Updated: Jul 3, 2019
“So when’s the wedding?” always seems to be the next question after “Can I see the ring?” The early interrogations of when’s and where’s the wedding feels like the first drop of the long wedding planning emotional roller coaster. Dates, numbers and locations all seem significant, especially with major life events. Fiancé has a thing with even numbers… meaning we were absolutely pushing the wedding to year 2020. This turns out to be the best thing for us, as if gives me more breathing room to plan and also save money! So how do you pick the PERFECT date? First of all… there isn’t a 100% perfect date that will satisfy all parties involved. However, there is a date that will end up being important for you and your future forever partner. (a date you will have to easily remember… cough cough your anniversary date!) TheKnot.com put together a great read that gets you thinking on "How to Pick Your Wedding Date". I recommend reading the entire article as it highlights important tips and facts about selecting a wedding date.
How long does it take to plan a wedding really depends on the type of wedding. The article referenced a 2017 study that saying the average engagement is about 14 months long. However, as an industry profession, I can tell you that you do not need 14 months to plan the perfect wedding. I recently just sold and detailed a BEAUTIFUL wedding for 200 people in under 3 months. Long engagements are nice for saving and planning, but it is not necessary to pull of an exceptional wedding . Keep in mind that venues and vendors book up. If you are flexible with your date, you could end up booking short-term without issue.
Once you get an idea of when you want to get married, you can focus on where you want to seal the deal. Fiancé and I considered both local and destination options as our family and friends are split across the United States. Destination weddings can be a good option if you are struggling with a long guest list. I do not want to get too involved with the Guest List discussions, as that deserves a post all on its own. However, Destination Weddings have both pros and cons with guest count and budgets. Pro – Control of guest count. Con – Your wedding destination might limit the guest count. Again, something you need to work out with your fiancé on what is important. Keep in mind that destination weddings are also more expensive.
Brides.com brings up the topic of price in the article “30 Wedding Venue Questions You Should be Asking”. Destination spots or popular wedding cities tend to carry a high price tag. I work for a destination resort, and the cost of doing business is absolutely rectified in the venue price and costs. However, we run specials for “off-season” or “soft season” dates. If weather is not a problem, consider a slower or off-season date. Not only will it help with your venue rental, but it also gives you more opportunity for discounted vendor costs.
Next consider the venue itself and what is included. A venue might be less than let’s say a hotel ballroom, but what is included is important. When you add in additional rentals such as tables, chairs, linens, banquet china and labor, you might as well go with an all-inclusive package that most hotels and wedding specific venues offer. Finally research if food and beverage options are included or separate. Most if not all hotels will have all in-house catering. A fair amount of wedding venues will have preferred catering. This is helpful as it is one less vendor to keep track of! Also make sure you ask about service charge and tax! Service charge is an industry standard that is used to pay for the labor and services of the event. However, it could end up adding additional unknown $$ on the final bill. Read through the rest of the questions before you start your wedding venue hunt!
The Venue and Date are big check list items. Nevertheless, once you get the when and where locked in, a lot more details fall into place!
I started Rock To Knot to coach couples through the confusing process of wedding planning. Sometimes hiring a Wedding Planners does not work within the budget. If you are planning your wedding, Rock To Knot offers affordable Wedding Coaching Services to guide you through the Wedding Planning Process with the help from an industry processional. There are many wonderful blogs and websites that offer tools and guidance on wedding planning. Sometimes you just need to talk it out or bounce ideas off someone who knows about the business. Rock To Knot Wedding Coach.