First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!
This is truly one of the most exciting times of your life! So, first things first: ENJOY it. Relish in all the newly engaged glow. Soak it all in. Admire that new piece of bling on your finger – I know you can’t stop staring!
Before getting right to the planning, insure your ring. This is easily done if you already have a home or renters insurance policy. You can add it as a “Scheduled Item” which is an insurance policy extension for specific items.
Once it’s finally sunk in that yes, you’re actually gonna do this, sit down with your partner and start planning.
Just the two of you
Begin to brainstorm with your partner and ONLY your partner. What is most important for both of you? Is it the food, is it the photographs or is it for everyone to have a great time? This can help you determine where a big chunk of your budget should go towards.
Start to dream about how you want the venue to feel. Fresh and outdoors, or cosey and warm feeling? Who do you see coming? Just immediate family and close friends? Or do you want your entire extended family to be there and support you?
Just starting to think of things on your own, without any outside influences, can help in determining what the most important elements of your day will be.
Create a list of all of your favourite people that you can’t live without and NEED to have for your big day. Starting with this item will help you determine an ideal budget and makes it easier to narrow down venue choices. More people means having to stretch your budget further.
Definitely the scariest word of this entire process. Have a conversation with each other including your parents or those who are going to help out. Figure out how much everyone is willing to contribute. I’ve seen budgets run from $100 to $600 per guest. It’s all about what you and your partner are comfortable with.
Since this is probably your first time, you probably don’t have a clue about how much things run. The venue, food, and beverages will end up being about 60% of your entire budget. The biggest chunk!
Figure out a time of the year that you’d like to get married and choose some date options. If you don’t care too much, then you’re more likely to be able to book openings at venues for a much sooner date. This is best if you want the engagement to be short and sweet.
Last but not least in the “First Steps of Planning” is venue shopping. Now that you have a general idea of how you’d like your day to feel (indoors, outdoors, grand ballroom, quaint cottage), take your approximate guest numbers and begin your search for a venue. Photos don’t do most places any justice so try and look for Open Houses (lots happening early in the year!) otherwise reach out directly to them and schedule a site visit. Finding the venue is the biggest task as it really sets the tone for the rest of your planning. The date determines how your timelines will fall, the space will shape your design, the venue inclusions will give you a good glimpse at your overall expense.
Hopefully, this helps with the beginning stages of your planning. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out – your first consultation is free of cost and we also offer hourly consultations for help during any point in your planning. Again, ENJOY this time. You don’t find love every day!
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