Deciding on your wedding date is a crucial step in the process of wedding planning because it gives you and your future vendors something to start with. Since you can’t lock in a wedding date without picking and booking your wedding venue this is likely to be your first step. Knowing your wedding date will help you determine whether or not your dream vendors are actually available for your wedding. There are a few factors to consider when choosing a date, like if there’s a venue or other vendor that you have to have, their availability might affect your wedding date. Choose your ideal date, and then have a few in your back pocket to fall back on just in case. Ideally, you’ll have your date chosen at least 10-12 months in advance!
Ok, it’s time to talk about money stuff. Yeah, I know it’s not a fun topic but it’s an important one! Being on the same page as your partner about your wedding budget is incredibly important because it helps you determine what your priorities for your wedding are. This is not one of those things to talk about while you’re getting ready for work, or in the car to the dog park. I promise you, it’ll be ok! Take a deep breath, make yourself your favorite, comforting drink (and maybe one for your partner too), and carve out a 1-hour time chunk to talk everything over. Your wedding budget is entirely yours, so don’t let anyone else try to convince you to spend more on something that isn’t important to you.
After determining the overall budget, it’s time to start thinking about your wedding vendor priorities. Maybe you want amazing photography (hey, hey!) and videography, and the cake is a lower priority. Or maybe you want to have incredible food catered but, but you’re not a huge fan of wedding florals? There are so many ways to personalize your wedding, and your wedding vendor priorities is one of the big ones! At the end of the day, make sure it feels right for you as a couple.
So you’ve nailed down your dates, your budget, and your top wedding vendor categories. Now, it’s time to actually find the vendors that can bring your dream wedding to life. It can be tricky to find, but if you’re looking for unique, off-the-beaten-path wedding vendors, use blogs and publications like Offbeat Bride, Equally Wed, and smaller, local wedding blogs like B.E. Weddings Oklahoma. To really see a vendor’s personality (before a call with them), I always recommend turning to Instagram and checking out their stories/posts. Organize a list of questions you can ask vendors during a consultation call, and don’t be afraid to be up front with your expectations and your personality. Finding people who mesh well with you and your partner is crucial for a great planning and wedding day experience.
While it feels like there’s SO much to do while you’re engaged, remember that it’s YOUR engagement, and you can take it as fast or slow as you want. Want to truly relish your engagement, and not start planning your wedding for another year? Do it. Want to elope in 2 months because you can’t wait to be married to your best friend? Do it. And surround yourself with people who will support your decision!