The question was popped, the ring is on and you’re officially ENGAGED! Congratulations! Now, the real journey begins – planning the wedding.
The first milestone on this journey will likely be securing the venue.
With an abundance of event spaces offering fabulous catering, gorgeous views, and everything you need to create the perfect day, shortlisting your favorite venues can be a daunting task.
So where exactly do you start?
Knowing the style of wedding you are hoping to have is going to make this process a lot easier. To help with the decision making there is a lot to take into consideration, here’s what we suggest…
Create a mood board
This will be the starting point to creating your very own bridal identity. Creating a mood board will help you consolidate ideas to create a consistent theme/mood for your day. The idea is to grab lots of content that inspires you to then help you understand what you like. You may even create a mood board for each aspect of your wedding eg. Dresses, venues, flowers etc. to get the ideas flowing. This is easily done with Pinterest, Instagram, bridal editorials or even go old school with magazines.
Choose an aesthetic
There are so many options to choose from, whether you’re looking for a secluded beach, stunning barn, intimate restaurant or an elegant ballroom – this is where your mood boards come in handy. Where do you see yourself tying the knot?
Consider your budget
Your budget will have an influence on the style of wedding that you will ultimately have so its best to start having conversations about finance in the early stages of planning. If your wedding is going to be funded by family or friends, perhaps asking what they are willing to contribute early on will save any disappointment when it comes to selecting your venue. If you and your partner are funding the wedding together it’s a good idea to make sure you are on the same page in terms of the dollar figure you are both willing to spend. Some negotiation here isn’t unusual. There are also other alternatives to funding the wedding of your dreams… some couples are now preparing the wishing well to go out with the initial invitations to assist with payments along the way, others also look at wedding loans. Financing your wedding is a big topic, so make sure you watch our blog for more ideas on this point coming soon.
Draft your guest list
By organising your guest list prior to seeing venues you will save yourself a lot of time – after all it is precious. By doing this you are only spending this exciting time on stunning venues that can hold your predicted number of guests.
Flexibility is key
While Saturday’s have been the traditional choice in the past, 2021 is the year of reimaging those wedding traditions. We have noticed that weekdays, Friday nights and Sundays are becoming more and more popular. This may be a result of venues booking out Saturday nights 12 months in advance because of their high demand – not to mention the rescheduling that has taken place as a result of COVID.
Some couples choose a date that marks a special milestone such as an anniversary – often these don’t align perfectly with a Saturday. But the good news is guests are becoming more open to attending weddings on weekdays given the pandemic- and let’s face it, they haven’t been able to get out and celebrate for a year so they are seizing every opportunity. If you have your heart set on a particular date it is best to do your research and check the availability before assuming your dream date will be booked- you never know your luck in a big city! And who knows, you might just fall in love with a venue and decide the date is less important after all.
In this case you may consider a weekday wedding, meaning you can still be married at your dream venue as there is a higher chance of them having the availability you are after – even during peak season. Much like a destination wedding, a weekday wedding will mean a more intimate guest list filled with the people who mean most.
Once you have shortlisted your favourites, your first step should be booking site inspections at each of the venues. We find that once a client has seen a space in all its glory, deciding which venue becomes a lot easier.
It’s easy to get lost in a whole new world of excitement throughout the planning process. Scrolling through the endless inspiration available on Pinterest and Instagram- it’s like entering a rabbit hole that you can never escape from. But what makes a wedding absolutely perfect? A wedding that represents your own love story and your own style. Don’t forget to add some elements of “you” into your wedding.
Your date is available and you love the venue – YAY! But how do you secure your booking? In most cases, the venue requires a signed contract and a deposit payment in order to confirm your date. Most of the finer details for your special day can be confirmed after the contract is signed, so don’t worry about having to make all the decisions now. As for the deposit, depending on the venue, it will usually be around 25% of the total cost.
Congratulations the first big step of the planning process is done! Now it’s time to get your checklist sorted, download your very own complimentary wedding checklist here, curated by our professional and very talented event planners.