It's been three years since I planned my own wedding. But I'm currently helping my sister plan her wedding. If only I had known then what I know now, my own planning would have been just a wee bit less stressful (or, you know...if someone had done the planning for me!)
So, dear readers (however many there are of you), you get the joy of following along with my sister's wedding planning. Which will, hopefully, help you with yours. Last week, I talked about budgeting- just scroll down the page a little bit and check out the handy, personalizable (it's a word, I swear!) spreadsheets.
This week, I want to talk about what you should be looking at after you figure out your budget. Do your budget first! Believe me. It'll make everything that much easier. Plus it'll save time because you won't waste hours looking at venues, dresses and vendors that are out of your budget.
1) Determine what feel/theme/look that you're going for. Are there specific colors that you want to incorporate?
2) What time of year? If you're dreaming of an outdoor wedding and you're in the Pacific Northwest, plan on looking at June-September. But also keep in mind that this is also prime "wedding season" so venues often have higher prices in that time frame. Do you dream of a ballroom wedding? You can do anytime of year, which is definitely more flexible with pricing options.
3) Now that you've figured out time of year, that will help you determine what kind of venue you need. Once you know what kind of venue you're looking for, the location is the first thing that you need to book. The location determines everything else, from what date is available to vendor limitations. After your venue is booked, then you can start your search for your vendors. Ask friends and family who they would recommend. Google your vendors before you book them, and make sure to meet with them in person at least once prior to your wedding.
So how do you find a great venue without spending hours and hours googling and hunting online? Funny that you ask. I'm actually working on creating a list of venues in the Portland Metro area. I'll be publishing that on this blog in late January (after the Christmas and New Years madness).
PS-There are a TON of wedding planning timelines out there on different websites. www.theknot.com was the one that I used. It helps to find a timeline that you can personalize for your needs.