Getting Started, The Stress-Free Way
So, you’re engaged! YAY! Everyone says to take the time to enjoy it & wait to start planning the wedding & that is great advice…but realistically, your head is spinning with the possibilities & the entire world has already questioned you on every piece of your wedding. No one knows where to begin, so here’s a run down of what we did & what we recommend to start off and continue the excitement!
1. Make a Wedding Specific Email Account
If you do one thing from this post, it must be this. As you weigh vendor options, it is amazing to be able to just fire off a bunch of inquires and have them filtered through, separate from your personal account. I use gmail, and made folders for all of the different vendors & use my inbox as a checklist of who needs answers next!
2. Create a Comprehensive Google Sheet
Ok I lied, you must do this too. There are so many things to keep track of – vendor options (and their cost, availability, etc.), guest list, budget, & more. Not only is it amazing to house it all in one sheet with tabs (for you OCD freaks like me), but being able to then share it with your fiancé & family to edit in real time is a huge win!
2. Make an account on theknot.com
The knot is an incredible resource to prioritize planning and search for venues and vendors. It features an extensive checklist that we still use today, as well as budgeting, vision boards, managing your registry, and more!
3. Book Your Venue, Photographer & Videographer ASAP!
This is not meant to scare you, but us females are insane and the most important vendors for your day book up over a year out! This was probably the most stressful part, but we just kept telling ourselves that what is meant to work out, will – and it did. We created a list of the areas we wanted to get married in, then narrowed down our search from there. Grab a bottle of wine, spend an evening on the couch and make your top 5 list. We scheduled one visit based off of that list & instantly knew it was it! Saving our time & allowing us to book quicker. We had our venue booked about a month after being engaged!
From there, we began researching photographers & videographers. Check out their Instagram & Vimeo accounts, but most importantly picture your venue & yourselves to weigh if their style is for you! We booked them a few weeks after our venue, then took a big breather! Stay tuned for more in depth vendor selections over the coming weeks.
4. Join a Wedding Specific Facebook Group
This may sound ridiculous, but I have learned so much from the group I’m in. If you’re a #toaster – you must join the wedding group! If not, there are so many out there to gain advice & even purchase decor!
5. Use Postable to collect addresses
I couldn’t imagine texting, calling, etc. for everyone’s address then inputting over 100 into a system. Luckily, a friend told me about Postable! You can easily generate a fun link to mass email or text for your guests to fill out themselves. They go directly into easily shareable formats for vendors & printers to quickly order invites!
6. DO an engagement session if offered
We were definitely that couple that rolled our eyes at all the engagement photos on IG. However, I’d recommend even paying for a session with your photographers! Here’s why: the practice is everything. We typically pose as brother and sister, so getting comfortable in front of the people shooting our special day was a no brainer! We learned what we want (and don’t want) to do, and can’t wait to spend the day with Alysia & Jayson!
7. Dress Search: Take Your Time
This is probably the most exciting part of the process, and by all means go look as soon as you want – who am I to tell, anyways? However, looking and feeling your best is what will make your day, so don’t rush this one!
A few months in, I went with just my mom and I as I plan on surprising everyone else with the dress. Though I spent time on IG saving inspiration posts, I can’t stress enough trying on things you don’t like in order to be 100% sure. The first visit was great to nail down the shape and fabric styles.
I always had my eye on one particular dress from literally day 1 and while some were close, I knew they didn’t feel right. I scheduled for the dress to be a part of a trunk show in December and instantly knew it was the one! You really will just know…
8. Create a Curated Spotify Playlist
Once we picked our band, we had so much fun going through their set list & marking our favs via Spotify. We’re beyond music obsessed, but it is so fun to throw on the playlist in the car or during the work day to get excited for the big day! If you have a DJ, this is also great to easily pass along your preferences.
Ok, that’s all for now! This should get you through the first few months. Next up, we’ll be sharing additional resources & answering your questions! Happy Planning!