If you’re recently engaged and want to start planning your 2021 wedding but you just don’t know where to start, this is for you!
1. WHERE TO BEGIN
When I first started planning my wedding, the first thing I determined was the date, the priorities, and the budget.
DATE : Determine if you want a weekend or weekday wedding. Weekday weddings can be cheaper and your favorite vendors will more than likely be available. However, some family may not be able to attend due to travel and/or work. Have a few dates in mind before you book your vendors and try to be flexible!
PRIORITIES : Sit down with your future spouse, determine what is most important, and how much you are wanting to spend in total / on each vendor. Which vendors are a must have? What is most important to you for your wedding day?
- Where to get married
- Photographer / Videographer
- Having a planner or coordinator
- Getting the dream wedding dress
- Guest list size / who will be there
- The invitations
INSPIRATION : Hop on pinterest and create a board of inspiration full of colors, flowers, dresses, decorations, invitations, cakes, and everything you’ve dreamed of having.
This was one of my favorite parts of planning because there are so many fun ideas out there, don’t skip this part because it makes planning magical! When you decide on a style, planning will become a little easier.
2. SECURING VENDORS
BOOKING : I’ve noticed a lot of couples are worried to book vendors right now because they’re afraid of losing money due to a possibility of postponing their 2021 wedding. There are many reliable vendors who are making the booking process easy and willing to work with their couples.
Currently, I’ve lowered my retainer fee for 2021 weddings. I know times are hard right now so I wanted to do something special for potential couples.
With COVID-19 implementing stay-at-home orders and social distancing, many vendors are hosting virtual calls and tours. This helps couples with continuing planning their wedding despite shut downs.
CONTRACTS : Schedule a few calls, get to know your vendors, and comb through their contracts before you sign! I’ve made changes to my wedding photography contracts that are designed to handle situations like these in the future.
RESCHEDULING : Make sure to ask every vendor how they handle rescheduling! It’s better to know in advance if there will be a rescheduling fee, when to change the date, etc.
If you do need to reschedule and have a new date in mind, please ask your vendors if they have the date available before committing! Most vendors are willing to work with you!
VENDORS TO HIRE
Event Coordinator or Planner : Wedding planning is a monster of task, hire a professional who will help you get the job done. I believe times like now just goes to show why you need a planner! Get yourself one, you won’t regret it!
Photographer : I’m a little biased but the dress will go to the cleaner, the food will get eaten, and the music will die down but your wedding images will last a lifetime. Invest in a photographer who will not only document the most important day of your life but also take care of you.
Venue : Find a venue that fits your vision…is your wedding on the beach, in a barn, at an estate, or at a garden? The list goes on of venue options, make sure you find one you absolutely love!
Here are more vendors to consider: videographer, officiant, hair / makeup artist, florist, caterer, cake, transportation, invitation designer, and rentals. The list can go on forever but it’s up to you to decide who’s most important!
3. YOUR PARTY + GUESTS
Pick your squad! How many bridesmaids / groomsmen will be in the party? Who will be the maid of honor? Who’s the flower girl and ring bearer? Will your pup be in the wedding?
There are so many things to decide for the bridal party and also sooo many ways to ask, but make it fun!
Figure out how many guests you want to invite and begin crafting it! Here is a guide on how to conquer the dreaded guest list!
Depending on your location, be mindful of limitations on gatherings as well as social distancing policies in place. Keeping this in mind while curating your guest list will help!
Keep planning that dream wedding! From creating a registry and finding that dream dress to sending out invitations and picking out decorations, you will have a beautiful wedding day!!
BONUS: If you can get your hands on hand sanitizer, you could decorate dispensers and have them around the venue to make sure everyone can clean up as needed!
But please please please, have fun with it and take a breather every once in awhile! Don’t feel rushed to book vendors or get things done, it will get done and it will be perfect.
If you need help, vendor recommendations, ideas, or someone to talk to ⏤ I’m here for you! Take it one day at a time because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is marrying your best friend. Love will never be cancelled.