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Hello everyone-  I'm new to the board and just wanted to say hello to everyone!  We do not have a date just yet (just got engaged!).

Any recommendations on where to start in the whole planning process?  Let's just say I'm at square one.  Just the ring :)

Any advice is appreciated.


Re: Hello!

  • One of the best things to do is brainstorm what kind of wedding you want to have. Rustic or elegant, summer or winter, big or small, that kind of thing. Then come up with an estimated budget so when you start looking at venues, you'll know what you can afford. I'd go on, but it is an overwheming process, so that would be my square one! GL!
  • Welcome and congrats.

    I would start with budget and go from there...also, if you are hoping for this summer, you will need to move asap and possibly be flexible with dates, as we found in July, most places for summer and fall the following year were already booked.

    Good luck and feel free to ask questions!
  • Thanks so much!   We are looking at next year (I don't consider myself a very good planner to be able to try for this summer).  We're in no rush and we want to save up $ since we'll be paying the majority of it.  I need a better understanding of how much things will be so we can save up.  Is there a calculator or an estimator to help us out on some of these things?  There are a few things that are really important to us, but I need to understand the percentage of money I should anticipate for food, etc.  We have approximate number for a guest list (very preliminary right now).

    I just can't seem to concentrate on "working" and I keep surfing the internet for ideas :)  ha!
  • Mona8Mona8 member
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    edited December 2012
    Congrats and Welcome to the Board!!

    Definitely feel free to ask questions. The ladies on this board are very helpful, and you can get a lot of vendor ideas and reviews here.

    The Knot has a calculator that you can use as a starting point (click on 'Tools', and then go to 'Wedding Budgeter'), but I found that it wasn't always helpful since you'll end up spending more on things that are important to you. For us, that was the venue, photographer/videographer, and flowers- so we splurged on those.
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  • As far as costs, be sure to remember that a lot of venues will tack on both a tax and a service charge to the cost of things.  It can be a cost that is overlooked since is usually written very small on the bottom of a sample menu.  The venue I am using (Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby) has prices on their menu that already include taxes, and there is no service charge.  Gratuity is at our discretion, but even when that is included we will probably pay about $100 per person.  A lot of other places we looked at we would be paying around $120-140 per person once you included taxes, service charges and gratuity. 
  • Number 1 - SET A BUDGET!  Things will get very expensive very quickly.  More people is more money too (there's the obvious one of more food, but also more linen rentals, stationary to order, postage on the invites, flowers for tables, etc).

    Number 2 - before you look at ANY venues - figure out an estimate of how many people you will be inviting (50/100/300).  Talk to your families/whoever is paying and get a rough head-count.  You don't want to book a venue that only holds 100 people and then do your guest list and figure out that your guest list is 150 people.  Also, if you're tally is at 150, I'd look for a place that can hold 200.  Somehow our guest list went from 150 approx to 216!  I'm glad we booked the larger venue!

    Then after you have done number 1 & 2, look at venues that will hold the amount of people you expect in your budget (good rule of thumb is that 50% of the budget should go towards the venue).

    Good luck planning!
  • Congratulations on your engagement! This is what I would suggest:

    1. Sit down separately from your FI, and each of you come up with a list of your Most Important Things (ie photographer, food, dj, dress, etc). 

    2. Make a budget! Then split up the budget by percentages based upon what's most important to you (from step 1!). You can visit venue and vendor websites to get average costs, usually- but remember they'll probably increase for next year. 

    3. Get a preliminary guest list. This is important for two big reasons: 1) venues have fire codes to follow, so you need a room big enough for all your guests and 2) food is one of the most expensive parts of getting married. More guests = higher cost.

    4. Figure out a tenative season / year to get married, and figure out how much you need to start saving each month in order to reach your goal. This will let you figure out if you've got a reasonable budget set or not. 

    5. Depending on how far away a date you've set, start looking at venues and vendors. Remember that booking earlier could get you a cheaper price, but could be harmful if you change your mind later on. 
  • Christine9866Christine9866 member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2012
    Welcome and congrats! Ditto on what all the PP say! PS Don't forget to HAVE FUN during the process bc it does fly by :)
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  • Congratulations!  Just enjoy the engagement for a while.  It's easy to get overwhelmed with all of the "to-dos" but rest assured you'll get everything you need done.  Sit down and talk with your fiance about big picture issues;  i,.e. small or big guest list, what area you'd like to get married in, etc.  And don't get swayed by people or companies that tell you your wedding has to include certain things, or you have to do things a certain way.  You don't!  

    One suggestion I have is to decide what's more important;  the time of year you get married, or the venue.  If you decide you really want to get married at a certain time of year, be sure to call ahead so you are only looking at venues that are available at that time.  My fiance and I had wanted to get married this spring, but looked at a venue we loved that was only available in September...and so we are getting married in September.  It will all work out for the best but it made choosing a venue a tough decision!  
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  • Congratulations and welcome. :)

    PP's have all given excellent advice. Just wanted to welcome you!

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