Congratulations on becoming newly engaged! Now begins the task of planning your wedding. Perhaps you have been dreaming about your wedding for years and already have an idea of how you want it to be, or perhaps you have never really given it any thought. Either way now is the time to get organized and get planning. You may be asking yourself “where do I even begin?”, you may be feeling overwhelmed already, or you may be super eager and even excited to get started. If you are anywhere on this spectrum, it is completely normal. Planning a wedding is a big task, this is perhaps the largest party you have ever planned. Here are 3 tips to get you started on your wedding planning journey.
1. Set your budget. The average cost of a wedding in Nashville and surrounding areas is about $24,000. This may sound high and you may already be telling yourself that this is out of your budget, but rest assured it can be done for less. Be realistic about what you can afford, and also be realistic about what quality vendors are charging. If you are unsure what the going rates are for vendors in your area do a little research. Here in Middle Tennessee, there are a lot of quality vendors spanning all budget ranges. That is why it is important to know your numbers BEFORE touring venues and selecting vendors. Also, when setting a budget be sure to include your coordinator into those numbers. Even if you want to plan the bulk of your wedding yourself; be sure to get a coordinator to orchestrate your day so you can enjoy all the hard work you put in during those months of planning.
2. Know your basic information. After determining your budget gather all of your basic information. Preferred wedding date (or season if you are super flexible) – you will need this information when inquiring with venues to know if they are available when you need them. Guest count – you want to be sure your venue can hold the number of guests you are going to have and you also want to make sure you do not pay for more than you need. Style/Theme – while you do not need to completely flesh out your décor yet; you want to have a basic idea of what you want your day to look like. This will weed out venues you do not need to inquire with. For example, if you are going for an industrial modern look, you do not need to inquire with that rustic barn venue down the road.
3. Start researching venues. Once your budget and basic information are in place you can start your venue and vendor research. Always start with your venue first as they will be the ones who lock in your official wedding date; other vendors will need this information to determine if they are available. Avoid overwhelm when choosing a venue by only touring with a max of 3. Inquire with as many as you need but don’t feel like you have to tour every single one. With your budget and basic information set you should be able to weed out quite a few after that initial inquiry. (For more on how to select a venue check out our other blog post: Questions to Consider When Choosing a Venue)
By following these three steps you will set yourself up for a successful wedding planning journey. Take your time and enjoy the process.
Bonus Tip: Is the thought of handling all this yourself causing you to feel stressed and overwhelmed already? If so, consider that hiring a planner may be right for you. A good planner will keep you within your budget, and keep feelings of stress and overwhelm at bay. Check out our planning package here.