Planning a wedding is exciting for the newly engaged couple, but before you start signing contracts and making purchases, it’s important to take the time to think about what you really want and how you are going to finance it. It’s important to enjoy this special time of your life, but if you move too quickly you can end up making costly errors!
Get clear with what you want
What kind of wedding are you envisioning? Are you picturing a lavish affair in an elegant ballroom or a casual wedding in the mountains? What level of formality do you want for your wedding? How do you want your guests to feel? What time of year do you picture for your wedding? What are your interests and passions? Are you a foodie or a wine aficionado? Do you love the outdoors? Do you want to incorporate your passion and personality into your wedding? The type of wedding you want is up to you!
When you are newly engaged, you may undoubtedly experience suggestion overload (where to get married, who to invite, how to wear your hair etc.). Though well-meaning, most of the advice-givers don’t really know your wedding vision. If you haven’t considered your priorities, it is easy to get drawn in all directions. Take time to consider what is important to you as a couple. Share your wedding vision with the people who are assisting you (whether that is your family or friends, your wedding planner, your florist…etc.) and you will be less likely to be pulled towards something that you don’t really want.
Discuss how to finance the dream
It is not uncommon for couples to experience “sticker shock” when they first start looking at the wedding costs. Even with a generous budget, you will want to spend it wisely and prioritize your spending on what is important to you. Sit down with your partner and determine how much you can afford and how much you want to spend on your wedding. Determine who is contributing to your wedding fund. If your parents are helping out, sit down with them at the onset and share your wedding vision. Determine how they will contribute to your wedding. Once you have a vision and a budget to work with, then you can decide on your wedding venue and start hiring your wedding professionals (aka vendors).
Select a Wedding Date
When you are looking for your ideal venue, you’ll need to think about the wedding date. Do you want a specific date or are you envisioning a specific time of year? Sometimes, selecting a wedding date is partially determined by your budget. Will you have the resources in place to pay for your wedding? Typically, couples are engaged anywhere from six to eighteen months. For some, a longer engagement makes it easier to finance their wedding dreams.
Hire a wedding planner early in the process
For the newly engaged couple, wedding planning can quickly become overwhelming. A wedding planner not only helps you realize
8 Key Considerations for the Newly Engaged
- Select your wedding venue early. Many popular venues (especially in the mountains) book up quickly (a year in advance or more).
- Hire a wedding planner (even if you only book a one-on-one consultation). They can help you determine what vendors need to be booked quickly and which ones you can wait on for a while. They can help you wade through your service contracts with vendors. And often, they can save you money! Really.
- Determine your priorities. We suggest choosing three things that are most important to you. Allocate money to what matters most.
- Book your wedding professionals. Some of the most popular vendors book up early. Typically, most vendors will want a deposit to save your date. Plan accordingly and budget for this early outflow of cash.
- Review contracts very carefully before signing. Avoid surprises later! Know what services are included, what the payments are and when payments are due.
- Take the time to decide on your wedding party. Reflect on who the most important people in your life are. It’s easy to make promises to several friends only to realize later that this impacts your bottom line (more bouquets, more boutonnières, more gifts, etc.).
- Get realistic with your budget. Even couples with generous budgets should prioritize and make choices on how they want to spend their money.
- Keep your wedding day in perspective. Yes, your wedding day is very important, but it isn’t everything. What matters most is that you are marrying your special someone and that your loved ones are with you!
The Mountain Wedding Specialist!
Updated from my original post on www.banffandcanmoreweddingplanner.com.