New Year, New Plan
Table of Contents
Jump Start Your wedding planning
The holidays are fading into the rearview mirror and hearing the clock strike midnight on NYE signals a new countdown – the countdown to your wedding day! Juggling the weeks of holiday prep and traveling on top of wedding planning can be emotionally draining. Not to mention the added tension from all the questions you might have received after spending the last weeks with friends and family excitedly awaiting to hear every detail of your wedding.
For this reason, many choose to put the brakes on planning and soak in the holiday festivities with their fiance. After all, you’re only engaged for a short time! On the other hand, some couples choose to take full advantage of having some holiday time off to zone in on those big wedding tasks to check off. Plus, those bonus moments with friends and family can gift you with opinions, advice, and extra hands to help big their dream to life!
Which ever category you fall into (or even if your somewhere in the middle), January brings us fresh energy and a clean sheet of paper. However, pause the New Year’s resolutions. I’m talking about strategizing your plan of attack for your wedding todo list!
So where do you start? Grab a pen and paper (or your Notes app) and let’s get to it!
It Starts with Three C's
Booking your venue and securing your wedding date is without a doubt a huge accomplishment. It lays the foundation on which you will build all of your wedding dreams – from the season and atmosphere right down to the date you will have monogrammed on all of your napkins.
However, after signing on the dotted line and browsing Pinterest for venue inspiration you might find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed. Now what?
One thing most already engaged couples don’t know is that the holiday season brings a brand new factor into the planning equation – a whole new group of recently engaged couples! So what does this mean for you? Let’s just say the battle for booking vendors becomes just a bit tighter.
How do you jump ahead of those newly engaged couples on the prowl? Have no fear; the three C’s of planning are here!
And what exactly are those? Read on to find out!
Typically, catering is locked in shortly after securing your vendor. Occasionally venues come with a preferred vendor list of an inhouse catering which helps narrow down the decision making. However, some venues require you to bring in your own catering vendor leaving more room for creative liberties on the menu.
In order to lock in the vendor and give themselves plenty of time to debate the menu, couples often book their wedding caterers 6 to 12 months before the date of their wedding. While it is still possible to hire your caterer with less notice, the likelihood that your favorite caterer will be available will increase the earlier you begin preparing. The meal can be prepared in as short as a few weeks if you are organizing a wedding rapidly. The catering firm will need time to develop your menu and offer you tastings, so the more time you can give them, the better.
Bonus Tip: Get your tasting scheduled on the calendar, and make it a date night! Enjoy quality time with your fiance and let others handle the cooking while you two dream about your plans.
You have your dream venue chosen and the countdown to your wedding date has begun! Aside from catering, the order you book your next vendors (including florals, entertainment, and decor) may vary. There is one vendor exception to this – your photographer and/or videographer.
There is nothing more heartbreaking then missing out on the photographer or videographer you wanted to capture your wedding moments. Making this vendor a priority will save you stress and allow you to focus your energy on the next fun tasks such as your dress and florals! So when it comes to photo and video, you are never too early to book. In fact, if you already have other vendors locked in and haven’t checked this off your list, it’s time to get rolling!
Most couples book their vendor up to 2 years in advance, and one of the most popular times of year for bookings happens to be after the holidays -commonly known as “engagement season”. Other factors that couples need to figure in is the season and wedding date they have chosen. For example, weekend dates are high demand for weddings, not to mention adding in the prime Spring and Fall seasons. Winter dates between December to March can offer more flexibility. However, when it comes to dates falling between early April to mid-November, these dates book at record speed.
Bonus Tip: There can be a financial benefit to booking this vendor early. How come? Many photographers and videographers offer payment plans over period of months – therefore booking earlier allows you to take advantage of the time between payments. Locking in your date earlier can also help you avoid annual price increases with wedding vendors.
Now that your venue is locked in and you have two vendors checked off your planning to-do list, next thing to tackle: Get those save-the-dates in the mail!
Your wedding celebration wouldn’t be a day to remember without all of your favorite people sharing in the day’s excitement with you. That’s why getting a reminder in the mail to make sure your wedding date is on their calendar is a top priority! How early is too early to stamp your envelopes? Most couples aim to send out save-the-dates about 1 year in advance. If your working on a tighter time frame, no worries! You still have time to send out a cute card to your loved ones. Your invites don’t need to be mailed until 3-4 months before your big day.
Bonus tip: Put your creativity to good use and get designing with the cute templates from websites like Minted!