And just like that, he proposed. One minute, you’re counting down the seconds to the New Year. The next minute, you’re watching him drop to one knee, asking you to be with him forever.
It was a swoon-worthy, heady moment to be sure! But now, the reality has set in.
Over the past several days, as you’ve cleaned the confetti from the seat cushions of your couch, your head has gone from dizzy with excitement to dizzy with overwhelm. There’s so much to do before you get married, whether you’re getting married in six months or two years.
From the vows to the wedding activities, you probably have no idea where even to start your wedding planning.
How to Get Your Wedding Planning Started
The good news is you don’t have to ditch your plans for a luxury wedding in Alabama if you start planning now. Here’s a look at the steps that all couples have to take before they take those final steps down the aisle and to their “I do’s.”
1. Financial Considerations: What’s Your Wedding’s Budget?
Your budget lies at the cornerstone of your wedding planning. Whether you may dream of southern weddings in Alabama, like the ones we hold here at Pursell Farms, or in the small church you grew up in, the fact is, your budget determines nearly everything you do. In light of that, it’s best to look at your budget first.
It’s also important to think about who’s going to contribute to the budget. That is, are you, the couple, paying for the whole wedding? Or do your parents want to contribute, too? If the latter is the case, then all of you should sit down together and discuss numbers.
Once you do that, then you’re in a position to see what types of wedding activities you can afford, whether or not a luxury wedding is in the cards, and where you’ll hold the ceremony.
Your budget also determines:
- How many people you can invite – don’t make your list without making your budget first
- What kinds of food you can serve
- The type of wedding decor you can have
- The entertainment you can afford
2. Wedding Venues and Decor: Where Will You Get Married?
There’s a big argument for wedding venues that not only provide you with a location for the wedding but also offer you some options in terms of wedding activities, housing guests, and more.
Here’s what we’ve noticed over the past several months. Because of the constraints that COVID put on all weddings, wedding venues are now booked for some time to come. And this is just for wedding venues that book for the day, not wedding venues that are sites for destination weddings.
You can assume that it’s even more challenging to find a venue for a local destination wedding because you’re not just looking at booking the facility for the day of the event. You’re also looking at booking the venue for the days leading up to and possibly after the wedding is over.
However, all is not lost. You can get the venue of your dreams if you are willing to be flexible about your wedding date. In other words, you may not be able to book a venue six months from now, but that venue will probably be open a year to 18 months from now.
3. What Are Your Wedding Decor Ideas?
Your venue also determines your wedding decor to an extent.
For example, if you’ve got your heart set on an outdoor barn wedding, then the venue must have a barn and you must have access to the elements that typically go into a barn wedding, like hay bales, mismatched shabby chic benches and tables, wildflowers for the bouquets, wooden dance floors, etc.
At this stage, you’ll want to do some serious planning for your wedding’s decor and themes, taking into consideration your budget, the venue, and the availability of a wedding decorator and other related professionals.
4. Setting the Date, Making Guest Lists, and Booking a Wedding Planner
While it can be tempting to set the date prior to securing your wedding venue, it’s better to set it after you’ve booked and paid for your venue. That prevents you from having to make unnecessary cancellations.
Next, you’ll want to start putting together your list of guests. This will be based on a number of factors, including your budget, as well as the wishes of all the parties involved in the wedding planning, including the groom, your parents, his parents, and the wedding party.
The farther out you plan the date of your wedding, the more likely it is that the guests you want to attend can make it to your wedding. It probably goes without saying that this is particularly true if you do a wedding plus honeymoon hybrid because people don’t have to take just one day off for your wedding but many days off to be a part of the before and after wedding festivities.
Finally, we should also mention that you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache if you book a wedding planner, and do it right at the beginning of your wedding planning. An experienced wedding planner can help you book venues, secure discounts on goods and services (like the florist or photographer), and generally help you remember things you don’t know are important until after you forget them.
5. Other Important Matters to Consider
In this section, we look at some of the smaller matters that go into planning the perfect wedding. Because they’re “small,” it’s easy to overlook them. However, it’s often the little things that make weddings memorable, so they’re worth putting on this list.
You’ll also want to:
- Create a wedding registry
- Make up a list of vendors and talk with them (Your wedding venue will have a list of local resources to make it easier to plan this aspect of your wedding.)
- Buy the dress, rent the tux, and get the wedding party’s clothing in order
- Create a wedding website to keep your guests informed
Final Thoughts on Planning Southern Destination Weddings
The ringing in of the New Year brought with it not only the promise of a New Year, but the promise of a new life as a soon-to-be-married. All of this requires planning, and the easiest and best wedding planning comes from well-thought-out long-term strategies and working with professionals who plan weddings every day.
If you’d like to learn more about how to plan and book the southern wedding of your dream, then think about working with our team of professionals here at Pursell Farms! Contact us today for a proposal.