Thursday Tips: How to Jump Start Your Wedding Planning

There's a reason why the word "wedding planning" has become synonymous with words like "stressful" or "headache". An engagement is full of joy and anticipation! But the journey to the alter can be a difficult path to navigate. I love sharing planning advice with brides! Which is why each month, I'll be sharing different tips related to wedding planning, logistics, & design.

With 33% of engagements happening between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, January is full of hustle and bustle for those in the wedding industry! It's an exciting time for newly engaged couples who are looking to lock in a wedding date as the fun of planning for their big day begins. The most common planning challenge that I hear from couples is that they just don't know how to start. Well, why would you? It's not like you've ever planned a wedding before - and even if you have, then you know that it's a big undertaking! So take the added pressure off yourself and know that this is going to be a learning process for you and your fiancé. After you say "yes", here are the top three things you should do next! (Hint, hint: Besides hiring a wedding planner, of course! ;))

It's so important to set boundaries before you can even begin planning for your wedding. Be sure to start a conversation with your fiancé and families about the budget. Yes, money is an uncomfortable topic for everyone, but you will need to know your spending limits before you book a venue or any vendors. It will lead to less heartache, trust me! And while you're all sitting down together, it would be a great opportunity to brainstorm the guest list. I mean, how can you know what size venue to consider if you don't know how many guests you'll be expecting? Or how can you get an estimate from the caterer if you don't know how many meals to plan for? Lastly, have at least three potential wedding dates in mind as you start to search for vendors and venues. Securing a venue and/or wedding planner first will help you lock in your wedding date and jump start your planning process. It seems small, I know, but having these core details figured out prior to booking any vendors will help you save lots of time! 

Of course every couple's planning timeframe and desired engagement length is different - and there are no two weddings that are alike! (Fun Fact: Brides generally reserve our planning services an average of 12-14 months in advance.) It's still helpful to have a general idea of when you can expect to cross off certain items from your to-do list. A wedding planner will help you with all of the big decisions, little details and everything in between. They will also help you create a timeline that is personalized to you and your fiancé, and help you stick to it. From experience as both a planner and a bride, I can tell you that 99% of your anxiety and stress will come from the "unknown". Things like not knowing what you're supposed to do and when; or being unsure as to what's most important or necessary are all common feelings among brides. I don't want you to feel that way! There's no need to feel anxious or stressed - you just need the right tools. (My brides receive a welcome package full of goodies to help them plan for their wedding, all aimed to help manage their anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed) So, I wanted to provide you with a very important tool - a planning wedding planning timeline and checklist! You can download the free printable, here. I hope you find it helpful to jump start your planning!