It doesn’t take the luck of the Irish or a lucky wedding charm to plan a wedding, just an organized mind (or organized wedding planner) and careful follow through about each detail. Some couples keep binders of information and pictures depicting what they want; some keep their wedding planner’s number on speed dial. So where do you start your wedding planning?
- Budget. Why is budget at the top of the list? Because it influences every other detail as you plan. If your parents or other family members have expressed interest in helping paying for your big day, talk to them now and find out how much, or what expenses they want to cover. Don’t forget to say thank you; this is a big gift as you and your fiancé start your lives together. If you and your fiancé are going to be paying for most of the expenses, start your marriage off right by making sure you are on the same page about expenses and who is paying for each cost. Set your budget higher than you expect—incidental costs often come in higher than you anticipate.
- Venue. If you have your heart set on a particular venue or destination, contact them with a list of dates that would work. With couples planning weddings years in advance, your ideal date may be taken. Choose a venue that fits your style (such as historical and traditional), your expected number of guests and geography. If you have guests coming from out of town, consider a venue close to a hotel where they can stay. For a wedding with a significant amount of out-of-town guests, reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel. If you’re having your ceremony and reception at the same place, consider the location of each event. Is there enough room for each, as there is at 1451 Renaissance Place? Will your guests need to wait for break down and set up?
- Who you are as a couple. What do you enjoy to do together? Understanding what you both want now, so you can incorporate both of your styles—and your common interests—into a wedding that fits with who you are, and your background.
- Handicap accessibility. If you have friends or family with mobility issues, choose a venue with handicap accessibility. Thinking about handicap accessibility now can ensure that everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.
- Event planning. Do you want to plan your wedding? Or are you a busy couple who needs an event planner to coordinate all the details? Consider a venue with wedding planners on site. This set up has two benefits: 1) you have someone keeping track of all the details, and with experience to make recommendations 2) a wedding planner from a venue has extensive experience with your particular venue and means you only have to make one call for everything.
If you have a particular caterer, florist or other vendor in mind for your wedding, select a wedding venue with an open vendor policy, such as 1451 Renaissance Place. This allows you to bring in vendors you prefer at no cost, and on-site wedding planners can work with the vendors to coordinate your perfect wedding day. Remember, it doesn’t take luck to plan a wedding, just finding the right venue, the right people and an organized system or planner to make your wedding day—and planning experience—wonderful.