You’re Engaged. Now What? Here’s How to Plan the Perfect Wedding
He asked. You said yes. You screamed, cried, hugged, and kissed. Your elation can barely be contained. You can’t stop staring at the beacon of light beaming from your finger symbolizing the promise of your golden future. (Good time to get a manicure, by the way.) So now what?
Of course, call your families, share your good news on social, get your ring insured, and then breathe. After you’ve had some time to let it sink in, your mind goes into overdrive. OMG I’m getting married! Guest list, venues, dates, the dress, flowers, cake, bridal party – there’s SO much to do! But where do you even start?
Let’s start by going back to breathe. You have time. A bit of advice during the whole process – this is your wedding – just the two of you. Not your mothers, not your in-laws, not your best friends – yours. Many people will give you advice and suggestions, and even tell you what they want or expect, but always remember that this is the start to your new life. Make sure it’s what you want it to be.
Now that you have perspective, let’s start asking the hard questions.
What type of wedding do you want?
Quaint destination ceremony? Lavish ballroom? Stunning garden? Rooftop deck with a view? It’s time to envision where your perfect wedding would take place. Once you have a theme in mind, you can start to look at venues.
Decide on a time frame.
Before you commit to a type of wedding, decide if it needs to be in a specific time frame. An outdoor, sunset ceremony may not be the best idea for January. Indoor weddings are easier, because weather is not a factor. So, before you book the garden, make sure the flowers won’t freeze.
Approximate how many guests you’ll have.
One unfortunate mistake many brides make is falling in love with a venue and then realizing their reception won’t fit. Have a number in mind before you start looking at venues, because often places will have a minimum or maximum number of people, and you don’t want to start cutting or adding people just to fit into a space.
Research venues. And their staff.
The wedding venue and staff will be part of your daily life for the next year or more. A bit of advice – ask the hard questions and get to know the staff because they will become your best friends. If you don’t get along with them or they seem incompetent from the get go, planning your wedding will be a nightmare. Find out what is included in their services. Some venues, like Enclave, are full-service and have most things in-house, so external rentals and additional fees are minimal. Other venues may just give you the space, and you’ll have to find vendors for catering, production, liquor, tables, chairs, linen, DJ, and more separately.
How big is your wedding party?
Some people have a small army, while others prefer to have only a maid of honor and best man. Whichever you choose, you’ll need to coordinate everything from attire and accommodations to photography and bridal party gifts. Another tip – make sure you and your future spouse agree on the size. If he has 8 brothers and you only want your two best friends, the party could be unbalanced. But if you don’t mind 4 guys escorting one gal, go for it!
HOT TREND: Some brides are now opting for a variety of dresses in the same color. That way each woman gets to show her own personal style that flatters her, while the wedding party is still uniform in color. It also takes a huge burden off the bride since she doesn’t have to coordinate fittings, ship dresses, field style or price complaints, and more.
Do you have a theme for décor in mind?
Some couples want the most stunning, spectacular, elegant décor, while others dream of a more rustic, natural themed-wedding. Whatever your taste, decide on an overarching color scheme or style. Whether you want ski-lodge chic or a rich royal wedding, your personal flair will really show through in these details. From flower choices to flatware, you have a lot of creativity to design something suited just for you.
What’s on the menu?
The first big decision is whether you want a buffet or sit-down meal. This is very much a personal preference. Some people want their guests to be able to pick and choose from an array of dishes and eat as much as they want. Others opt for a more formal dining experience. Will you accommodate guests with dietary restrictions, and if so, to what extent? Will you have a raw bar? Stations? A candy bar? An open bar? A decadent dessert hour? A towering behemoth of a cake or an assortment of tiny cupcakes? Tastings tend to be the best way to decide on what you may want – and they are a treat on their own!
Branding or No Branding?
Some venues offer the option of personalizing your wedding with branding. Your name in lights projected on the venue when you arrive, a custom video or slide show projected on all the walls of a grand hall, and more. If you’ve dreamed of having the celebrity, red carpet treatment, make sure the venue offers that. Enclave offers an array of creative ideas. Want to video map the ballroom to travel throughout the world during the reception? Done. Or how about video mapping your wedding cake? Maybe you want to walk in the room like Beyoncé or have lights like a Vegas nightclub. We can do that, too. Want floor or window decals? No problem. Enclave can personalize even the smallest details of your wedding celebration.
Are there any special traditions you want to incorporate?
Many families and cultures have special wedding traditions that you may want to incorporate into your ceremony or reception. From more well-known traditions like the breaking of the glass and something old, something new to more heritage-specific customs, like the Polish ceremonial gift of bread and salt from the parents, the Indian mehndi painting of the hands and feet, or the Greek shaving of the groom or honey and almonds fed to him by his future mother-in-law. Don’t be afraid to combine customs, either. Make your own tradition to suit your wishes!
Yes, it’s a lot to think about. But don’t lose sight of the real reward – you’re getting married to the person you love! Together, the two of you can accomplish anything – even planning the perfect wedding without losing your minds.
If you would like to speak with one of our concierge wedding planners, please call us at (702) 774-9900 or CLICK HERE to set up a free consultation. We’re happy to answer your questions and are looking forward to speaking with you!