Week 40: Getting Started

Do these things this week
Collect inspiration for your venue and decor
Decide on your "Top 3 Things"
Discuss and decide on your ceremony’s style, season and location
Discuss family contribution to budget

So where do we even start? With the fun stuff and the daydreaming. Seriously!

When you envision your dream wedding, what does it look like? Big and fancy? Small and intimate? Homespun and DIY? If you go further from there, what do you zero in on? Chances are you already know what’s important to you, but now can also be a good time to start jotting that down.

Event stylist Jenn Elliott Blake encourages couples to “start by setting priorities. Ask yourself what’s most important to you when imagining the celebration of your wedding day. Is it great food? Incorporating family traditions? Beautiful flowers? A cake from the bakery you’ve always bought every celebration cake you’ve ever eaten from? Set your top three priorities for your day and start there.”

Don’t worry about specifics yet, just think big picture. Whatever it is, we’ll call these your Top Three Things, and you’ll refer back to them whenever you have a big decision to make or it feels like things are getting overwhelming.

Start with the list below:

  • The Perfect Venue
  • Delicious Decor
  • Amazing Food & Drink
  • Lots of Friends & Family
  • Flawless Hair & Makeup
  • Magnificent Music
  • Incredible Photos and Video
  • Dressed to the Nines
  • Your Dream Vacation
  • Fantastic Florals
  • Amazing Assistants

Don’t overthink these. There’s a chance they may change as you jump into the thick of things. But getting an initial idea of what matters to you will help the rest of the pieces come together. Knowing your priorities will also help you determine where to allocate your budget when selecting vendors and decorations, and it will give you a better idea of the experience you’re trying to create both for yourselves and for your guests.

THE WHEN: CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING DATE

While we’re not choosing your actual wedding date this week, let’s talk about how think about it.

In a nutshell, you’re looking for the date when the right people and the right place are available at the right price. In other words, when you should get married is determined by who you want to be there, who you want to officiate, where you want to hold the ceremony, and how much it all costs.

If you already have your heart set on a specific venue or a specific officiant, the availability of those things will affect when you’re able to get married. If not, you can start by thinking about the ideal season of your wedding (busy season is May through October and venues tend to be more expensive in those months, whereas November through April tend to be less busy and therefore less expensive), whether you want to be married indoors or outdoors, and a general location.

You might only be able to narrow down a location as far as “my fiancé’s hometown or the city we live in now,” and that’s OK. At least you have a general starting point for your venue search, which will help in setting a date.

GETTING INSPIRED

Next week you’ll begin your search for a venue.

It’s helpful to assemble some wedding day inspiration before you begin your hunt for the perfect place. Fortunately, the Internet’s a treasure trove of inspiration. With your Top Three Things in mind, we encourage you to check out a few of our favorite websites below.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE ON THE SAME PAGE

While you’re identifying your Top Three Things and the emotions you want to evoke on your wedding day it might also help to walk through the questions below.

  • Do we feel strongly about being married in a house of worship?
  • Who do we want to marry us?
  • Do we want to our ceremony and reception to be in the same location?
  • What are the traditions that are important to us?

You have some time to figure all of this out, but knowing the answers to those questions will help you begin to determine when and where you want to get married or who you’d like to officiate.

TALKING MONEY WITH YOUR FAMILY

We’ll talk more about your budget next week, but as you prepare to determine just how much you can spend, it’s a good idea to sit down and talk about it with your family.

Asking people for money, even the people we’re closest to, can be awkward, am I right? When you ask, be straightforward and respectful. Let them know what your priorities are and how you’d like to spend your money, then ask if they plan on contributing anything. Be grateful for their yes no matter what the amount is, and be respectful of their no if that’s the case.