Alright <crack knuckles>, let the wedding planning begin! Wait. Where should I begin?
I can’t believe it has already been one month since my engagement to Darren – one full month! If an average wedding takes nine months to plan, then I’ve already wasted one of those nine precious months, basking in the congratulatory bliss. Wedding planning, something I do every day has become an eye-opening experience. I finally see the wedding planning process from the bride-to-be’s perspective – and that changes everything!
Day in and day out, I’ve listened to what brides want and I either design it, put it on paper, or help them connect with the right vendors. Now, my challenge is… who is helping me with my budget, style, and all the logistics? I have to figure this out myself?!
A completely empty canvas – I can have whatever I want. It’s ironically difficult!
[fontawesome icon=”heart” variation=”purple” size=”1x”]1. Timeline
Many brides have told me that the very first thing I should expect is that everyone, EVERYONE, is going to ask me, ‘When is the wedding?’ I didn’t think it made any sense. Why would anyone ask me when the wedding is when I just got engaged? Don’t they know it takes time to plan?! But it’s true, everyone is asking.
Let’s satisfy them with answers. In order to set the wedding date, I’m going to need to secure a venue and location. That’s a big one – it’s the first thing we should do BUT…let’s get a few other details finalized first.
[fontawesome icon=”heart” variation=”purple” size=”1x”]2. Guestlist
Darren and I set up a Google Drive folder to get ourselves organized. I know there is plenty of wedding software out there but I prefer to keep things simple, so for now Google Drive and some excel templates will be sufficient. First, let’s figure out who we’d like to invite. If we know who’s coming, that will make the venue hunt a bit easier.
Darren and I did this separately. He went through his phone and email for his list of friends and family. I did the same and wrote down names, their spouse’s and children’s names (if any) and added them to different columns. I also added a field to start collecting guest addresses.
Who should be invited to the wedding? My criteria:
– Have I ever hung out with you alone?
– When did we hang out?
– Were you there for me for some special reasons? Did you have my back?
– Have we connected or shared a moment?
Connecting with others is important to me, can you tell? It’s my expression of friendship and, for a lack of better words, my gauge is how strong our friendship is. The wedding is a big day for couples, but for me especially, it’s about sharing the day and bringing families together. It’s less about us and more about sharing and celebrating with those that matter most to Darren and I. So we will definitely place emphasis on our guests. We already have some creative ideas on how to do that with the place cards but I won’t spoil the surprises just yet 😉
So, all that being said, we want to share our day with way too many people! Ugh, we must keep the list sane. After painfully chopping, we landed on 200. Then we did the guest list calculation, which is half the amount of guests (because they’re mostly couples), add 25% to invite a second wave of guests and anticipation that some will decline. With this formula, we have estimated that we need 250~ invites.
[fontawesome icon=”heart” variation=”purple” size=”1x”]3. General Project Outline
Next, I went through the category lists on our website, Weddingful.com and wrote down all 20 categories. This gives us a project outline to start with and I can then determine which categories need to be addressed first, grouping a few that make sense together. It’s also a good time for me to highlight which ones are especially important to me, or ask Darren which ones he really cares about. These will be the ones we splurge on.
For example, venue and location are of course first on the list. Catering is grouped with that since some venues will come with food options. At the same time, I’m going to find an engagement session photographer and of course…a wedding dress, easily my most anticipated category. Let me put some stars next to it so I won’t forget.
We have yet to figure out our overall budget (really, let’s just spend as little as possible). For now we’ll splurge on anything that relates to creative vision – details are important to us. For example, we will pay more if it means it will execute our creative vision, but within that, let’s also save some money!!
[fontawesome icon=”heart” variation=”purple” size=”1x”]4. Vision
Running a business takes vision and execution. Planning a wedding is no different, so next we need a vision to make this big day ‘perfect.’
What is our vision? What’s our colour theme and style? What is the look we’re going for?
I have always liked purple and dark plum – even Weddingful’s branding is designed around my favourite colour. So, colour theme is set. To keep it simple, the other complementary colour can be cream or off-white. That’s not a colour though. Perhaps I’ll have a third colour since multiple colours will make shopping for things easier. For now I’m thinking coral or light peach. It has a nice refreshing spring feel to it, but I reserve the rights to change my mind 😉
Style theme? Now, that’s a tough one. I’ve done many weddings and they’ve varied in theme: elegant, black and white, beach chic, regal and modern. Which one did I like best? I mentally ‘flipped through’ the portfolio and there were a few favourites for sure. I might need something more tangible to test, so I flipped through my favourite wedding magazines to see what imagery resonates most with me.
Looks like Rustic is my theme! I seem to gasp whenever there is rustic style imagery popping up. It’s the look that I connect with most. These cute burlap table runners with raw hardwood tables…pieces of driftwood turned into place-card holders…hanging lanterns with handmade cards dangling…rustic it is. I don’t just want rustic as a theme though, I want it to be fun too! Fun rustic – that’s a theme, right?
People who know me, know I am a major nerd. A nerd who loves games, games of all kinds – apps, video games, riddles, and board games. So I know it’s going to play a key role in this game, we called life, or just wedding planning.
Whew. Okay, I think that’s great progress for one day.