Things you need to know before you start planning your wedding

Congratulations on your engagement! Maybe you have been engaged for a while and decided 2017 is your year to start planning or maybe you just got engaged over the holiday and are ready to jump right in! Either way, the decision to start planning your wedding is both exciting and overwhelming. As a former and a professional wedding planner, I can offer you some important advice that every bride should know. 

Set a realistic budget

So many brides come to me with a budget that is unrealistic to their Pinterest board expectations. Weddings are expensive, especially in our NY/NJ area, and many images you are happily pinning are the result of six figure weddings that most couples will not be inclined to spend. When discussing budget with parents or anyone who got married 20 plus years ago, don't expect the same budget to go so far as it did for them, after all the price of everything else in life has drastically increased and weddings today are more elaborate then ever.

Price out some vendors 

In order to get a better understanding of what type of budget you will need for your dream wedding do some vendor homework. Sit down with several photographers, venues, music entertainment vendors and review their packages and prices. Remember you get what you pay for, so you want to hire professionals and not a friend who takes pictures on the side for a day as important as this. After getting a true sense of what things cost you can then set a budget and begin planning accordingly. The best way to keep the costs down is by cutting the guest list as the venue, catering and alcohol will account for about 50% of your budget.

Start collecting images, color swatches and creating mood boards

The best way to convey what you envision for your wedding is to show examples to your vendors. This is especially true if you are working with a wedding planner (which I strongly recommend) or with a designer, florist and venue manager. Remember, this is your wedding and in order to recreate what you want and not be left disappointed by the outcome is to give everyone involved in the planning as much visual aide as possible. 

Stay Organized

You are about to receive an overwhelming amount of information! Make sure it stays organized by seperating each vendor you spoke with and their handouts into seperating folder. I personally love using a binder with seperating folders inserted for each category when planning with my clients. Take good notes and jot down anything that stood out as a plus or minus to remember when making your final decision.

Ready Set Pla

Once you have all these tasks completed you are ready to start planning! Hopefully you have given yourself at least 9-12 months to hit the ground running so you're not rushed. Enjoy every moment of this precious time. For more wedding planning information visit my website atJennifer Tolento Events

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