Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! We’re looking at wedding planning basics today! You might have seen my earlier posts about tools for your wedding venue search and then some good questions to keep in mind when narrowing down your venue. So what’s next?
I think finding your caterer will be right at the top of your to do list. Our venue had an on-site caterer that we used and so we didn’t have to shop around for this vendor and get quotes. As we got closer to the wedding, we worked with them to lock in the specifics of menu, bar and rentals (tables, chairs, linens, etc. often come from your caterer if not included with the venue). Your venue may have preferred caterers for you to work with or you can get down to business getting quotes from folks and discussing the options that make sense for your guests- buffet versus family style versus cocktail reception versus seated dinner or even brunch!
For us, we jumped right into the photographer. We wanted someone who got our vision and style and almost more important than that, someone we got along with on a personal level. You will spend a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day! It’s important you like them! We found a wonderful woman who we clicked with instantly and we loved her wedding package. Tip: try to get a photographer that includes a free engagement session as part of the package; a great way to get comfortable in front of the camera and you can use those photos on Save the Dates! We also loved that our photographer gave us printing rights to the photos so we could go through her to get prints and an album but also had the option to print and share with family ourselves. You might also consider a videographer at this point too- perhaps your photographer has someone he/she works with for this component or can recommend someone. We opted not to, but many bride and grooms love to have their big day captured on video too!
Next up, we tackled things like wedding dress (stay tuned for a future post on dresses that compliment your farm wedding!), bridesmaid’s dresses and suits for the groom and his men. I ended up with one shopping trip to find my dream dress, but be prepared for a few visits to different boutiques (followed by a few fittings once you finally purchase your dress). We decided to go with one color and one fabric for all bridesmaids and let them select the dress style that felt right to them. Lots of folks have a uniform, all matching look for bridesmaids but more and more, folks are mixing it up with a coordinated color pallet and letting the ladies select a dress style of their choice, as long as it fits in with the general color scheme. For the men, we had suits custom made from an awesome online company Indochino, but there are great rental options out there too! All of these are important things to get started on early to leave ample time for ordering, shipping and alterations.
Then, we looked at the all-important music, the key to setting the vibe for your guests! We opted for a DJ, but there are great band options to check out too. It’s important to decide what you’re looking for in your wedding music. Some people hope for a DJ who will handle it all and you can sit back and relax. In our case, music was really important to us and we wanted to provide a lot of input and suggested song lists before we turned it over to the DJ to do his thing. Similarly with a band, you’ll want to find the right folks that mesh with the tone of your wedding. This vendor often provides or can recommend folks if you have lighting needs for your wedding too.
After finding your wedding venue, these are some of the first key things you’ll want to get started on. Stay tuned for our next post that covers the next phase of wedding planning basics!