Deering Events is a Wedding Planning company that plans and executes fun, creative, and unique weddings all across the USA with offices in Massachusetts, New York City, and North Carolina. Our team loves to craft events of all sizes from Intimate elopements, to large scale tented affairs.
December 20, 2018
It’s engagement season! Hundreds of thousands of blushing brides-to-be around the country have recently said “Yes!” and are now sporting a sparkly new gem on their ring finger. The excitement of an engagement can quickly turn into stress when you stare down the mountain of wedding planning you’ll have to do (and when everyone you know is asking if you planned a date yet!).
Figure out what season you want the wedding to be
If you have your heart set on a summer wedding and you get engaged in December, you either have to wait eighteen months or plan an entire wedding in six (yikes!). If you really want to do it the summer right after your engagement, you’ll have to jump on planning – popular venues and vendors can book up to two years in advance, so your dates might be limited. Even if you want to wait till the following year, it’s a good idea to book the main vendors like venue and photographer so you can lock in the 2019 prices for your 2020 wedding.
Season also plays into budget. Spring, summer, and early fall weddings are more expensive than weddings held from November-March. If you opt for a pricey June Saturday wedding, you might need to cut your budget elsewhere.
Decide on a guest count
Basically your whole wedding hinges on your guest count. Your entire budget, first of all: each and every guest is another plate, another invitation suite, another favor, another stamp for the save-the-date, and it all adds up quickly. Guest count affects the venue, too – some venues have guest minimums on popular dates, which means you’ll have to pay for 150 guests even if you only invite 100. You need to have a general idea of guest count before you start planning. This might be the first hard wedding conversation you and your fiance have. He might not need to invite his summer camp friends he hasn’t seen since 1999; you might not need to invite every single one of your sorority sisters. The guest count conversation gets really complicated when parents and in-laws get involved, so make sure your fiance and you present a unified front.
If you’ve never planned a big event before, it can be easy to underestimate just how many people you’ll be inviting. Remember, 100 people is 50 couples – add together your extended families and you might already be close to that. Budget and guest list can go hand-in-hand, and this is where the unified front comes in. If your budget is planned for 125 guests and your mother-in-law wants to invite her third cousins, hairdresser, and entire Pilates class, you’re going to run into problems. I usually recommend counting immediate families, extended families (first cousins, aunts and uncles), bride and groom’s close friends, and THEN figure out how many people are left for the parents to invite.
Have an honest conversation about budget
Being engaged is all fun and games until you have to talk about money with your future in-laws. Budget conversations can get awkward, but it’s important to have an honest talk about it upfront. How much will your family will be contributing, how much will your fiance’s family be contributing, and how much will you be shouldering yourselves? It’s better to have concrete numbers to plan with than to just assume and have a major budget shortfall right before final balances are due.
What type of vibe do you want for your wedding?
This is where you start solidifying venue plans. Do you want a traditional hotel ballroom wedding? Pros are that the venue is set up for big events and you don’t have to hire outside catering or worry about renting tables and chairs. Do you want a backyard wedding at home? It’s more personal, but you’ll have to do a LOT of logistical planning. Do you want to get married on the beach? Romantic and organic, but you’ll have to have a backup plan for weather.
Once you have the budget, guest list, and venue ideas, you can start visiting venues and setting a date. Once those things are out of the way, the fun can start.
Think far ahead for dates.
Your wedding date is super important, for obvious reasons. Some couples have a specific date in mind – for example, a parent’s’ wedding anniversary or day that’s special to their relationship. This might limit your venue choices if you’re planning your wedding on a shorter timeline.
If you don’t have a date in mind already, the venues will tell you what dates are available on their calendar. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you check to make sure the date you want doesn’t have any conflicts. You don’t want to pay a hefty deposit and then discover that your wedding date happens to be Easter weekend, the day your sister graduates from college, or the one week a year your fiance can’t take off work.
Hire a Wedding Planner
It’s never too early to hire a wedding planner! We help with everything from venue choice to keeping you on budget to helping you find the best vendors, and more. If you’re having a Cape Cod or Boston destination wedding and planning it from afar, a planner is essential – we manage everything for you so all you have to do is arrive in town and get ready to enjoy your wedding weekend. To learn more about our services, click here.
Ready to start wedding planning? Learn more and get in touch here.
Photo by Arielle Doneson https://www.ariellephoto.com/
Deering Events is a Full-Service Wedding Planning Company with offices in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Serving clients across the USA, crafting and designing their dream wedding.
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