Post # 1
I’m so frazzled. We’ve been engaged for 4 days and although I have pretty concrete ideas I think I’m in a rut. We’ve decided on the end of June and because of the short notice I’ve got a 3 day window for my date in case what we want is already booked. I work ridiculous hours, he’s oilfield and on a 14/7 schedule so most of the leg work is going to be on me and as much as possible done together while he’s home.
I know that venues and food need to happen asap because I’ve got to lock in my date. I need the guest list done asap for food and venue picking. He’s got to cement that for me, I have only a few friends in the area so I don’t have to worry about it but he has a large close family locally so I can only do so much there. We need to set a budget but I haven’t got the first clue how to estimate it so that it’s reasonable. I am very DIY friendly so I know that there are lots of places that I can save us money as I go.
Hire a planner? Is it worth it?
Post # 3
@RednecksBride: First, figure out your budget. It affects everything.
Post # 4
It’s really not that bad – I was really overwhelmed too but in a few weeks I’ve gotten most of the big things booked.
First, make a guest list of must-haves and would-be-nice. Now you have a range. For me that was 50 minimum, 75 with the would-be-nices.
Think of what you want for your day and think of what’s REALLY important to you – cake? venue? photography? Focus on the things that matter a lot to you.
Figure out how much money you can spend and how much you want to spend.
OK, now start researching and emailing venues and asking for their rates for groups in your range. Email lots and lots. Then sit down, go over it all, and pick 3-4 to visit.
Go visit them. Ask about preferred caterers. Better yet – they have catering on site! yay less pressure.
Rinse and repeat for other vendors. Just do one thing at a time. I did mine in this order: venue (includes reception/catering), photography, transportation, etc.
Once you lock in the big things you’ll feel better.
Post # 5
@RednecksBride: Figure out your budget FIRST. Then your guestlist. Those to things determine absolutely everything else.
ETA: I’m reading “A Practical Wedding” right now (great book!) and one thing the author suggests is writing a list of words that discribe what you want your wedding to FEEL like with your FI. It’s super easy to get caught up in themes and colors and linens and crap and then all of a sudden you’re having a rustic chic formal wedding when you’re really rockabilly bbq people. We wrote our list (and thankfully picked almost all the same words!) and keep it up on our fridge. We pull it out and have it on the table anytime we’re doing wedding planning so we remember to keep things “Family-oriented, full of laughter & love, inclusive, fun, and personal”.
Post # 6
I second the girls who say get your budget and guest list established right off the bat. I’ll go further and say that you need a SPECIFIC amount of money established for the budget. If your favorite aunt says she wants to pay for the flowers, it’s because she has an amount that she expects it will cost, and she’s comfortable with that number. You need to get that number out of her, even if it’s awkward.
As a wedding planner, of COURSE I’m going to tell you it’s worth the money to hire one! Seriously, though, you are exactly the kind of client who should consider it. You’re busy, your fiance is busy, and spending all your free time planning this thing doesn’t sound like it’s making you very happy (not every bride enjoys planning – you’re not a failure as a woman or anything). I think you should just MEET with a few local planners. It’s not like you’re obligated to hire them. Just let them take you out for coffee and explain how their services could help you.
Post # 6
I agree with the previous posters here. Find a check-list (or a series of them) and make your own with the items set out to complete on specific dates. Create a shared calendar and spreadsheat that you can share with your FI so that he can look at them and make his edits when he has the time. Make him aware of deadlines too. For ex., by the end of this week: decide on a budget. End of next week: have finalized first draft of guest list with addresses. Seeing the items broken down will make it easier to distribute the workload b/w yourself & him or with family. Good luck!