Wedding Planning 201: Now What?

Wedding Planning 201: Now What?

     So, you’ve talked about budget and guest list size.  You’ve solidified your venue, and you’ve found a photographer.  You started a dropbox account (post about dropbox as a wedding tool here)…now what?  (If you don’t have any of those things please read our Wedding Planning 101 post.)

     The next big items to check off your list are: florist, caterer, wedding dress, Save the dates, invitations, rental companies (tables, chairs, linens), DJ or band, and officiant (if your officiant is through a faith based organization, you may be required to take premarital classes).  Yes, there is more on the list, but break it down and tackle one set of goals at a time.  Get referrals from the venue and photographer you already have, and from friends who have just gotten married.  Everyone has people that they enjoy working with, and if you love your photographer, chances are you will love the vendors they do.  

     Research online first.  Take the lists of vendors you have found online, or through referrals and check them out.  See if you like their style.  Narrow it down to your top 3 or 4 vendors in each category, and then set up interviews with them.  Choosing vendors can sometimes feel like speed dating.  You drive around town all day talking to these wonderful people, who all have amazing and creative ideas, and then you have to choose one of them.  When Brandon and I (Jen) chose our vendors, we sent “break up” letters to the vendors that we didn’t go with.  Yes, the choosing process can be trying, but you have to go with your gut…and once it’s over, then you get to start planning!

     One of the most fun parts of planning is picking a wedding dress (see our dress post here).  Make sure you leave ample time to find a dress, as most boutiques require the dress to be ordered 6 months in advance.

     Set up a calendar with goals on it.  “Save the Dates” should go out 6 months before the wedding date, or 1 year, if it’s a destination wedding.  Invitations should go out 3 months before the wedding date, etc.  Once you have dates set, with tangible goals attached to them, you can start to wrap your head around this whole wedding thing.

Sound Overwhelming?…
     There are a lot of wonderful resources out there to help you plan your wedding.  Websites like The Knot and Martha Stewart Weddings will give you a very detailed list of what to do, and when to have it done by.  All you do is enter your wedding date, and it gives you a very comprehensive list that will take you right up to walking down the aisle.

     There are also many magazines you can pick up, but you will quickly find that most of them are filled with ads only, and very little advice.  The best magazine I found, as far as usefulness and information, was Real Simple Weddings.  They have really simple worksheets that break down how much of your budget should go to each piece of your wedding, and wonderful advice on everything from budget, to dress styles and fits, to etiquette.  

Still Overwhelmed?…

     You might want to look into a wedding planner.  Wedding planners come in all shapes and sizes.  You can have someone to take you through every single step, so you never have to worry about anything.  (Some even design and build custom decor.)  You can have someone come in a month out and tie up all the loose ends, and take care of it from there on out.  You can have someone just the week of, or day of, that makes sure your day goes off without a hitch, and that all of your friends and family (and you) can actually get to enjoy it.  We strongly suggest you at least spring for the last one.  Having a point person, that is not a part of the wedding party or family, is so important to everyones enjoyment of the day.  On your wedding day someone should be holding a clipboard, and it shouldn’t be you. 

     One word of caution with hiring a planner…some planners work for a percentage of your overall budget, which means if you go over budget, they get more money.  It protects them because as your budget grows, so does their work load, but weddings always cost more then you think they are going to, so be carful about getting doubly penalized for over spending.  If you are worried about going over budget, it may be in your best interest to hire someone with a set rate.  At the end of the day it is all up to you.  Do things at a pace that works for you, and choose the people that you feel the most comfortable with.

I hope that helps.  Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail us at if you have any questions! 

Jen and Jess

{photo via here}


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