Congratulations ! You’re engaged ! Before diving into Wedding-Planning, enjoy this precious time, celebrate this milestone in your life and spread the news with your loved ones. This moment is so special and exciting. You deserve it ! Now, you are ready. Let’s start planning the event of a lifetime with your beloved partner. I prepared for you steps to follow, so enjoy the wedding-planning process, focus on what it is really important for now. We will have plenty of time to make other decisions together later on the process. Making these first 7 wedding-planning decisions after getting engaged will save you time and stress.
Some decisions will take time to make together, while others will be easier. The first 5 decisions can modify the budget, so do not hesitate to go back and forth between the 5 first points to be in line with what you really want. The most important thing is to not try to make any other decisions until you have deciding these key elements. You are entering one of the most happiest time of your life, and we want you to keep it that way !
1 – Determine your budget
This is probably the most important task and also the most difficult ! But you can’t start planning anything without knowing how much you can spend on your celebration. I know it can be stressful and you may want to rush your wedding-planning process in order to secure the wedding venue of your dreams. But you need to think about your budget and the other points listed here before booking. Trust me, it will save you time, money and stress !
First, you can discuss it with your parents on both sides. Nowadays, the financial aspect fall on the bridal couples, as they are getting married later and are more financially independent. But parents may want to contribute and offer a specific part, like wine or champagne or the wedding dress. Then, you will be able to set the overall budget you can spend on your wedding.
Second, you should determine which elements are the most important to you. Set a list of two or three must-haves.
Your wedding planner will help you understand the costs and allocate funds according to your priorities and needs, so you won’t run out of resources.
Keep in mind that each decision must be taken step by step and will have an impact on the final event. Booking accordingly to your budget will prevent you from making bad decisions that you will probably regret.
2 – Create your guest list
Your guest list will play a major role in your budget and also will determine the size of the venue. It will impact your budget on many parts, like catering, rentals, florals, transportation and invitations. So you understand why it’s a decision to make early on the wedding process.
My advice would be to start writing down your guest wish list and think about with whom you want to share this special day. Then, try to classify them into categories, like close family, close friends, distant relatives, people you must invite, the ones you would like to invite.
Now, envision the style of wedding you’d like. Do you imagine an intimate celebration or a large scale event ? Do you want kids to be part of your day ? Would you allow plus one ?
You can go back to your budget to give you an idea of the number of guests you will be comfortable to host without compromise on your priority list.
3 – Choose a Location
You may already have a location in mind if you are thinking about a destination wedding. When you envision your wedding, are you imagine yourself in a luxury hotel in Paris ? in a French Château surrounded by vineyards ? Now, it is time to decide where you want to get married. Try to have a rough geographic area in mind.
How to choose where to get married ? You can choose a place meaningful for you both. For example, where he proposed, where you met, your first vacation together sharing amazing memories. You also can choose a special location of your dream, to create new memories with your families.
4 – Pick a date
Now, you would have to pick a date, a period or a season. Try to stay flexible by choosing a season or a month instead of a specific date. You will have more options and you will find more likely availability for booking your wedding venue. You also need to be sure to have enough time left to plan your wedding. Keep in mind that if you choose to hold your wedding during high season and on a weekend, it will be more expensive than during the week and/or off season.
For a destination wedding, you should think about the weather and temperature. But also about the holidays, special and competing events that can affect the logistics. Traveling during holidays can be more expensive for you and your guests, and it can also play a part on the accommodation’s pricing.
The duration of your event will also play a major part in your budget. Will it last a weekend ? A week ?
5 – Think about your wedding style
How do you envision your dream wedding ?
This might be the most exciting part, as you will be working on the visual aspect of your wedding, its projection.
It is important to design an event that reflects you as a couple, your personal tastes and your shared history. The point here is not to be specific, but to set the mood. So read wedding magazines and blogs, create Pinterest and Instagram moodboards, to see a style emerge.
So make it yours and meaningful to you !
Later on the wedding-planning process, we will work with you to precisely define the style, the color palette, taking into account your work here, the venue and its style to bring your vision to life and create emotions for you and your guests.
6 – Hire a Wedding planner
After you have made all of these important decisions, consider hiring a new member in your wedding team. We will ask you about the decisions you have already made to ensure we are able to meet all of your wishes and needs. Some adjustments can be made with our guidance to start this journey on the right foot and avoid many rushed decisions that will cost you money in the end ! This will allow us to bring to life the wedding you have imagined. This is a pretty unique journey you are about to live, and you will want to enjoy every minute of it.
Your Wedding Planner will provide guidance and make sure that nothing is left to chance and that your celebration runs smoothly. We will go over every detail to avoid last minute panic.
To know how to choose the right destination wedding planner, read our article How to plan a destination wedding in France.
What About On-site Coordinator ?
This is an option that venues sometimes offer. Keep in mind they are employed by the venue, not you. They may not think outside of the box and may be conditionated by the venue. Generally, they will not be there on the day to coordinate everything, but only to make sure the venue is managed. They will provide you a list of service providers they have worked with before, but they will not discuss your vision to make a personalized selection based on your wishes and needs. If you want to plan a bespoke and one-of-a-kind wedding, consider having a member in your team.
Managing your wedding budget
Your wedding planner will help you determine your options so you can make the right decisions. Your budget may give you some food for thought, as may the number of guests you can afford to invite. You have many options for your reception where the number of guests plays an important role in the budget. For example, for your reception dinner, having a formal sit-down dinner instead of a buffet will impact your budget. We will advise you and establish a detailed budget forecast taking into account your wishes, expectations and priorities. Once we understand what is most important to you, we will allocate the money accordingly.
7 – Book your venue
With the decisions you have previously made, your wedding planner will present you with venues within your budget that fit your wedding style, after reviewing all your criteria as well. Indeed, your choice of venue is important because it will determine the overall style and atmosphere of your celebration. We will evaluate the potential of the venue according to your wishes.
We recommend that you visit the venue before booking. This will avoid deception and unpleasant surprises. Your Wedding Planner will be by your side to see all the logistics and discuss the different options for your event. Even if you can’t be there to visit, we will do it for you and make sure you are able to walk around the property and consider the spaces for each event.
If you’re planning an overseas wedding, you’d want to reserve the date and secure the venue early so that you can send out the save the date, and all your guests (and you) can book the trip. Even if it’s not a destination wedding, you’ll likely have family across the country, they’ll need to make plans for travel and accommodations.
You can discover 3 amazing venues in Burgundy that I have selected for you in our article.
Ready to begin your Wedding-Planning Process with Cher Amour ?
Once you have thought about the first 5 points, contact us to start your booking process with 3 complimentary meetings. We will present you with a complete and fully customized overview. Bespoke wedding means bespoke service ! You’ll know exactly what your wedding with us can look like.
This Booking Process is perfect to know if we are a match and a great opportunity to get to know each other. We’ll spend a lot of time together in the coming months. You’ll be reassured to know we understand your vision.