Hey friends! Happy Thursday to you all! Today’s Thursday Tips post picks up where the “Just Engaged? 5 Things To Do First!” post left off about a month ago. Now that you’ve had time to revel in your engagement and celebrate with friends and family, it’s time to get down to business! First, make sure you have all 5 things from the last post done and ready to go. You should have your venue and your date secured, so now you’re ready to take the next steps! (And if you don’t have your venue and your date, STOP! Get your venue and your date booked so your ideal date doesn’t get snatched up!)
Warning: a lot of this stuff happens all at once. You may feel overwhelmed at times, feeling like you have an abnormal amount of things to do, but it’s normal. It’s just part of planning your wedding. ;)
I put *just* research because it’s twofold. Remember I said a lot of this stuff happens at once. Here it is.
First and foremost, if you didn’t already hire a wedding planner during the first 5 steps, I strongly suggest you consider one. They will be able to give you excellent recommendations and will save you lots of time and frustration. [Example: I myself always determine my bride’s style, make a list of the pros that I think would be best, check their availability, and then provide her my recommendations based on that. On average, it takes me about a week of emails to get this info together, but then all the bride has to do is check out their work and tell me which one she likes best. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. ;)]
Researching potential vendors is HUGE. There are so many amazing wedding professionals out there now, and you want time to be able to choose the right one for you. You definitely don’t want to be rushed, but at the same time, time is of the essence. If you don’t have a wedding planner, go to this post for tips on finding, researching, and inquiring with vendors.
When you’re researching, I recommend that you check out their portfolio, their bio, their pricing info (if they have it available) and their blog. Feel free to do research on every single type of vendor you need, but the ones that are crucial and book up quickly are the photographer, videographer, and caterer (if applicable). Moving on, the next steps are going to pertain to these 3 things. [After you’ve completed the following steps for the previously mentioned vendors, move on to your entertainment, florals/event decor, rentals, invitations, and cake. And then you’ll go on to hair and makeup, transportation, tux rentals, favors, and any extras.]
Note: To make things easier on you and to ensure that you hire quality professionals, I’ve done extensive research on all of the wedding pros in Every Last Vendor. You can trust that they’re all of excellent quality and absolutely amazing. Plus, you can even get to know them a little better with their interview answers! :)
Photo by LeahAndMark.com
The second part of Research is…
Yes, it’s in caps because it’s *that* exciting! Isn’t that pretty much the very first thing you wanted to do!? Be sure to research the types of dresses that you like and the stores that carry them. And read this past post. [Personal experience: I ended up traveling 5 hours to go to a store that had the designer I liked- and I ended up taking my dress home that very day (after months of dress drama- read here).]
2. Inquire and Interview Vendors
So you’ve done your research and you know who you like. Now it’s time to contact the vendor, find out if they’re available for your date, check on their pricing (if you want to), and schedule a consultation. (I think this is what I myself felt weird about. You’ve never done it before, so it’s just weird, you know?) It’s not weird though- in fact, it’s pretty darn fun! :) They’ll get to know you, you’ll get to know them, you’ll get down to business, and then you let them know in a few days if you want to hire them or not! I recommend meeting with up to 3 of each type of vendor- 1 if you already absolutely love them and they sell you right away, 2 if you’re pretty set but want to know other options, and 3 if you’re not sure. It just really depends on you.
3. Hire Your Vendors
Of course it’s the next step- you’ll have to pull the trigger on hiring someone eventually, right? Have all your consultations, and then try to let them know a week or two from when they provide you with an estimate/proposal. And then hooray, you’re one more step closer to your wedding day! Here’s an important thing though. Once you’ve hired someone, please let the other vendors that you met with know that you won’t be going with them. I know it sucks to do it and yes, you might feel awkward, but it has to be done- they have to know! A nice, simple email will suffice.
4. WEDDING DRESS!
Alright, so you have some of your vendors booked… now it’s time to take a break and go wedding dress shopping! I don’t think this needs much explanation. Just be sure that you’ve read this post first. :)
Photo via ELV floral designer Art With Nature Floral Design
5. Design & Detail Inspiration
Remember back in the first 5 steps, and I had you decide on your wedding style? Well with the next round of vendors you meet, you’ll need to have a better idea of what you want your wedding to be like, so it’s time to focus on design and details! When I say design and details, in a nutshell it just means what your wedding will look like. Design is more of a general term and details is more specifics. This too is something that requires lots of research… which in the wedding world we like to call INSPIRATION! :) I’m sure many of you have probably already started saving photos of things that you like and are Pinning away! After all, this big, beautiful, wide wedding world does almost solely revolve around design and details! But you want to make sure that you have enough inspiration to be able to accurately convey to your potential vendors what it is you want for your wedding. And in the same breath, you don’t want to have too much either! As luck would have it, I have a few different posts devoted to design and details that should cover everything…
Oh and don’t forget to bring your design and detail inspiration with you to your consultations! :)
And of course after that last one, you pretty much start over again with steps 1-3 for the next set of vendors! So there you have it, the 5 things to do NEXT- after you do the 5 things to do FIRST, that is! :) Like I said at the beginning of the post- a lot of these things are done all at once. You’ll be super busy with wedding stuff, and then you won’t really have much to do. Of course it depends on exactly how long you have to plan your wedding, but it’s the norm to experience that. So now you’re armed with info! Get ready to be busy with wedding stuff for a little while!
Oh and a little something else too… I know there are lots of bridal shows that will be going on this weekend. It’s a BIG weekend for that, because so many of you lovely brides just got engaged over the holidays! If you are going to a show, then be sure you read this first! :)
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