We often have couples asking us how to get started planning their wedding. Follow these steps to ensure greatness.
Step 1: Make A Budget & Guest List
The first part in your wedding planning process should be coming up with your budget. We find that most of our couples are spending between 25k – 50k on their entire wedding, and most of our weddings are for around 125 guests. Generally, 3/4 of the budget is spent on the venue, catering, rentals, and staffing. The remainder goes toward entertainment, photography, decoration, and of course, the dress.
Step 2: Find a Venue
The next part in planning is finding a venue. Over 90% of our weddings take place in rustic spaces like old red barns, wineries, fields up in the Hudson Valley, and warehouses in Brooklyn, but yours could be anywhere. In the NYC area, venues book up super quickly, so lock in a date ASAP.
Pro tip: You can often save money on the wedding by booking an off-peak date. Peak dates are Saturday nights in Summer and Autumn. Try asking for a better rate by booking Sunday in Spring, or a Friday in Winter.
Step 3: Book Your Caterer
Your caterer should be the second vendor you book. Caterers often take up about 50% of the budget, because the services associated with catering are quite comprehensive. A good caterer should be able to provide you with food, drink, staffing (servers, cooks, bartenders), and rentals (plates, glassware, linens, etc.). They should also be able to help you schedule your day, make a floor plan, and be generally super knowledgeable, like us.
STEP 4: Send Out Invitations
Once your caterer and venue are booked you're in the homestretch, thank goodness. Now would be a good time to send out invitations. If you choose to go digital, we recommend setting up a wedding site with Weduary.com which will manage all the elements of the big day.
Step 5: Book Additional Vendors
The final step in your planning process is to book your additional vendors. This includes entertainment, photographers, and florists. They should make up the remaining portion of your budget, and have a bit more flexibility in how far out they need to be booked.
STEP 5: Boogie on!
You're basically done. Sure, small things will come up and you'll have some decisions to make, but you just got 99% of your wedding planned. How cool is that?