There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all wedding, which is why brides and grooms have a wide range of choices for how to celebrate their big day. Couples need to decide whether they want to host a small affair or go big, select an aesthetic style that resonates with them, and then figure out the logistics (like a guest list, budget, venue capacity). But there are some essential steps every couple must take before saying “I do.”
First, couples should talk about their vision for the wedding and decide who will handle what tasks. This can be done over coffee or on a walk, but it’s important to have these conversations early on so everyone is on the same page. Many couples change their minds throughout the planning process, so these brainstorming sessions can help ensure that what they end up with is exactly what they want.
Once a couple has settled on a date and a venue, they should send out save-the-dates so guests can mark their calendars. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your wedding day doesn’t clash with any major events, like the Oscars or the latest season of Vogue.
Next, couples should create a wedding budget. They can do this by breaking down their costs and considering which areas they’d like to splurge on or cut back on. Some things to think about include food, entertainment, and decor. During this process, it’s important to set aside money from both parties in case unexpected expenses arise. Some couples even cut back on daily expenses to put towards their wedding, including cancelling services they don’t use or skipping lunches out.
It’s also a good idea to sit down with both parents and figure out how to divvy up the guest list. Depending on the amount of money they’re contributing, both parties may get to invite more or fewer people than the other. The final guest count should also reflect the capacity of the venue, as it’s not a great idea to overcrowd the space.
Finally, couples should choose a photographer and videographer. This is an important step, as these are the people who will capture your big day for the rest of your lives. Make sure to consider your priorities, such as if you want theme photography or more candid photos, and book these professionals as soon as possible.
Some couples choose to have a first look shoot before the ceremony, which is an opportunity for beautiful photographs and a chance to calm nerves. If you’re doing this, be sure to book your makeup and hair artists well in advance so that they can fit you in their schedule.
The day of the wedding is a busy and chaotic time, so it’s helpful to assign tasks to friends and family members ahead of time. Put someone in charge of answering vendors’ questions, nominate someone to wrangle family members for photos, and give another person the responsibility of making sure gifts are collected at the end of the night. This will help prevent any last-minute stress and allow you to enjoy your special day with your loved ones!