The beginning of planning your wedding is both exciting and overwhelming - you are busy going through bridal inspiration for your big day and quickly that excitement can turn into nerves and panic as you try to navigate family preferences and keeping within the budget.
Your first priority as you navigate this journey should be finding where you will exchange vows to each other and say 'I do'. This decision is crucial, and sets the stage for all the other decisions related to your celebration.
Wedding Venue Preparation
Are you looking for a venue local to the bride and groom? Are you looking for an indoor or outdoor ceremony? Location isn't just about a destination wedding, but finding a location that speaks to you. Are you looking for a grand ceremony or something simple and minimalist that highlights the bride's dress? Also some venues require you to pick vendors such as caterers from their preferred vendor list. It's important to inquire if you can utilize any vendors or if there are set vendors. Even if there are restrictions, sometimes a conversation can open up more flexibility - this is all dependent on the individual venue.
If you are planning for a ceremony and reception are you looking for both functions to be in the same location? If you end up with two venues, it's important to consider how you and your guests will get from one venue to the second in order for the transition to be seamless.
This is a personal decision on to each couple. Budgets can range from $2,000 to $100,000 and how much of your budget you dedicate to your venue will depend on the style you want, what experience you want your guests to have, and ultimately how you want to remember your day.
Your venue will most likely take the largest piece of your budget, but it's important to not put all of your budget here, as there are other crucial wedding day items such as photography and of course the wedding dress! These will require a significant amount of investment and shouldn't be compromised because the venue doesn't leave you with much else to invest in. After the cake has been cut, and you and your guests have torn up the dance floor, all that will remain is the memories captured in your photographs.
It's important to estimate the size of the wedding you want - small intimate ceremony, a medium size event with all your close family and friends, or a large wedding that allows extended family and all your friends and co-workers to be included. Whether you have a small wedding in a gorgeous park or a grand ceremony at a ballroom, the choice of who you want present to observe the love you have for each other is ultimately your decision.
The trend of micro weddings is definitely here to stay and many want an intimate event, but traditional large scale weddings will continue to trend as the environment improves and brides and grooms begin to feel confident they can safely celebrate together. When writing a guest list, create a list of everyone you absolutely want present on your day, those that would be nice to include, and a list of those that will attend your evening celebrations after the ceremony.
4.Time of the year
The season you pick for your wedding, also has an impact on your budget. On the East Coast in the US, peak wedding season tends to be between May and September, when the weather is warm and the outdoor landscape is beautiful. Weekends will be more expensive than weekday weddings. If you're planning a destination wedding, peak times in other countries differ, so it's important to do some research in regards to weather, and when weddings may be less expensive. Summers in Boston will be different that Summers in places like Key West. It's important to consider how comfortable the weather will be for you and your guests.
Keep in mind that highly coveted months of June, July and August weekend dates will get booked at venues often up to 18 months in advance. So if you have a venue in mind, or you have always known where you want to get married, don't waste time finalizing your venue- that also goes for all your vendors.
How long you have the venue for, what are the noise restrictions, and even clean up expectations are crucial details to make sure you sort through. Your contracts will clearly outline when your party has to end at the end of the day/night, when the venue needs to be cleared and cleaned up, and in some cases even when you can begin set up.
Some locations have noise restrictions, so if you are looking to dance late into the night with your guests, it is important to know if there are any volume restrictions so that you don't address that after you've already signed a contract.
Once you find the wedding venue of your dreams, you can free up your time to focus on other fun things such as your photographer, cake tasting and picking your DJ!
Cheers to all the brides and grooms!