You got engaged, you set a date, and you picked a venue. Now, it’s time to take the next step in wedding planning. Keep in mind that this is just our advice. You might feel like catering is your priority vendor and need to get it booked right away. That’s great! The earlier you book all your vendors, the better. But, going into picking vendors with your budget priorities in mind is also smart.
The Second Step of Wedding Planning
You might get overwhelmed as you begin to research wedding planning checklists. The vendors start reaching out because you somehow entered your email into a website, and it’s like they just know you are looking for wedding vendors. You begin to wonder,
”Do I Need a Wedding Planner?”
We would respond with these questions for you:
- Is your family large enough so that the people setting up tables, chairs, and decorations the morning of the wedding are NOT in your wedding party/processional (parents, grandparents, siblings are usually in your wedding)? If not, you likely should get a wedding coordinator so those close to you can enjoy your day with you.
- Are you short on time either from a busy schedule or a quick engagement? You likely need a wedding planner to narrow down vendors based on your budget and styles so you aren’t wasting time pricing items that are not plausible.
- Are you detailed-oriented and want someone you can trust executing your wish list on your big day for things you have to be “hidden” for – so essentially the whole first half of the day? You likely need a wedding planner, we are detail-oriented, too!
- Do you want to be stress-free and just enjoy your wedding day? This is literally the only reason we do what we do. You should cherish your day. Let us sweat the small stuff.
Picking a Photographer
We have a few suggestions about the “two-month” step in the wedding planning process. We consider your photographer a priority vendor and you should book them as soon as possible for a couple of reasons. Most photographers include engagements or bridals with their wedding packages, and if you bundle them, you might get the additional session free. Also, good photographers tend to book up quickly because they can only work one wedding a Saturday.
Do you know your photography style? We wrote another article about different photography styles in case you need some assistance. The goal is to find someone who can shoot in the lighting situation for your venue. If you are outdoors and its cloudy, you will experience a variety of light situations, so you should make sure they are comfortable shooting in those conditions. If you need further assistance, ask us, hopefully your wedding planner, or check out the knot!
Make Your Guest List and Send Out Save the Dates
This step is pretty self explanatory. Pick an invitation suite style or simply a good photo and send out Save the Dates to your first-round invites! We say first-round, because someone venues have a maximum and you might end up with a secondary list if people are unable to come. This is completely acceptable. Think of it as if you are paying per head for each attendee.
Are you struggling with your parent’s invite list? Is there a disagreement? If your parents are helping to pay for the wedding in the traditional way, let them invite some guests.
For Save the Dates, you can go as simple as ordering a photo magnet online or buying an invitation suite which includes formal save the dates. Save the dates are not necessary. We always tell our brides that if the budget allows, go for it. However, a standard invitation is definitely enough to bring your guests to your event!
If you have any questions about anything we’ve said here, please don’t hesitate to ask! Check out the Bridal Association of the Brazos Valley website for a list of wonderful vendors. And as always, let us know if you need assistance planning your wedding!