14 January 2013

Posh Tip of the Week: Wedding planning - first steps

Planning a wedding can be fun and complicated all at the same time. There are so many details to consider. I'm sure you've thought about the colors you'd like to use, who your bridesmaids are going to be, and maybe where you'd like to get married. You've been glued to the couch watching a marathon of Four Weddings and have either fallen in love with a wedding theme or turned off from one. Before you get engrossed with the fun stuff, let's talk about some first steps to consider when planning your wedding.

(1) What's your wedding budget?
Below is an infographic for the average cost of a wedding. This is just a guide and really depends on your location and is based on an average guest count.

It doesn't matter if your budget is small or large, the key word in budget planning is percentages. What percentage of your budget can you expect to spend in a particular category? What percentage do you have to spend in each category? Determine which category items are "must haves" and put a higher percentage on these areas. If you have your eyes set on a particular venue, but you don't have it in your budget for 200 guests to join you at this venue, you need to decide what is more important...having those 200 guests or your dream venue. Sometimes it's about compromise.

The best advice I can give is to be realistic with yourself and educate yourself on how much certain items really do cost. Another good site to go to is Cost of Wedding. You can actually put in your zip code and it will give you the average cost based your area. It is pretty accurate.

(2) Who's Invited?
Working out the guest list is one of the hardest tasks you and your fiance will have to conquer together. Your guest count determines how much you are going to spend on everything from catering, invitations, favors, table decor, etc. Just think, 8-10 more guests means one more table linen, 8 more chairs to cover, one more centerpiece...you get the picture. So if your budget is tight, this is the first thing to go under the microscope. Really think hard about who you want to surround you on the most important day of your life. I would think your nearest and dearest family and friends, right? Check out my post about A and B guest list if you are having problems with this task.

(3) Select your venue & date
After you have determined your budget and have a rough guest count, you can now start looking for the perfect venue. There are two ways to go about this, if you have a venue in mind but don't care so much about the date itself, you probably have a better chance at booking your venue. If you have a wedding date that is significant to you, it may be a little more challenging (unless all of your starts are aligned) to book the venue. It really depends on how far in advance you book and how popular of a date you choose.

Check back soon for my post on selecting a date.

Anytime during these first few steps would be a great time to contact a wedding planner, of course! A wedding planner will help you navigate through these first steps with ease and educate you on budget items. They will  also get to know what is important to you as a couple and make sure those items are at the top of the list.

Check out next steps in planning your wedding!

Happy planning!

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