He gets down on one knee, says a lovely prepared speech, opens a tiny box with something sparkly cushioned in it, and ask you to be his wife! Congratulations!!! After the happy tears dry up and you are slightly coming off of a champagne high, you begin to feel a panic creep up in your throat. No, this is not a sign of regret. This is a slow realization that you have a wedding to plan. The moment you have been pinning for has finally arrived and you have no clue how to filter through the multitude of task that come with planning one special day.
Lucky for you, Fox Tales has decided to share our expert knowledge of this whole wedding planning thing and help direct your focus to the first 7 things you should begin with.
Share the news
You are engaged! You are a fiancé! You never have to have an awkward first kiss again! #1. Make sure you contact everyone that would want to hear the news from you directly pretty quickly. Good news travels fast and we know that Aunt Nellie is a pill, but you also do not want her to constantly remind you that she found out you were eng
aged through Snapchat. Times are different and social media can be a wonderful/horrible thing. If you want to be the one that shares the news with the world...or at least your 750 insta followers, make that wish clear to your close friends and family. Be sure that they understand not to post or share the exciting news until you have first. This does not make you a Bridezilla by any means. This is your story to share and you just want to be the one that shares it first.
Setting a timeline
"So, when's the date?" will be the first question people begin to ask. To decide on a wedding date, you need to set your ideal timeline. Question 1- What season or month are you wanting to get married in? Once you figure that out, pick a couple of dates. The wedding planning magic number is three. Pick three desired dates and start checking with priority vendors to see what they have open out of these dates. You also want to check on major holidays, family conflicts and other weddings. Once you have settled on a wedding day, you will be able to find a wedding to-do check list that fits with your timeline. Weddings planned in a year have a completely different timeline and schedule than weddings planned in 3 months. A year or really less is the perfect timeline to complete all of your task without feeling overwhelmed. And plus, people are still genuinely interested and excited about your wedding within a year. Planning a wedding longer than a year can sometimes (not always) become obnoxious.
Set Your Budget
I hate talking about money. This is just a completely awkward conversation and I cringe just thinking about it. But here we go - Traditionally, the bride's family pays for the wedding and reception while the groom's family hosts the rehearsal dinner. NEWS FLASH: The wedding industry has change drastically since this archaic tradition was established. Did you know that according to theknot.com that the average Alabama wedding cost $18,547? Weddings have become an event that families have to financially plan for. Rarely do couples choose a quaint church ceremony with punch and cheese straws in the church basement following. With a wedding costing $20,000, it really is not fair that the bride's family have to bare that much of the expense. Because of this we are seeing more and more families split the bills. Another reason people are booting out this tradition is because couples are now getting married later in life, meaning they are established and can afford to contribute or pay for the wedding together. Whichever direction your family chooses, make sure that everyone is on the same page. This needs to be step one with deciding the budget and then breakdown that cost to your different items. Prioritize the aspects of the weddings that are important to you. You might not care as much about a designer dress and choose to skimp on that cost, but you will have nothing less than a 12 layer cake. It is your day, so you do you and make your budget work for you.
Work Up a Guest List
Your number of guest will be the deciding factor in many wedding day decisions. You will need to find a venue or church that will accommodate your number guest. Most venues will have a limit of number of guest, so be mindful of that when you are making your list. Also, your catering bill will be determined by how many guests you are expecting. The number of guest will also effect your cake size, number of wedding favors needed, invitation cost, and of course, how much you spend on stamps. You need to plan for three stamps per invitation- the invitation itself, the RSVP card, and a thank you note.
Pick a venue
Foxwood. Done and done. Ok ok, I will be serious. I am not saying this because we are a wedding venue, but the truth is, your venue is one of the most important decisions of your wedding. The venue will create the atmosphere of your wedding day. It will be the backdrop for your photos. It can even determine what kind of dress you wear. According to thenest.com, your venue can account for 50% of your wedding budget. Decide which style you are wanting and pick three (magic number) venues that you are interested in. Questions to ask your venue? Find out if your desired date is available. Talk to them to see what is included and what the rules/restrictions are. For example, at Foxwood, we include table and chairs, which would eliminate that rental expense from your budget. We also have an in-house caterer, which will also help cut out vendor travel fees. Find out how long the time frame of the rental is for. Do you get the venue all day or do you have 8 hours to decorate, have the ceremony and reception, and clean up? Are you allowed to bring in outside vendors? The answer to these questions will help you decide which venue works best for your vision and budget.
Also, check out Foxwood if you haven’t already.
Hire Priority Vendors
Next on the list is choosing your other vendors. Good photographers, videographer and bands are in high demand, so these are the ones I would talk to first. These vendors usually can only do one event a day, so that is why they are considered priority and they book quickly. Prioritize what is most important to you and start from there. The cake or florist might be at the top of your list, so that is what I would book first. Also, for bands-they usually have a rider along with their contract. Make sure that you and also your venue can fulfill the items on their rider before you book them. Bridezillas are nothing compared to high maintenance band members.
Now on to the fun stuff! After you have decided if you are having an outdoor wedding or a church wedding, you can begin to filter through the endless options of wedding dresses. I say pick your venue first, because some religious venues will have dress codes. Call and schedule an appointment instead of just showing up to a store. You want to make sure that you have a personal attendant helping you pull dresses and trying them on. Some shops will not allow you to see all of the dresses they have in stock and some will let you pull what you like. Be sure to go into dress shopping open minded. You might have dreamed of a ball gown dress since you were four, but if you go in with that mindset, you could have trouble finding a dress that you love. Try on all styles and silhouettes and decide what you like best. Your choice might surprise you if you go in open minded. Also, if you are sticking to your budget, make sure the attendant knows. Do not let them pull dresses that are out of your price range if you are not willing to wiggle on the budget. Choose what makes you feel your best. Do not let anyone else influence your decision.
Once you complete these tasks you are well on your way to having your wedding day planned. The small stuff will trickle in the last couple of months, but these are the major items that need to be taken care of. And now that your wallet is bare, you start to think that your dad was right, eloping would have been a lot easier!
Let me know your wedding planning advice or tips! Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any different suggestions or advice for the brides to be!
Stay cool, fools,