The holidays are crazy busy, but they are also an opportunity for couples wedding planning. We can hear you: “Seriously?! I’ve got too much to do!” Whether you just got engaged over the holidays, or you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on your wedding planning, the holidays are your chance to “get the ball rolling” and start checking off boxes from your wedding checklist.
So why are the holidays the right time to get started? Depending on your occupation, you and your fiancé may have less professional obligations. If you have family coming into town, this is your chance to involve them in the wedding planning process.
Booking your venue
Before you design the invitations, or plan the flowers, you’ll need to start by choosing the right wedding venue for your special day. While choosing the right venue sounds easy, reserving the perfect site is a lot like Goldilocks in the story about the three bears. You need to find a site that’s not too big and not too small. Fortunately, you don’t have to eat porridge to find the “just right” venue, but finding the place that’s perfect does require a conversation with your fiancé about all the factors you both need to consider when selecting the perfect wedding venue such as your style as a couple, your needs, expected amount of guests, date, and budget. We’ve written in depth about how to choose the perfect venue in a past blog post.
Once you’ve set your wedding venue criteria, set up appointments to visit halls. If you can’t personally visit the hall, send someone you trust. Make sure you ask questions and confirm every detail, and enjoy your storybook transformation from Goldilocks finding the right place to one of those fabled princesses or princes who finally finds true love.
The holidays are an ideal time for dress shopping when your friends and family are in town and off of work. Remember, wedding and bridesmaid dresses should be ordered 6-12 months before the wedding day. If you can, make an appointment at your preferred dress shops. An advanced heads-up ensures enough staff to give you personal service.
When you go dress shopping, use this piece of advice: select who comes along with you carefully. While your friend or family member may be an enthusiastic dress shopper, you don’t need a “Negative Nancy” when choosing your special dress. You don’t need a full entourage either, no matter what you see on those TV shows. Use caution when choosing friends and family to come along for a less stressful, and fun, experience.
The food at your wedding is a huge part of your big day and a decision that should not be made lightly. If you have a caterer in mind, be sure to ask the question, “can I use my preferred caterer at your venue?” when researching wedding venues. Some venues only allow certain caterers, or have an in-house caterer that you are required to use. On the other hand, venues with open vendor policies allow any licensed caterer to serve at their location.
If you do have a choice of caterer, make sure you ask caterers you are seriously considering for a taste test and information about their services. Be very clear about what you want at your wedding, so your caterer can give you accurate pricing information.
These items are by no means an end-all list (you can find that full planning list here); feel free to book your entertainment (once you’ve booked your hall), select and draft your invitations and save the dates, book your photographer or videographer, and choose a florist. If you don’t have the time, or just feel overwhelmed by it all, add another criteria to your wedding venue list: a wedding venue with event planners on staff. An event planner can book your important details, such as your wedding venue and food, and coordinate all the small details so your wedding planning doesn’t feel as crazy busy as the holidays.