Let me begin by saying I know next to nothing about weddings. I've only attended two weddings in my life, my parents' (when I was six) and my sister's, and I've never been in one. Apart from watching a handful of episodes of Say Yes to the Dress,I know next to nothing about the actual wedding planning process. So my first step was to hit the internet and get a rundown on the basics.
Step One. Set the date! Popular opinion suggests it takes about a year to plan a wedding, but I've read that it can be done in six months (or even less, eek!). Since I'm not in any hurry and to avoid any undue stress, I'm going to go with the generally accepted time frame of 13 months. Truth be told, I don't even have a ring yet! (My fiance knows ho w picky I am, so he's letting me pick it out myself. )
The reasoning behind setting the date first is because one comes to find it difficult to proceed with the other stages of planning if they haven't at least set a rough date. Venues must be found, vendors hired, invitations designed., all of which require the date.
In my case, I've set a rough date of November 12 2014, which is subject to change depending on the availability of my preferred venues and the mood of my groom.
Step Two. Budget, budget, budget. Most websites agree not to spend beyond your means, so setting a realistic budget is very important. It makes sense, since you don't want to add any additional stress to the planning process, and you also don't want to begin your wedded life together with a mountain of debt. Most websites also agree that the best thing to do is pick the three elements that are most important to you (in my case, that is the dress, the location, and the food) and realize that you will be spending the bulk of your money on those three categories.
I've also read that you can plan on spending nearly half of your budget on food and drinks. That is easy to believe since I calculated the cost of providing beer and wine to all 50 of my guests to be close to $600. (Not to mention the cost of the cake!)
theknot.com provides this tip: leave 5% of your total budget as a "buffer" to handle those unexpected expenses that inevitably pop up. I will definitely be following that advice!
Step Three. Now the fun part! I'be been scouring pinterest and the world wide web in search of ideas and inspiration to further hone my creative vision for the day. I've also began to look for my dress (some people wait until later to do this, but I've known what kind of wedding dress I want since I was 10 years old - I'm like a kid in a candy store!) My next post will outline some of the details of the ceremony and reception that I've already chosen, and for those of you who are not quite as dead-set on a dress style as I am, a later post will outline some dress shopping how-to's (as well as some money-saving shortcuts)!
Until next time,
My Beautiful Midwest Life