Maybe you are newly engaged or maybe you’re finally getting around to planning your wedding post-pandemic. We’d love to help you get started on creating a wedding that truly reflects you as a couple. We also know that wedding planning can seem overwhelming. We’re laying out the first 3 steps in getting started with wedding planning (and some tips for New Jersey Wedding Planning, specifically!)
Tip #1 Budget!
Take the time to figure out who is helping with paying for the wedding and what the overall budget is. This is the first step because it greatly impacts everything when it comes to your wedding. We believe there are no rules when it comes to planning a wedding (ie B E Y O U R S E L F and do what you want!), but budgets are important. Going over a budget almost always equals more stress. And that’s the opposite of what this experience should be. Wedding planning should be fun!! At the very least you need a “financial comfort zone” on what you want to spend on a wedding. Whatever your budget is, it’s a lot of money!
We would recommend making a list of priorities when its comes to vendors. What is more important? The entertainment or the look of the space? The food or the photography? That will keep you focused and make decision making easier in the future. This step is all about managing expectations. Are you curious about the average cost of certain venues and vendors in northern New Jersey? We did a post about that and you can check it out here. It’s important to have a general idea of what aspects of the wedding are likely to cost before getting started.
Tip #2 Venue Vision and Date
Picking a venue is a beast of its own. Before you start looking at actual venues, discuss with your partner what you want, like and envision! Do you want a vintage romantic vibe? A garden estate? Industrial rustic? Light and airy bright white? Moody dark blues? Themes? Please know that decision fatigue is a real thing. So knowing what you like and narrowing down what you’re both looking for ahead of time helps so much. We highly recommend limited your venue site visits to 3-5 venues. And since you’ve already seen tip #1, you know that you should only look at venues that are within your budget. Maybe you pick one “reach” type venue if you really love it to tour.
At the end of the tour, the venue coordinator will sit down with you and go over pricing. You should ask questions – make a list before hand and make sure to bring it with you. You can see our past post on venue search and questions you should ask here. Thursdays will be offered as a very affordable option, and Fridays and Sundays will be more affordable than Saturdays. Remember that there are some dates that might seem attractive but you didn’t realize it’s superbowl weekend. Or Mother’s Day (which Ness got married on Mother’s Day weekend and her Mother didn’t mind but you’ll want to discuss this!). Or the weekend of the New York City marathon or the Gay Pride Parade. Do a quick google search of that date and the city just to make sure it’s not also Food and Wine Festival and hotels will be booked or crazy expensive 🙂
Please ask about minimums for head counts before seeing a venue! If you have a wedding party of 100 and the venue has a minimum of 200 – you probably don’t want to pay for an extra 100 people who won’t be there – but maybe you do want a big space for your small party! You need to know that before you fall in love with the venue though 🙂
Tip #3 Vendor Preferences
After you’ve locked in your venue. Ask them about vendors they like that have worked in the space before. In addition, do a search on instagram for vendors who have tagged the venue for some additional examples. For all the big vendor categories, before you even start your search, talk about what you want! Do you want a DJ or a band?Videography or just photo? Do you want the photography to be editorial or more relaxed and soft? Figure out what you like! And then narrow down to 2-3 vendors to consider in each category. Then set up face to face meetings with them. Get a feel for their personality, especially if they are a photographer who will be around you all day.
And that’s three tips to get you started on Wedding Planning and we’ve provided links on for information related to New Jersey Wedding Planning, specifically. Are you curious about the average cost of certain venues in northern New Jersey? We did a post about that and you can check it out here.
Are you looking for a Wedding Planner in New Jersey or New York City (we also service Cape Cod!)
We’d love to help you relax and enjoy your engagement. We plan and thoughtfully design weddings. We offer everything from full service wedding planning and design to day/month of coordination (Wedding Management). You can check out our website here. You can also schedule a free initial consultation with us by clicking here. We’ll get to know you a bit and talk about what’s the best planning strategy for you.