Post # 1
I’ve been engaged for all of 6 days (yay). While I am still happily enjoying the new-engagement-glow, we’re hoping for a spring 2011 wedding so I know we need to get on the ball and start making decisions soon. So.
WHERE DO I START?!
I’m *clueless* – I know first priority is approximate guest list/’feel’ of wedding so we can start looking at venues, but I want to start out organized. Checklists? Books? Anyone? Bueller?
Thanks in advance 😀
Post # 3
I would get a wedding binder thats what I did. Check out amazon.com
Start making guest lists, budgets etc
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2010 - The Atlantic Beach Club
I think the two most important things to do is set your budget and make your guest list (although it will probably change). After that, decide what your priorities are and how much your willing to spend. Like we really wanted a wedding in Newport, so after booking a venue, we set the budget for everything else. As far as checklists, the knot has them and many wedding magazines. Have you picked any up? Good luck with your planning! 🙂
Post # 5
Check out weddingwire.com. I’ve used their checklist and budget calculator, no binder. It’s been so helpful in planning. Those two things and all the DIY here are all I’ve really used.
Post # 6
I bought “Real Simple Weddings” magazine at the grocery store. It had some realyl good checklists (like a 12 month, 9 month, 6 month, 3 month planning list) and it had a lot of really good questions to ask about photography, venue, music, cake, decorations, dress, etc.
I also bought a planning book. There are tons of them in the wedding section at Borders or Barnes and Noble. This helped me A LOT!
Post # 7
I bought a planning binder, but I never used it since there is so much information online. The best thing I bought was an accordian file folder so that I could keep information, inspiration, samples and contracts organized and at my fingertips. I also kept my budget spreadsheet and guest list on google docs so I could access them from any computer or from my iPhone whenver I needed them.
I think budget is a really hard thing to figure out. Having those conversations with parents can be SO uncomfortable. But make sure if they are contributing, you get details from them. Are they contributing a lump sum that you can do with what you want? Are they going to pay for a specific part of the wedding (food, flowers)? Do they then expect that they get to choose your flowers or food? If you and your FI are contributing funds, working out a mutual savings plan is important.
Post # 8
Here is what we did. I think it was successful – we ended up having enough $ leftover to cover the entire honeymoon (!!!) which was not in our original budget.
- The first thing FH and I did was make a list of everyone that we wanted to invite, with input from our families, and talk budget with our parents.
- Once we had an agreed-upon guest list (which did shift a bit over the planning period) and a set amount of funding, we figured out what our priorities were. (Me – food, photography, and being able to invite everyone on our list, which was only about 130 people to start; Him – music, outdoor venue, fun location.)
- Sometime in here we also talked extensively about the feel and look we wanted our wedding to have. This helped when we started looking for vendors and venues, but didn’t matter much for budgeting.
- We looked at a few different online wedding budget calculators (the ones that tell you what percentage of your total budget you should spend on each part of your wedding) and adjusted it for our needs. This meant increasing the % allowed for food and photography, and nixing (and then putting that $ elsewhere) the things we knew we did not want to include. (For us this list included favors, church fees, photo booth, honeymoon, rings…)
- Once we knew exactly what we could spend on every part, I entered all of it into myweddingworkbook.com (which is AMAZING for tracking your budget and guest list) so I could see what we had to spend and how we were doing.
- All of this background work made it really easy to start looking for and interviewing caterers, photographers, venues, etc. because we knew exactly what we had to spend and how many people and what it needed to cover. This also REALLY helped us avoid overspending on anything. (I think it’s really easy to say, oh, I’ll just buy a cheaper dress and borrow a bit from the dress budget to pay for the amazing linen upgrade the caterer offers, and then you fall in a love with an expensive dress and just borrow from another category, on and on until you have completely blown your budget…)
I hope all of this helps. Feel free to PM me if you want more details or to see how we divided our budget.
Post # 9
theknot.com has some great tools (checklists and things like that) but the first thing I did was figure out how many people you want to invite and that way you can figure out what you can afford when you start searching for venues and seeing how much things cost.
Best of Luck and Congrats!
Post # 10
WOW and THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone for all these tips – you guys are awesome. I’m slightly overwhelmed but at least have an action plan. Septcabride, thanks so much for writing all of that out – staying under budget would be very nice. 🙂
Post # 11
Approx budget and guest list…then I’d start looking at venues once you know how much you can spend and how many your venue will need to accomodate. 🙂
Post # 12
Like many of the pp, we started with guest list and venue, but we haven’t finalized the guest list yet – just the approximate number of people we will invite and some rough lists. Venue searcing is kind of a pain in the butt, and everything stems from that really… even what dress you’d want to wear, so I’d get on that first. That being said, we are getting married May 2011, and every dress shop keeps telling me I need to order ASAP, so I’d start trying on dresses too… but what dress you want might be affected by your venue choice. Hope that makes sense. Also, I found that MANY of the vendors/venues were already booked for next May, so if there is a specific vendor you want, I’d call them now to see if they are already booked. Good luck!
Post # 13
Definitely check out theKnot.com….they give you a month to month list of what you should be doing. But definitely start out with making a guest list, booking where you’re having your ceremony and reception site! Then pick out your dress, BM dresses…and then go from there. Once you have your dress and BM dresses picked out it’ll be easy to put everything together as you will have picked your colors. Congrats on your engagement!!!