Now that you’ve decided to take that big step, there are some important things you can do right now, to make the rest of your wedding planning a breeze. Here’s what you need to do first.
- Book your ceremony & reception venues. Nothing else can happen until you know where you’re going to be on your wedding day. Your choice of vendors will become more clear when each vendor knows the specifics of your church/temple and reception hall. It’s easier for vendors to give you specific pricing when they know what needs to be decorated, where the best picture spots are, where the best acoustics are, etc.
- Hire your primary vendors. That means shopping right away for a great DJ or band, a top photographer and/or videographer, and a florist and décor expert. Once they’re all in place, you and your vendors will know how your wedding will look and sound. Your venue can help with the table décor and tableware, and the catering. Once all the big pillars are in place, the biggest sources of stress will be behind you.
- Decide who to invite. If your wedding is a year or more away, you have some time to ponder your guest list, decide what fits into your budget, and make decisions on who to invite to what. Not everyone needs to be invited to your ceremony. You can keep it as small and intimate as you like, or your can invite everyone you know. But your reception should be for all your family members and best friends.
- A wedding is not a date. If you have single friends who aren’t in serious relationships (engaged or living together), don’t invite them to bring a date. “Plus-ones” are for bona fide couples only. Of course, you can always turn a single invitation into a “plus-one” invitation as you get closer to the wedding.
- Hold off on your save-the-date cards. The only people who need to know right away are the ones you absolutely plan to invite. Give yourself some flexibility to enlarge or shrink your guest list until it’s finalized. Once you’re settled on it, then send out the cards.
- Does the groom have to do anything? Does he want to? Find out, and be sure he has a voice in your planning. The two of you will need to meet your officiant together, as well as your planner, and ideally, your DJ, too. Your mate will probably want to be part of your food and cake tastings. But a groom may have no interest in wedding flowers or décor. Beyond that, his responsibilities will include choosing his groomsmen, choosing tuxes for them, assigning their duties and buying their groomsman gifts.
These are the big items to check off your list first. Choosing your gown and other fashions, booking hotels for out-of-town guests, arranging a limo, planning your honeymoon and so forth can all come later. Once you’ve built the framework of your wedding, you won’t feel so frazzled about the smaller things.
As you can see, we’re committed to making your wedding the best night of your lives. Let’s get started on your entertainment planning. Just ask me to contact you. Click here!
© Fourth Estate Audio, 2016 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.