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Life After "Yes" - A Step-By-Step Guide to Wedding Planning

You're officially engaged. You've got the first big step out of the way. But how do you make the wedding of your dreams come to life?

You Said Yes!

Congratulations! Finding your soulmate is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one that will truly change your life forever (for the better, we promise).

But before you embark on the journey of a lifelong partnership, you’ve got a wedding to plan, and you have absolutely no idea where to start.

You know you want to marry the love of your life. You figure it should probably take place at a nice location with family and friends in attendance, and you should have someone there who’s legally authorized to make you man and wife, right?

That’s all fine and dandy. But how exactly do you get from Point A (having no clue where to start) to Point B (the wedding of your dreams)?

It’s daunting, I know. Trust me. I’ve been there.

A little over a year ago, I started planning my own wedding and it was an overwhelming undertaking to say the least.

But, I got through it, and let me tell you, the months and months I spent agonizing over each and every aspect of my wedding helped make it the greatest day of my life.

I want to help you do the same! Here are some steps for you to take to ensure your wedding day is truly wonderful.

Step 1: Take a Deep Breath

One thing that’s extremely important to understand as you set out on your wedding planning adventure is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t feel guilty for taking your time and making sure every detail is exactly perfect.

If you need 5 years to plan your dream wedding, so be it. This is your special day and it should align with you and your fiancé’s preferences as much as possible.

On the flip side, don’t feel bad for being fast and efficient, either. If you feel like things are moving too quickly and falling into place a little too easily, that’s not a sign that you’re doing it wrong.

Some people’s planning experience is smoother than others. If it takes you a month to plan the wedding of your dreams, think of it as a blessing, not a curse.

The bottom line: you are uniting as one with the love of your life. That is all that really matters. Whatever pace you feel comfortable taking in the planning process is exactly the pace you should move at.

Now that you’ve got the right mindset, it’s time to start dotting those “I’s” and crossing those “T’s” on your vendor contracts. What should come first?

Step 2: The Venue

The first domino to fall should be your venue. Locations that regularly host weddings are booked for months, sometimes years in advance. It’s important to lock down your wedding space well in advance of the wedding day itself.

Once you’ve got that step down, it will make each subsequent piece of the puzzle a whole heck of a lot easier to put in place.

Not only can you start to visualize what the day itself will look like, booking your venue will also give you an official date. This will be very important as you start to look for other vendors and invite your guests. After all, they’ve got to know when and where to show up.

There’s a lot to consider when picking the perfect venue. Firstly, you should have a very rough estimate of how many people you expect to attend. That way, you’ll know if the location you choose will be able to accommodate all your guests comfortably.

Secondly, whether you want to get married in a little church or in the middle of the forest, you should make sure the venue fits the style and aesthetic you have in mind. This is your day. Don’t feel bad for trying to find exactly what you want.

Does the venue offer catering or will you need to book an additional vendor for that? What amenities are offered by the location, if any? Is it an empty canvas for you to decorate yourself or is the décor all-inclusive with the space itself?

These are all questions you should ask the venue owner before you make a final decision. They won’t hate you for asking questions. They’re used to it! Asking all the important things ahead of time will only make your life that much easier and your wedding that much better.

Step 3: The Vendors

Now that you know when and where you’ll be marrying your special someone, you can start to look for all sorts of other vendors to fill out your roster.

The Photographer

Getting yourself a wedding photographer is one of the most important boxes you can check off your list. It may not seem all that vital, but it is.

You’re going to want to have documentation of your special day. Getting someone to photograph all of the festivities will ensure you can look back on all those cherished memories for years and years to come.

Besides, you’ll be too busy, you know, getting married and everything to actually notice all the little things that happen throughout the day. That’s what pictures are for.

Photographers get booked up pretty quickly, so you’ll want to start shopping around roughly a year in advance of your wedding date.

We'd love to help you out with this step! Check out our photography services to see if we'd be a good fit.

The Videographer (Yes, you need that too!)

Some couples don’t consider a videographer quite as necessary as a photographer, and some even choose to forego videography services altogether.

This is a big mistake. While having a wedding video might seem superfluous when you’ve got all those pictures to make up for it, there’s nothing that can replace the feeling of seeing your wedding in motion.

If price is a concern for you, here at Wedding Wonder, we offer a discounted rate when you bundle photos and video together. That way, you can get all the coverage of your wedding that you desire at a fraction of the usual price.

Flowers and Decorations

Another important aspect of the wedding planning process is tracking down a vendor that can provide the floral arrangements and other decorative adornments that will make your venue nothing short of stunning.

Some couples choose to buy real flowers, but it might be easier to purchase (or rent) some artificial ones. They’re simple to set up, save you a ton of cash, and you don’t have to worry about any pesky plants dying on you. They’re indistinguishable from real flowers, so everything will still look absolutely beautiful.

If this step is a little daunting for you, we can help you out! We offer one-on-one consultation for all of your décor needs.

We’ll walk you through the process of identifying your color palette, picking out an appropriate theme and style, and choosing the specific items that will bring your vision to life!

We have a diverse assortment of wedding bouquets, centerpieces, and decorations for you to choose from. You can peruse your options at your leisure here.

The “Other” Vendors

Once your photographer is booked, you’ve got the videographer locked down, and you’ve picked out all your decorations, you can start to look for the other vendors that will make your wedding day run as smoothly as possible.

These include your DJ, a make-up artist for the bride and her beloved bridesmaids, a caterer to make sure all your guests are fed, and an officiant to make the marriage, well, official.

We recommend using an online wedding vendor marketplace like WeddingWire or The Knot to help you find the professionals you’re looking for. These sites are easy to navigate and there are loads of vendors to choose from, so you won’t have to settle for the first one you find.

Step 4: Don’t Forget Your Printed Materials

Now that you’ve got your venue booked and are in the process of hiring your trusty team of vendors, you’re well on your way to bringing the wedding of your dreams to glorious life.

There’s one thing we haven’t mentioned yet that will make even the best of wedding plans utterly useless: the printed materials!

You need to make sure your friends and family know what date to mark on their calendars, and of course, you’ll need to officially invite them as well.

We can handle all of your wedding print needs, from the save the date, to the invitations, to the menus and more. We work with you to create a lovely artistic design that remains consistent throughout each individual printed piece.

That way, everything you send to people will reflect the style and vision that you’ve worked so hard to create for your special day.

Check out our print package here.

Take That First Step

That’s a lot to consider. If all of this makes you a little queasy, I know how you feel. That’s one of the major reasons Simon and I started Wedding Wonder in the first place.

We want to help you in your wedding planning journey, and we want to make sure the wedding you end up with meets all of your wildest dreams and expectations.

If you’re at the beginning of this whole process and want to talk through your next steps, feel free to contact us. We would love to be there for you and help make the crazy world of wedding planning a little easier to digest.

If you’re interested in booking us as one of your vendors, that’s so amazing! We would be thrilled to be part of the most important day of your life. Our passion lies in helping make it the best day of your life, too!

Always remember to take a deep breath whenever you’re feeling a little more stressed than usual. At the end of the day, you’re marrying your best friend. Everything else is just cake.

Oh and don’t forget about the cake!

- Sarah Stock

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