First of all, congratulations on your engagement! If you’re freaking out a little bit about where to start with this whole wedding planning thing, take a deep breath. As a Kansas City wedding planner, I’m here to help and guide you through How to Start Planning a Wedding 101!
First and foremost, congratulations on your engagement! If you’re finding yourself a tad overwhelmed with the prospect of beginning the wedding planning process, rest assured, you’re not alone. Pause, take a deep breath, and let’s get into it. As a Kansas City-based wedding planner, I’m not just your guide, but your ally in crafting the perfect celebration. This article is tailored to ensure your special day is nothing short of spectacular. Think of it as How to Plan a Wedding 101!
It is so tempting to start searching for venues and picking a wedding date right away (trust me, I get it). But taking a few days or weeks to just take in the experience and spend time with your partner before trying to hit the ground running is such a wonderful way to start your wedding planning process. Your engagement is a whole new phase of your relationship! It isn’t just a time to check off a to-do list and get things done. Take time at the start of this new phase to celebrate and enjoy it!!
I’m gonna be real with you for a minute- a lot of couples change their wedding budgets during the planning process. The reality is that most people planning a wedding haven’t ever planned one before. You don’t know what to expect in terms of cost. Coming up with a budget at this stage will help you select your first few vendors.
It’s helpful to do some of research to see what an average wedding in your area costs and what that looks like. If you’re having a laid-back wedding at your house with 20 guests, that will likely cost less than average. If you’re having a black-tie wedding in a grand ballroom with 400 guests, you’ll spend more than average.
You’ll also want to think about what your budget will include. Some people don’t include their honeymoon or attire in their budget, so determine if you’ll have a separate budget for any other wedding-related things. No matter how much you have to spend on your wedding, it’s important to make (and manage) your budget.
At this stage, your guest list isn’t set in stone. But you’ll want to have an idea of your guest count before you start getting into the nitty-gritty of planning. Having a range or an absolute maximum will be the most helpful way to think of your list for now. Think about how many things your guest count impacts: your venue options, meal counts, staffing, and so much more. Don’t forget to talk this part over with anyone who may (reasonably) get some input into who’s invited.
You don’t need a venue and a date quite yet. But you want to have a general location and an idea of when you want the wedding picked out. If there is a date that is important to you, go ahead and make that your top priority! If you don’t have a significant date in mind, however, come up with a season or month and year. Flexibility with your date will give you more options when it comes to your venue and other top priority vendors.
Okay, I might be a little biased. I truly believe that a good wedding planner can make all the difference in the world! Even your initial consultation should give you some clarity regarding your event details and any questions you have.
Like I said earlier, most people getting married have never planned a wedding before. You’re probably working full-time or doing something else that takes up a significant amount of your time. By hiring a wedding planner, you can cut down on the amount of your free time you’re spending on researching and contacting vendors, making spreadsheets, managing your budget, etc. You can spend that free time, instead, working on your future marriage. Shop for attire, taste cake and hor d’oeuvres, and have fun!
If you already know the ins and outs of weddings and/or love to do research, have plenty of time on your hands, and are super organized, then honestly, you probably don’t need a full-service wedding planner. However, I always recommend hiring someone for wedding management (sometimes known as day-of-coordination). A wedding manager will typically take over between one month and six weeks prior to handle the last-minute logistical details. We act as the captain of your vendor team to make sure everything runs smoothly and goes according to plan.
PS: Be sure to download our full wedding planning checklist!
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Here at Philosofi Celebrations, we celebrate love in all forms, and we want you to know you
are invited to join us as we honor each couple’s unique celebration of love. Our core values of love, wisdom, inclusivity, community, and joy guide every decision we make and interaction we have.