You found your life partner. You’re engaged! So, now what do you do?
Palisades Tahoe wants to help you navigate these next exciting moments as you plan for your big day.
Below we share a 10-step guideline from our wedding expert, Jenna Western.
Enjoy this moment in engagement for as long as you’d like. This is a great time for you to fantasize and dream together about how you see your wedding day. Enjoy brainstorming your ideas of how you want to celebrate with your favorite people.
2. Get Organized
I recommend that you make a folder, perhaps create a new email address, set up a file system, etc. You will want to keep your research, ideas, photo inspirations, notes, and all the like to stay in one place that is easy to reference. It’s important to set yourself up to make it easy to sort through all the information you’re about to receive.
3. Do Your Homework
This is a crucial step before venturing into the wilderness of awesome wedding venues and wonderment. Do your homework to understand the reality of your big day, specifically your budget and guestlist. Let’s break it down:
- What is your budget? This is a big question. It can be difficult to have the money talk, but it’s important to know your limitations.
- What is your anticipated guest count? This should be realistic for your budget.
- What is your preferred date, month, or time of year? Are you flexible to a non-Saturday date?
- What are the overall amenities and inclusions that are important to you and your venue site? For example, is it important to have lodging, activities, restaurants, etc. on site or nearby? Is there parking and is the venue easily accessible? Or do you want a secluded venue location above all else?
- Is your wedding location going to be a local venue or a destination? Are you familiar with the location?
4. Narrow Your Search and Make a List
As you consider the location of your wedding event, I recommend that you limit your location preference to a maximum of (3) areas. Go back to your wedding visualization. How does it make you feel and what do you see? What are the important factors & features for your wedding day? What are the challenges you need to consider? What are your dealbreakers? It’s time to document your important wedding features. Write it down. Type it out. Save this important foundation information and keep it organized. You will want to reference these details as you search for wedding venues and as you start communicating with wedding professionals.
5. Inquire & Communicate
Now you’re ready to start contacting wedding venues and wedding planners. If you know that you want to hire a full-service wedding planner (not a day of coordinator), then I recommend you hire a planner first so they can help you. Request wedding information from the wedding venues that you are interested in. Be sure to organize your favorites. Each venue will have their own pricing, capacity limitations, and minimum spend requirements. Ask questions! The venue manager will know that you are in the first stage and they should help guide you through the process. Ask for an estimate that includes applicable service charges, fees, and taxes so you have a better understanding of total cost. It is important you find a venue that is what you love and is also a financial fit for your budget.
6. Site Tours!
Now that you have a list of your favorite venues, it is time to go check them out in person. Contact the venue and make an appointment for a site tour. If possible, limit to viewing a maximum of 2-3 venues per day. Too many venues in one day can get overwhelming and you may start mixing up information between all of the locations you visit. Stay organized! Ask questions. Take notes. But most importantly, have fun. Leave your expectations at home, stay open-hearted, and enjoy visiting different sites. You may be surprised at which venue is your favorite.
7. Make a Decision
It’s time to pick your wedding venue! This is your first big step and your first big wedding planning decision. When you know, you know. Find a date that works for you and secure your wedding venue with an event contract and deposit. Nothing else can happen in wedding planning until you make this decision, so secure your venue and date as soon as you can.
8. Create your Wedding Website
Now that you have your date and venue, you can start creating your wedding website. Although you may not be ready to send this website to your guests, it will be a great way to keep yourselves organized on the important details that you want to showcase during your wedding celebrations.
9. Find your Dress and Hire your Vendors
Make appointments at your favorite dress boutiques. Let their expert staff help you find the perfect dress that will compliment your wedding date season, wedding venue location, and most importantly, YOU. Start contacting your dream team that will help you create your wedding vision. Ask your venue what outside services you need to hire. If you’re not familiar with the vendor options in the area, be sure to inquire with your wedding planner and/or the venue for recommendations.
You’re doing great! Wedding planning is next, so lean on your hired vendors for their expert advice and guidance. Use your favorite planning checklist. Mark your calendar of the important deadline dates that lead up to your wedding. Be sure to include those fun appointments so that you can look forward to them. (catering tasting, dessert tasting, engagement photos, hair & makeup trial, etc.) Kiss your fiancé and rest easy knowing that you are on your way to your big day!
This blog post was written by our expert Wedding Guide and Wedding Event Sales Manager, Jenna Western. Contact Jenna today to secure your expert wedding experience at Palisades Tahoe. We cannot wait to help you create the wedding of your dreams!
Wedding & Banquet Sales Manager
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