So you just got engaged… congratulations! Such an exciting time full of happiness and lots of planning. I’m going to be breaking down the wedding planning process week by week every Wednesday. We planned a wedding in less than 6 months without a wedding planner. Oh, and did I mention it was a destination wedding? It can be done! I won’t be giving you a timeline or anything of that nature so these steps can take place as needed depending on the length of your engagement and planning schedule!
You’re probably overwhelmed right now. There are so many decisions to be made! The first thing you need to do is decide where you’re going to get married. I don’t even mean the venue but your hometown, another destination etc. This is a discussion you need to have with your partner and your families. Definitely take into account travel time for both sides.
Once you’ve agreed on where the wedding will take place you need to talk budget. This may involve both sets of parents or just yourself and partner if you are paying for everything. Once a budget has been set begin researching venues. Look at them online and read reviews if possible. Taking a tour would be wonderful if you’re close enough to do so! You’re also deciding if you will get married in a church and then move to another venue for a reception or if your whole wedding and reception will be at one location. If you choose two separate locations then make sure you take into account distance between them and traffic. This is one of the reasons we chose one location because the traffic where we got married on Highway 30A is awful. It would’ve taken people another hour to travel elsewhere for the reception.
Once you’ve chosen a venue you will need to decide on a date. This will depend on when the venue is available and making sure both sides are free for this time. In my opinion, setting the date is the most stressful part. It’s hard to find dates that work for everyone but can be done! We chose an unconventional day to get married, a Thursday, because it would allow people to travel home that weekend and only take off 2-3 days from work if needed. It also gave my husband and I three days after the wedding to travel back before he had to return to work that Monday.
Once your venue has been reserved and you’ve paid the deposit to secure it the next thing you need to do is choose a photographer. This is where your budget comes into play again. A lot of people don’t realize that wedding photography is a huge expense but it’s worth it. You know the saying: you get what you pay for? It’s true. If you want quality images then you need to make sure you’re choosing an experienced professional photographer. You will obviously need to make sure the photographer you choose is available on the date you want to get married. If you have your heart set on one specific photographer then you might need to work with them when choosing a date before you set it. We actually did this because we knew who we wanted to use. I highly suggest reading reviews and asking around! Stalk photography instagrams and websites.
We got lucky and had the same photographer for our proposal, engagement photos and wedding! If you’re looking for a wedding photographer I can recommend ours: Kendal Dockery-Thompson.
Once you’ve gotten both of these huge steps accomplished give yourself a pat on the back and maybe even have a glass of vino if that’s your thing! I’ll be back next Wednesday will your next wedding planning steps. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments! I’ll be glad to try and help.