This is the most important aspect in my humble opinion. So whatever you do, don’t skip this one! Have an open and honest discussion about what is really important about the day. Maybe this is the food and beverage, maybe it’s spending a whole weekend with those closest to you, maybe it’s the setting or venue, maybe it’s the style and unique design, every couple is different and your priorities can easily guide you in the process. When you ultimately have to make decisions or compromise in the wedding planning process this is where you can come back to your top priorities and ask yourself if the item, vendor or splurge aligns with your priorities.
This is a tough subject and planning a large celebration where you have a lot of money invested in it is sure to make emotions run high. If you are just getting started sit down and decide who is paying for the wedding or how contributions will be applied to the wedding. Gone are the days of traditions and one family paying for everything, I also have many couples that opt to pay for their wedding independently. So if you and your fiancé are on the same page about the wedding planning budget it will make life easier.
How many guests attend your wedding is the number one driver of costs on your wedding. The more guests the more expensive. Typically, an intimate 50 person wedding would be significantly less than a 300 person grand affair. Being on the same page about how many people and getting a realistic guest count will be instrumental to getting started.
I often see couples start planning and fall in love with a venue for a smaller wedding but then their parents, who are financially contributing want to invite way more people then they planned on and now have to compromise on something. If they knew from the beginning they could have saved themselves the heart ache.
This is something we often look over. In my experience many couples find one individual in the relationship taking on the bulk of the planning work. Which also means adding some stress to that individual’s plate. Here is some pre marriage advice – have a discussion early on about how the other can support you in the process. Maybe you just need your partner to listen to you vent about your parents or maybe you need them to take on some tasks. Discuss it so you give your partner the tools to support you.
But, an even BETTER way to get through a tough and demanding process is to a HIRE A PLANNER. Seriously, a wedding planner can help alleviate so much stress, confusion, discomfort and help support and guide you. Even though wedding planners can occasionally be an added cost to the budget, I know that we can easily offset our costs in avoiding making costly mistakes and also saving you 100s of hours!
Do you want a destination wedding? Do you want someplace local to where you live? Do you want some place with special significance to your relationship? Have a conversation about where is best for both of you and your families so you can narrow down the search in terms of geography.
Every January and February I speak to so many couples who stress themselves out looking at 100s of venues and are just as confused as when they started. Do not do this! Narrowing down the geographic region will really help! Again, if you can’t narrow it down geographically, talk to a wedding planner and I guarantee you that with a set of priorities and criteria a planner could help you find the perfect venue for your wedding.