Finding the perfect venue isn’t easy.  There are many options to choose from, whether you’re looking for an elegant ballroom, rustic barn, country club, cozy restaurant, or something in the beautiful outdoors.  Here are some guidelines for choosing the venue that is perfect for your unforgettable day.

Choose a venue that aligns with your vision

Seek out venues that fit the vision you have in mind.  Choosing a venue that enhances your theme will create a connection between your wedding and the space.  Stay true to yourself, choose a space and design that represents who you are.

Know your guest list

Know how many guests you are expecting to invite.  Couples often underestimate how many people they and their parents will invite, so have those conversations early and know your highest possible count when you start shopping for a venue.

Consider your guests experience

The maximum capacity of a room isn’t often a comfortable amount of space.  Ask what the comfortable capacity is?  Is there ample parking?  Is the venue easy to locate?  If you’re inviting a lot of out of town guests or having a destination wedding, look for a venue with a connection to a hotel and shuttle service.

Remember your budget

It’s more than just renting the space.  Will you need tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, floral, lighting?  Know how much your total budget is, as well as approximately what your design will cost to execute.  Does the venue provide any additional items?  Do they already have items that work with your design? Break down your overall budget by category, prioritizing more funds for vendors that are the highest priority to you.  What amenities does the venue include, that you can remove from your budget: day of coordination, bride and groom dressing rooms, centerpieces, upgraded seating, linen choices, rehearsal dinner space? If you’re inviting a lot of out of town guests or having a destination wedding, look for a venue with a connection to a hotel and shuttle service.  Break down your overall budget by category, prioritizing more funds for vendors that are the higher priority to you.

Wedding Planning Timeline

The question has been asked, the answer was YES, and now you are ready to begin planning one of the biggest days of your life.  For those that cannot wait to say I DO, the planning can be accomplished in six months or less.  It can easily be stretched to a year or more as well.  In either case, with countless details to get to, you may be wondering what comes first on your planning timeline.  Getting items checked off your list can easily be accomplished by organizing your list by the month.  We have outlined a month by month timeline that will keep you organized, calm, and prepared for your wedding.  Many of these items are optional and not required to create the perfect day, so don’t stress about details. If it does not fit you, omit it from your list!   Most importantly, enjoy your engagement and embrace the planning process

 

Six to Twelve Months 

Split these tasks up for the number of months you intend to be planning

  • Officially announce your engagement to friends and family. Post on Social Media
  • Set a date for your wedding, if possible be flexible
  • Set a budget, divide costs, open a joint savings with your fiancé
  • Draft a guest list, engage parents for their lists of guests
  • Find a wedding and reception venue and finalize your date
  • Consider hiring a same-day coordinator or wedding planner
  • Order save the dates (Design if doing by email)
  • Brainstorm colors, theme and/or decor
  • Start browsing for wedding gown
  • Start browsing grooms attire
  • Start considering wedding party, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl and ring bearer
  • Book your photographer

Five Months

  • Finalize guest list and confirm addresses, review list and decide if plus-ones and children are welcome
  • Send out save the date cards, can also be done via email, with link to wedding website
  • Detail a wedding budget outline, decide on theme and/or décor
  • Ask wedding party to be in your wedding
  • Hire same day coordinator or wedding planner, if needed
  • Book your florist, arrange for deliver, also book music vendor, officiant, caterer
  • Purchase wedding dress, head piece/veil
  • Purchase/rent grooms attire
  • Order wedding invitations
  • Set up wedding website
  • Brainstorm wedding party attire
  • Research cake or other wedding dessert options
  • Reserve arch, chairs, tables, linens and other rentals needed
  • Take engagement photos
  • Start thinking about honeymoon destinations

Four Months

  • Order attire for wedding party
  • Set up wedding gift registry
  • Mail wedding invitations
  • Book your honeymoon
  • Purchase wedding bands
  • Order wedding cake or dessert, arrange for delivery
  • Go over menu and catering options
  • Have your first dress fitting
  • Book your hotel room for getting ready before your wedding and your wedding night
  • Schedule necessary leaves at work

Three Months

  • Book hair and makeup artist, schedule a trial run
  • Plan your bachelor/bachelorette parties
  • Plan guest list for rehearsal dinner
  • Book your rehearsal dinner venue or restaurant
  • Book hotel rooms for yourself and out of town guests
  • Review ceremony with officiant, write vows
  • Purchase wedding party gifts and reception party favors
  • Choose and purchase something fun for guests to throw after your ceremony

Two Months

  • Finalize menu selection with caterer
  • Arrange transportation for wedding day, and any guests needing transportation
  • Invite guests to the rehearsal dinner
  • Choose your rehearsal dinner attire
  • Have bridal showers
  • Buy cake topper, toasting glasses, unity candle/sand and guest book
  • Have second dress fitting
  • Purchase wedding day shoes, jewelry, undergarments, lingerie and accessories
  • Purchase or rent grooms accessories, cuff links, shoes, socks
  • Finalize song list with music vendor
  • Plan your first dances, bride-groom, father-daughter, mother-son

Four Weeks

  • Plan toasts and speeches for rehearsal dinner
  • Plan post wedding gift opening event, brunch, luncheon
  • Send shot list to photographer
  • Confirm floral
  • Collect RSVP’s and call guest who have not responded
  • Confirm honeymoon plans

Three Weeks

  • Confirm your final guest count with your caterer and other vendors
  • Create a seating plan
  • Get marriage license
  • Confirm toasts and wedding day timelines
  • Go to your final dress fitting
  • Get your hair cut

Two Weeks

  • Print name cards, table numbers and dinner menus
  • Confirm day-of transportation
  • Decide on order of your wedding party processional and recessional
  • Confirm times, counts and final details with all your wedding vendors and provide them with day of contact phone numbers
  • Assemble party favors and centerpieces
  • Make arrangements for care of pets, plants and mail while you are away on honeymoon

One Week

  • Pack all clothes, beauty products, wedding day décor, party favors, attendant gifts and other items needed for the big day
  • Pick up your wedding dress
  • Practice your vows, read several times
  • If you color your hair, get a touch up
  • Arrange for pick up and return of groom and attendants formal wear

One to Three Days Prior

  • Deliver wedding décor, party favors, decorations and other items needs to the venue
  • Organize gown and accessories
  • Get a manicure and pedicure
  • Pack an emergency kit
  • Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Try and relax

Wedding Day

  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Allow plenty of time to get ready and relax
  • Attend hairstyle and makeup appointments
  • Relax to enjoy!!
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