Congrats! You’re engaged! You’ve texted every friend and family member, posted on your Insta, but now what? How do you tackle planning the event that you’ve dreamed of your whole life? Lucky for you, this guide will help you do just that.
First things first- what’s your timeline? When are you looking to get married?
Speak to your fiancé and decide when you both would like to make it official. Some seasons are more popular, and thus more expensive than others. Other things to consider are weather, travel, and holidays. Do you want a winter wedding or summer? Do you want to overlap with national holidays, birthdays, etc.? Figure out when would work best for both of you, as well as your immediate families.
Next comes the venue. This is one of the most important decisions you have to make prior to your wedding. Depending on your date, budget, location, and approximate headcount, your venue is the center of your entire wedding weekend. This is the first of many things to book, with vendors closely following. Once you decide on your venue, you can move on to book your caterer, decorator, DJ, and so much more.
Depending on your geographic preference, you can dive into your venue research. Consider cost per person, locations for pictures, and whether or not you’d like the venue to cater as well. Schedule in person venue visits to get a better feel for the sites, this way you’ll have a guide to show you around and you’ll get a more concrete idea as opposed to pictures online. Once you pick a venue, start designing and sending out invitations!
Next, you can potentially look into hiring an event planner. If you’d rather plan your wedding yourself, you can move onto researching decorators, DJs, etc. The best way to do this is typically by word of mouth. If you’ve been to a friend or family member’s wedding in the past and really enjoyed their music or admired their décor, ask for their vendor contact. If you don’t have a preference, hop on Google and find companies in your area. If you’re having a destination wedding, you’ll have to pay more for your vendors’ travel. A great way to get a feel for vendors is to schedule a few initial meetings, this way you can compare packages, prices, and their ability to adjust to your needs. Many vendors require you to book them 10-12 months in advance of your event, so be sure to avoid procrastinating. This is also when you get to have some fun- cake tasting, deciding a theme, and picking who will be in your bridal party!
Once you have an idea of your vendors, it’s time to have some fun and SHOP. Depending on your theme, pick the outfits for your bridal party and get ready to say yes to your own dress! For South Asian events, many families opt to shop in India, as its more affordable and has a large variety of clothing options. For those of you shopping in the US, be sure to do your research and read reviews. Remember to shop roughly 8 months in advance, to give the shop time for proper alterations. Check in regularly so you can ensure that your outfits will fit well and be ready on time.
Your wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest (and sometimes most stressful) times of your life! Don’t stress the small stuff and get bogged down on details, remember to have fun and relish in the excitement, good luck!