondrous Winter? Do you want to tie the knot close to where you are currently living, or do you want to have it closer to family? Church wedding? Outdoor wedding? Once you know in the general sense of when and where you'd like to say "I do," the rest of your decisions will be easier.
The Bridal Party Most people already know who they want in their entourage. Grooms usually already know who they want as their best man and Brides know who they want as their Maid (and sometimes Matron) of honour. Talk to each other and figure out how big you want your bridal party to be. Keep in mind that the larger the party the longer the ceremony and getting ready process will take simply because of the number of people. We've had couples with as large as 10 couples (yes that's 20 people) and as little 2 (just a best man and maid of honour). Are you going to have a ring barer and a flower girl? That'll add at least 2 more. Don't forget to count yourselves and your parents. If you are having a cultural wedding and have chosen to uphold some of those traditional elements, also talk about who you'd like to fulfill those roles. Sometimes those people will overlap with your bridal party and sometimes not. Consider these people as part of your entourage as well. I cannot stress enough on how carefully you should think about who you ask and if that person can make that commitment to you, because they will also come with some... attachments. (OHHH thats a great blog topic! For another day.) Obviously all these people need to be invited to the wedding and are probably one of the firsts to go onto your guest list. Speaking of...
The Guest List Stop everything else! Before you go on, do this step! Your guest list is going to determine a huge part of your budget, not to mention the reception venue and FOOD! Do this step as soon as possible. So pull up those sleeves and open up an excel spreadsheet (or something like that) and let's get started. I recommend making 3 lists: Family, Friends, and Obligatory invites. It's also good to have a category legend for "absolutely must be invited," and "would be nice to have there," or the ever fence sitting "maybe" category- just to determine which guests are priority. I know it sounds bad to rank your family and friends this way, but unfortunately whether you'd like to admit it or not, we all have people we would choose over someone else. Family list: In addition to your immediate family and your bridal entourage, this category covers extended family of the bride and groom. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and so on. Depending on how close you are to these people, other "extended" family that you consider basically blood should be in this category as well. Friend list: Sort of self explanatory here. I recommend going through your shared friends then individual friends. It's helpful to develop categories such as childhood friends, family friends school friends, work friends- to indicate your social circles (this is über helpful later when you do your seating chart). This is the biggest list for sure (unless you have a massive family) so think very carefully about who you put on it. In a later post I'll cover how to decide if you should invite someone or not (in my humble opinion). The Obligatory list: This one is a little obscure, but it's basically the people you HAVE to invite for one reason or another. For example: what if your work culture demands you invite people you're not necessarily close to but it would help for a future promotion if they were at your wedding. This category is also for those instances where maybe someone in your bridal party is single but may want to bring a plus one because everyone else in the wedding party gets one. This may apply to certain family members too, basically the category is for "political" invites so to speak.
Theres so much more I can say about this topic, and there are really great check-lists out there to help you.
Speaking of... we go through these kind of things in full detail and cater it to you. Contact us today for a free 1 hour non-obligatory consultation (GTA only).
See you next time!