7 First Steps in Planning Your Wedding

The season of romance is upon us!! From the Christmas festivities in December to Valentine’s Day in February, romance abounds and romantic holidays can lead to romantic marriage proposals!

Photographer: Taken by Tate

In fact, statistics show that about 40% of engagements happen in these three romantic months! How about you? Did he ask? Did you say”Yes”? If so, what do you do now? How do you begin planning your wedding? Well, since the two of you are going “all IN”, here are 7 “IN’s” to help you begin planning the wedding of your dreams.




You have probably already gotten started on this one! You can’t wait to share the news of your engagement with those closest to you! As you shared,chances are that the first question your friends and family asked was WHEN?? Well? You have to start somewhere. So talk it over and set a preliminary date. The date you set doesn’t have to be exact. First, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to plan. Then ask yourself: What are our favorite seasons? What time of year fits best in our schedules? Once you decide on a tentative date, you can tell your friends something like, “We are looking at Spring of 2021” or “We would love a Christmas wedding!” Not only will your friends’ curiosity be satisfied, but you will have a starting point for booking a venue. Likewise, when you have nailed an exact date, you can book your photographer, make-up artist, and hairdresser. Great ones book up early!



Which of the people in your life do you want to be an integral part of your wedding day? While you are informing your closest friends about your exciting news, you can bet they are waiting to see if you will ask them to be a part. Go ahead and ask! Incorporating them into your wedding now will ensure they will be there to stand by your side on the big day and they can fulfill their roles in helping you to prepare for your event.



How much money are you willing to invest in your wedding?  The first and most important step in the wedding planning process is to Determine a budget.  Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding, but more and more contemporary couples are financing their own.  Have an open and honest discussion about your big-picture budget. Survey your finances to get an idea of how much you can realistically afford to spend. How much do you have in savings? How much will you be able to save before the wedding?  Contribute monthly to a wedding savings or checking account. Even if your parents are footing the bill, a savings account will come in handy for the honeymoon or any wedding day extras you just can’t live without!!



While you are not finalizing your guest list at this point, you need to begin a preliminary guest list. Having a rough number of guests in mind is necessary to determine the size of your venue and your budget for your wedding day. Who are the most important people in your life? Who do want to be with you on this very special day? Start a list. Prioritize it with the closest family and friends at the top. This will make cutting easier if necessary.  If you can’t invite everyone that comes to mind, remember that having those closest to you at your wedding will make the day more intimate, as well as more affordable since most venues and caterers charge by the head. 



How involved do you want to be in carrying out the logistics and the most minute details of your wedding day? Pulling off the biggest event of a lifetime requires a phenomenal amount of time and effort. If you don’t have that to give, Consider a wedding planner.  Decide early if you are going to enlist the help of an experienced planner or go it on your own. A planner has expertise that can help you get started planning, create a realistic wedding budget, save you from costly mistakes and ensure you stay on track getting things done so your wedding goes off without a hitch. In addition, a planner is there for advice, guidance, and attending to details throughout the planning process. He/she can point you to and be the go-between for trusted vendors that can carry out your vision for your perfect day. Furthermore, the best wedding planners take care of all the logistics and do the “leg-work” the day of your wedding so you can enjoy your day stress-free!



This is the fun part! Start dreaming about your wedding! Maybe you have been planning your wedding day since you were 5 years old and know what you want.  However, it will serve you well to have a private, very real discussion with your fiance’ without parents or any other outside opinions before you embark on planning. While some grooms just want to show up and smile, others like to be a part of the planning process. What are his ideas? Does he prefer a large or small wedding? Formal or laid back? Through communication, each of you understand what is important to the other and there will be fewer surprises or disagreements as the planning process progresses. Once you have that understanding, start looking at weddings! Check out wedding blogs, wedding websites and of course, Pinterest. Create a wedding Pinterest board and begin pinning ideas. To avoid being overwhelmed, be sure to organize your board into cakes, wedding papers, florals, decor, dresses, and anything else that catches your eye! And don’t forget printed sources. Wedding magazines are a great resource for the latest in wedding trends. Be careful, though, about copying someone else’s wedding! Your wedding should be unique and reflect the personality, style, and love story of you and your fiance’.



Start looking at venues. As you pin and clip photos that you love, you will begin to define your wedding style. Where would your style work best? In a church? A mansion? A barn? A garden? Look for venues that will showcase your style and bring your vision to reality. Use the Internet to search for venues in the area you have chosen for your wedding. Read their reviews and book tours of those facilities that appeal to you. Having an idea of your style, your preliminary date, your budget, and the number of guests, as accomplished in the earlier steps, will help you narrow down the perfect venue for your big day!
    Plato, the Athenian philosopher, once said, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” No work can be completed unless you get started! He asked. .You said Yes! Now use these 7 ”IN” steps to guide your beginning process. Once you have chosen your wedding date, set your budget, booked your venue, and possibly hired a wedding coordinator, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Other tasks involved in the creative process… choosing invitations, flowers, music, food, etc.. take time to get it right!! Therefore, you shouldn’t rush these.  Like your wedding day, your engagement period is a special time in your life, filled with excitement and anticipation. Take time to enjoy it. Relax, have fun with your fiance’ and most of all, don’t stress! 

Read our reviews and book your tour of Victoria Belle Mansion & Vintage White Barn today! Call us at 706-637-4933 or email us at VICKIE@VICTORIABELLEWEDDINGS.COM.

The estate offers your choice of settings: the grand 1897 Victoria Belle Mansion, a Garden Gazebo with 2 garden fountains, a Covered Veranda overlooking a rock waterfall, the Vintage White Barn with views of the vineyard, and an outdoor ceremony site called “The Cedars”.

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