Post # 1
I recently became engaged (Feb. 14!) and am already putting together a guest list and looking at venues. We plan on getting married in June, 2015. Am I starting to plan things too early? When should I start looking at dresses? How do you pick a budget and what does the average wedding cost?
I am a (returning) college student and only work part time. I will be away all summer working at an internship so I want to get the basic things out of the way before I leave. What are things that you can DIY and what things are uneccesary?
Seriously, I just need to know where to start, when to start, and how to start!
Thanks in advance 🙂
Post # 3
@aahess6610: Whoa, take a deep breath! Congratulations on your upcoming nuptuals!
You can start planning at any time. I’m also getting married in June of 2015 and we have so far booked our venue and our church and we are beginning to look at bands. (Fear not, we only looked really early because we wanted a very competitive venue!) With that being said, June is a very competitive (and expensive) month to get married in, so it wouldn’t hurt to start looking now (so you definitely aren’t too early!)
The first thing you need to decide on is a budget, and that really depends on your own finances. You should do this before making guest lists or looking at venues! You don’t want to fall in love with something you can’t afford or make an unrealistic list of 300 guests if you can only afford to invite 100. See what I mean? Budget is number one!
Once you have a budget, I would start knocking the big things off your list in order of importance. For us, the actual nuptuals and anything that is significant to hosting our guests properly were the most important things. Consequently, we booked our church and the venue first (our venue is all inclusive and so that also took care of food, open bar, tables and chairs, linens, etc.) From here, we’ve begun to look at bands. After that I’ll spend the rest of my budget on things that are more important to me but have no bearing on hosting my guests (photographer, dress, flowers, etc.) Get the big important things out of the way first. Also, you should maybe start looking for your dress around a year out. You definitely want to have it ordered 9 months in advance, but some people recommend sooner. I think it really depends on where you are ordering it from.
Post # 4
@aahess6610: Most planning timelines you’ll find online start about a year out. But it’s certainly not too early to be thinking about your guestlist, research vendors/venues online, maybe visit some venues, and most importantly figure out a budget and plan for saving money if you’re paying for things yourself. Keep in mind, if you’re planning an outdoor wedding and it’s winter where you are, it’s probably best to wait until at least spring to decide on a place.
I got my dress a year from the wedding and I think this is fairly common as some dresses take time to ship and be altered. I’m also a student and I did the majority of planning the big stuff (venue/vendors) the summer before our wedding. I did find that photographers especially book very quickly. Unlike a caterer, who can handle multiple events on the same day, a photographer is only one person and therefore, can usually only do one wedding per day. 😉
As far as what to DIY, well that’s entirely up to you, your budget, and talents/interests. I did nothing myself, other than address Save-the-Dates and invites and make escort cards/favors (stickers with each guests name/table number stuck to jars of jam that I didn’t make). Other people DIY every.single.thing. – food, music, clothes, flowers, centerpieces, any paper pieces, decor, landscaping their venue!
“A Practical Wedding” was the only planning book I read and it was great!
Post # 5
About a year is pretty standard, but you certainly are close enough that you could start now! Depending on where you live, things (like venues and photographers) can book up pretty quickly, so you want to put a deposit on those as soon as possible.
Post # 6
Congrats! First, take a beat and just enjoy the engagement. You have a tentative date picked out, which is fantastic. I would really recommend (since you have the time) giving yourself a few weeks just to bask in the glow of being newly engaged. It is such an exciting time you really want to enjoy it! During that time, I would talk with your fiance about what type of wedding you both want, where you see it taking place, etc. Talk with one another first before involving anyone else. My husband and I became engaged in late Nov. 2012 and didn’t set a date until early Jan. 2013 (we got married this past NYE). That time was awesome. We were able to relish our engagement, daydream about our upcoming wedding/future before getting down to the nitty gritty things such as budget, vendors, etc.
I would start with the type of wedding you want (romantic, trendy, etc.) and pick a budget. Keep that budget firm! From there you can begin playing with the guest list. Budget will easily determine the amount of people you can afford to invite. Once you have that solid, you can begin working on finding venues for the ceremony and/or reception. I would say start dress shopping about a year out (no harm if it’s a bit sooner). Hope this helps a little! Congrats again!
Post # 7
i think anything under a yr will make sure that you have stuff to do without getting ovewhelming…sometimes when you do it too far in advance you will end up changing your mind after a few months. …. maybe you can begin looking at idea then in a few months you can make decisions
Post # 8
Thanks, everyone! All of your comments have been extremely helpful so far
Post # 9
Set a budget, figure out approx. how many people and a tone for your wedding!! I would not go dress shopping until all that is figured out!!! Just because if you have a backyard wedding a ball gown may not be appropriate (or maybe it would be). I just know I was thinking about my venue when picking out my dress!!!