Congratulations on your engagement! I’m so excited for you, because marriage is the best ever! As you prepare and plan for your big day, you’re sure to have a lot of questions, especially if this is your first time doing this (which it probably is!). I’ve been to almost a hundred weddings in my time as a photographer, so I’ve seen it all. All the mistakes and successes, all the planning woes, and all the forgotten pieces.
Take advantage of the tips I’m share here and stay tuned for the future posts as I outline what I know to be the best checklist for making sure everything gets done before the big day. Today we’ll be talking about the things you should work on a whole year before your wedding.
The first thing you’ll need to do, as most every other bit of planning relies on this, is set your wedding date. Make sure that neither you nor your fiancé have conflicting plans on the proposed date, and it’s also a good idea to double check with the important people in your life before you finalize a date and set it in stone.
The next thing I recommend doing is having a party to celebrate your engagement. Planning a wedding can get a little hectic, but I want you to remember why you’re doing this and let yourself feel the love from those around you who want to celebrate your love with you! This is a chance for you to sit back revel in the joy from your recent engagement before things get harried and technical.
Before you start getting too far into planning, you and your fiancé should also discuss your budget for your wedding. Will you be funding it just the two of you? Will your parents or anyone else be contributing? This may even factor into your actual wedding date. Ask the tough questions now to get them out of the way and make sure you’re on the same page. You should also have this discussion with anyone else financially contributing to your wedding planning. Knowing the finances ahead of time will keep things operating smoothly down the road, and will help you avoid rocky situations. Especially when it comes to family, you want to show the utmost respect for all those involved because it can be an emotional time! You’ll be better off for having this conversation sooner rather than later.
Another thing I find it most helpful to plan early on is to decide on a number of guests and put together a tentative guest list. With your budget in mind, work together to make a list of the most important people in your lives with whom you want to share your special day. Be respectful of each other’s feelings and sensitive to any unique situations. I’d rather pay $20 a head for a couple extra people to avoid burning bridges and ruining a friendship, any day.
The last task I’d give to you for this month, a whole year before your wedding day, is to start a Pinterest account, if you don’t already have one. Pinterest is a treasure trove of helpful information and beautiful inspiration to help you with visualizing and actually planning your wedding. You can easily pin the things you want to remember and find related pins, which is especially helpful once you’ve chosen your theme and your colors - it makes it a breeze to see other decor examples or styles that fit your aesthetic all in one place!
Check back soon for more wedding planning tips and to see what you should be doing 11 months before your wedding day! Now that I’m married, I love sharing this valuable information I’ve learned that I’m never going to have the chance to implement when planning my own wedding every again. Take my knowledge and put it to good use!