Congrats! Your engaged!
Now what? It is probably overwhelming, all the attention, well-meant advises and the whole idea of organizing your own wedding.
Don’t worry, thousands of brides do it every year, (this year I am one of them) and I’ll take you with me on my journey full of lace, satin, flowers, cake and I do. Here are my first 5 tips for you, so you don’t have to make my mistakes.
As mentioned in my previous blog, we got engaged in New York, in June 2018. Our wedding date is May 11th, 2019. We have had many discussions about the date for our wedding. We fixed our date only very recently (like this week) and I wish we stuck with my first tip.
1st tip: Pick a date (provisional is fine) before you tell anyone you’re engaged!
The 2nd question (after: OMG! How did he/she propose!?!?) will be: When is the wedding?
Trust me, having to tell everyone: oh, we don’t have a date yet… can become pretty annoying after the first 20 people. Everyone will understand you don’t have a fixed date, but wouldn’t it feel way better to say: Well, we are planning on the first week of June, so you better block that weekend in your calendar!
About that date you are picking…
2nd tip: Get married on any day of the week except for Fridays.
Lots of vendors will have discounts when you get married during the week, so you can really save on that. But a big one not to forget is the venue. At our venue we found out that getting married on a Friday would (just for the rent of the venue) cost 3 times as much as a Saturday, not kidding, this really happened. Just because the venue also rents out spaces for business meetings and they get so much revenue from that, if you want to rent the entire venue, they’ll to compensate for that. So keep that in mind when shopping for a venue. Everything else is cheaper during the week than during weekends but do you really want everyone to take a day, or two, off from work just to be at your wedding?
Everything you want to plan or organize is depending on your date! Getting quotes from vendors, the style of your wedding (Winter-wonderland theme? Cozy indoors? Summer-BBQ-in-backyard-vibe, beach wedding) and the timing for getting a dress (it can take 5 months to get a dress, better start early!), just to name a few things.
3rd tip: Pick your most important items for the wedding.
I’ve read it so many times, on so many blogs: set a budget and stick to it. These blogs just didn’t mention the endless discussion about which items within that budget are more important for the both of you.
Please do so, have that discussion. Life will be so much easier. We set a budget, a very realistic one. But now my fiancé keeps saying: 1250€ for a photographer? But what if it costs 2500€ and we love the photo style? Same for the location + catering (he had his mind SET on a location, I loved it too so that was easy), we plan on it to be 5000€ but I had to ask him: what if the price comes out to be 10000€? He responded with: I still want to get married there. To avoid this discussion AFTER you set your budget, start with it. Do you want perfect photos, or do you really have your mind set on that specific location on a specific date? You’ll have to make choices and you better make them together as a couple (a bit of practice never hurts right?).
So my tip is to discuss in advance (before setting your budget) really well which items are super important for you both and which are way less important and can even be skipped if your top items come out a bit more pricy.
4th tip: Set your budget and stick to it.
You knew this one was coming. Setting your budget can be very scary, because you need to get a feel for all the costs. But you know, the budget isn’t set in stone (yet). If you think you can get a photographer for 500€ but it turns out the cheapest around starts at 1000€ you will have to change your budget. As long as you can still get the money together in time, no problem.
On the other hand, if you go dress shopping, stick to your budget! Don’t try any dresses over your price range, there are so many, yours will be there with the right price tag.
What I’m trying to say is that for items you really guessed wrong when setting your budget, you can always change that, but to alter your budget just because you were stubborn enough to look out of your price range… just don’t do it! This day will be expensive enough as it is.
Don’t forget to include 10% contingency for unexpected thing (you know they will be there).
5th tip: Try to stick to one venue.
When we met with our caterer earlier this week, he was over the moon to hear we wanted to organize everything (ceremony, reception, dinner & party) all in one location.
But not only your vendors will love you for this.
Think of all the guests that need to move from one place to another, in a town or city they might not be familiar with. They don’t know that a specific road will be blocked due to roadworks and they need to take a detour through the city center and end up lost in the middle of nowhere, arriving late for the next part of your day. You just don’t want that.
Think of all the decoration for 2 or maybe even 3 venues? Budget wise that could be costly and who is going to decorate and clean up? You need to rent all those venues, again: budget. You hire a photographer for a certain number of hours. Do you really want this person to be in a car during that time or would you rather have a few more wonderful photos?
And after all, this is your day. Do you really want to be traveling for half an hour, multiple times, while you could also spend that time chatting with your guests or enjoying some quiet time with your partner?
I hope you enjoyed this blog and keep these tips in mind when going through the same process. More tips will following so subscribe to avoid missing out!