You’ve just asked your spouse-to-be for their hand in marriage, and you’ve decided on a distant-future wedding on a date that you’re pretty certain you’re going to pick.
You’d better start planning.
I know, I know, “Isn’t it a bit early?” you ask. No, it’s never too early. I’ve heard of people planning years in advance, but for the most part, it’s not necessary to plan more than a year ahead. Just imagine getting all of those details sorted out way ahead of the wedding date and never having to worry about anything else until the day of? Doesn’t that sound fantastic?
It’s not unlikely, either.
Before you even consider getting started with the wedding planning, you have a bunch of decisions to make – and if you’re going it alone, as in, without a wedding planner, first off: good on you. Secondly: you’d better know exactly what you want, or you’re going to be facing a lot of headache.
Sit down and figure out the following:
- How big will the wedding be?
- Indoor wedding or outdoor?
- What sort of theme, if any?
- Where is it going to take place?
- Food and drink?
- Who’s not getting invited?
You have to figure out how big the wedding will be before you even consider securing a location or catering, just like how the location depends on if it’ll be indoors or outdoors. If you haven’t decided that you’re just going to elope at this point, the theme tends to decide what direction you’ll go for decorations, food, entertainment, and all of that. You never have to go too complex here: small garden wedding could be your jump-off point, and you go from there.
The budget is important. Some people say “sod it” and just spend, spend, spend, while others (like myself) might have a bit of lint in their pockets and that’s about it, so they have to be careful about spending. If you pick a budget stick to it. Decide what the must-haves are, then what you can go super-cheap on.
When it comes to figuring out food and drink, you’re not planning the entire menu in your brainstorming session. This is where you figure out if you’re going to do a buffet or a three-course catered meal, if you’re going to have a bar or if there’s going to be a small selection of alcoholic beverages that can be ordered, and if you’re going to have alcohol at all (alcohol is expensive). All of this may be decided by where you’re going to hold your wedding and/or reception to begin with, as some places have rules and such that you have to abide by (or decide at the last minute that they can shove their rules). Knowing what you want and getting your planning done ahead of time leads to a much smoother ride than just waiting until the month beforehand and realizing that you actually have all this stuff that needs to happen.
Or, you can hire a wedding planner and let them worry about most of it. I certainly won’t judge.