Well well well, first off, big congratulations on your engagement! This is a magical time filled with excitement and dreams. While it's tempting to dive right into wedding planning, taking a step back and considering some essential first steps can set the foundation for a "good start" in your wedding planning!
Carmen Santorelli Photography
BRAINSTORM: The first thing to do (after celebrating and announcing your engagement) is to sit down with your partner and brainstorm on what both of your hopes and dreams for the wedding are. This is very helpful to see if you have the same vision, and it needs to be done before *anything else*; are you both on board with getting married in San Diego? Or maybe you want to get married in Italy and your fiancee wants France? Do you both want a big celebration? What are the most important things that come to mind and make or break the whole planning process? What are your wedding "non-negotiable"? This is also an opportunity to discuss important topics not related to the wedding, like where you want to live, career goals, family planning, and any other significant life milestones. Being on the same page about your future will set a strong foundation for your marriage, how you want it to be, how much you want to invest...
BUDGET AND GUEST COUNT TALKS: How much will the dream wedding cost?! While it might seem early, having a rough budget in mind can help guide your wedding planning process. Discuss your financial situation openly and honestly, and determine how much you are comfortable spending on your big day. Remember to factor in potential contributions from both families, if applicable. Having a budget will allow you to make informed decisions as you start planning your wedding. While you come up with a budget also keep in mind the guest count. You will quickly understand that the higher the number of guests, the higher the budget. In fact, each guest means, not only 1 more meal but: 1 more invite, rental chair, napkin, charger, glass, silverware, maybe 1 more table so that also means 1 more floral centerpiece, more cake, and so on... It can be very stressful to talk about budget and I feel for you because the information you find online often is not accurate! Always keep in mind that what you read often is not customized by location, by how expensive the market is, and by your vision.
RESEARCH FULL WEDDING PLANNERS IN YOUR FAVORITE WEDDING LOCATION: Now that you have a rough budget in mind and have discussed your future together, it's time to get professional input and start browsing for wedding planners. Talking to planners can be very informative, not only so you can choose one that you feel aligned with, but also because we can tell you right off the bat if what you are looking for is doable or if it requires some tweaking (maybe a lower guest count? maybe a different location?). Planning a wedding is not like planning a birthday party for your friend, I love what I do but believe me when I say that it is much more complicated than it looks and sometimes it can be challenging. Many of us have a wealth of knowledge that has been built over the years, event after event, job after job, challenge after challenge. I believe that when we talk about investing thousands of dollars in one special day, you should absolutely have a professional who can help you and guide you not to make mistakes that you will forever regret.
Getting engaged is the beginning of an incredible journey together and it only happens once in your lifetime. By taking these first steps and not rushing into selecting a venue or sending save the dates or purchasing a dress, you'll be well on your way to planning a day that reflects your unique love story without making any expensive mistakes. Reach out to us for a consultation by filling this form!