Congratulations! You're engaged!!
Now you may be feeling overwhelmed on where to start. You have a lot of information flooding in from joyous loved ones eager to help and the numerous social media platforms that you follow like Pinterest and Instagram. How do you figure out which well-meaning friend's advice to listen to or which vendor to go to first to achieve your dream wedding day?
Louisville Wedding is here to help. Organization is everything as you dive in to the planning process. Weddings cost a lot of money, and you need to know where your money is going and when it is due. The budget is king from the start, as it will dictate all of the other decisions. It is tempting to start with the "fun stuff" like floral design and inspiration pictures. However, you want to get through the business side of budgeting first along with family members who might be contributing financially. Think of this stage as the first wise financial decision you'll make as a newly engaged couple. You don't want to begin planning and securing vendors then realize these items don't fit in to your overall budget. This could waste time AND money if you end up having to break contracts and loose deposits. As you work through this task, take a peak at the "Money Smart" Resource guide on the Louisville Wedding Printables page to see how you can instantly save about $4500. Then use the "Deposit Tracker" as you book vendors with deposits and to know when final payments are due.
Buy a standard three ring binder to keep all of your planning guides, vendor brochures, and contracts in one place. Make it pretty with LW's simple, printable binder cover page and fill in your personal details to make it special! Who will share the day and all of the special occasions leading up to the wedding with you? Use the "Sharing the Celebration" and "Wedding Party Sentiments" pages to keep track of your wedding party and what these special people mean to you. This makes your binder more than just a planning tool; it becomes a keepsake you can look back on fondly for years! You can even use this organized list to forward to florists who will need to know members of the wedding party to make personal flowers and the officiant who will help organize your procession and recession.
The "Planning Timeline" will keep you on track from engagement to nuptials. Don't panic and feel like all of your details need to be secured within a month of engagement! Know the appropriate times to finalize vendor roles, send invitations, and make purchases. Once you begin researching and touring venues, the "Site Visit Notes" pages will be the most valuable document in your binder to ensure that you are gathering ALL of the information you need from each possible venue and thoroughly understand hidden fees. Easily compare notes to pick the place you will say "I do." As you do complete vendor bookings, keep track of their contact information on LW's printable "Vendor Contacts" page. Use this as the first page in the section of your binder with copies of all contracts. This makes it easy for ANYONE to reach vendors on the day of the wedding, should any issues arise.
You will already have an idea of how many guests you will be inviting based on the budget. Guests are, after all, the most impactful factor to the total wedding budget. Once you book your venue, however, you will have a concrete limit to the number of guests that can be in attendance. Use the pre-setup Excel sheet "Guest List Tracker" to add guest names and contact information. Record RSVP responses, food preferences, and table assignments right on the sheet! This guest list tracker is set up specifically to be easily forwarded to stationery printers or calligraphy artists to address envelopes. Review the "Invitation Etiquette" article to understand exactly how names are entered with titles and for couples. Use the "Perfect RSVP" resource guide and the printable "Invitation Builder," whether working with a professional invitation designer or designing your invitations yourself, to ensure all of the appropriate information is included on your formal invites.
Once you know who is coming to your wedding you need to plan out the logistics of the day! Work with your designer and/or venue after reading the "Be Seated" resource guide. This easy to follow informational tool gives you everything you need to know about tables and floorpans, so that you can walk the walk and talk the talk of a wedding professional. Finally, the most important part of a seamless wedding day is timing! Write out how the timing of the day will happen, and share this with vendors. Start the day off on schedule and stress free by using the "Get Beautiful" resource guide to figure out the hair and makeup schedule for all members of the wedding party.
These FREE planning resources and printable guides have been created to make the planning as easy and enjoyable as possible. The team at LW wishes you the best and happy planning!