I mentioned last week that you should begin having conversations about budgeting, guest list and venue, but here is a little more info on each of these topics:
The truth is unless you have been closely involved with the plans of your sister’s, best friend’s or any other person’s big day, you are going to be shocked by the cost of a wedding. To avoid a lot of stress, determine up front how much you can HONESTLY afford. Determine if your family is going to contribute or if you are going to pay for everything on your own. If your family is helping out, figure out who is paying for what. From there set an approximate overall budget that you will use as a guideline when interviewing and hiring vendors.
What does your wedding look like? Do you want every person you’ve ever met to celebrate with you? Or, do you prefer something more intimate? Will your venue and budget allow a huge blowout with hundreds of guests? Will your family be happy if you decide to keep it small? Answer all of these questions for yourself before hunting for the venue.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Where will it be? Do you dream of a traditional wedding in the church you grew up attending? Do you want your feet in the sand? How about a private estate in the mountains? Do you want your guests to have a new experience in another part of the city, country or even world? Or, is convenience and comfort more important for you? No matter where it is held, choosing the location should be one of your first decisions. Once you have a vision of what your day looks like and what you can afford, you can start shopping for venues. For some couples, this is when you decide to hire a wedding planner who can help narrow down venue options that fit your style and budget. For others they decide to go this portion alone. Whatever you decide, make sure you get the whole picture before choosing your venue. Get an entire estimate complete with service charges, set up fees, food and beverage minimums and rentals, if applicable, before making a financial commitment. Does the venue compliment your overall vision or will you need to transform the space? If a transformation is necessary, look into these costs before signing on with the venue. Lastly, what other requirements do they have for things like power, parking, shuttling guests, restrooms, etc.? Knowing these items up front might be overwhelming but will save you from surprises many months from now.