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Engaged! Not Sure Where to Start?

3 Tips to Start Planning Your Wedding


Getting engaged is like riding a roller coaster—once you get on, hold on tight because you are in for a ride that will have lots of ups and downs along with a few bumps and unexpected turns thrown in there too. You will be thrilled, scared, happy, and sometimes even terrified—literally, all at the same time!


Planning a wedding is a once in a lifetime experience. My biggest advice … keep calm, have fun and continue planning on!


To help you do just that, here are what we consider the top three most important questions you should ask yourself: When, where and how much!


Tip #1: When = Pick Your Date!


There are a few factors to keep in mind when you're deciding on your date. Here are some questions to keep in mind to help you decide:


  • Do you have a time of year or specific date in mind (summertime, anniversary, first date, etc.) that has significant meaning to you both?

  • Do you have a preference of season? Do you love the heat in the summer or the cooler temperatures in the spring & fall? Or maybe even snow in the winter!

  • Is there a particular weekend day you want your wedding to be on? Or are you open to a weekday wedding?

  • Are there any major holidays happening on or around the date you are considering?

  • When you think of your guests and who you want to attend your wedding, what do their personal schedules look like (school breaks, high school/college graduations, vacations, etc.)?   

Sometimes being flexible with your date can be beneficial for many reasons such as vendor availability, weekend day and venue availability.


Tip #2: Where = Select a Wedding Location!


It was the late Lord Harold Samuel, a British real estate tycoon, who coined the expression:

 

"There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location."

 

For our purposes, I’ll modify it a tad to say,

 

“There are three things that matter in selecting a wedding venue: location, location, location.”

 

Now that you have selected a potential date in mind, it is time to look at possible locations that fit your needs. This may be an easy process especially if you already have a particular wedding venue in mind; whether it be a personal property or an actual wedding venue!

 

Here are some questions to think about when selecting an existing venue:

  • Do they have availability for your desired date?

  • Can they accommodate your preference for an indoor/outdoor ceremony/reception? Do they have a weather backup plan for an outdoor option?

  • Where is the venue located? Would you have access to portable water, restrooms, electricity, trash receptacles, etc.?

  • What is included in the venue rental cost (tables, chairs, clean-up, set-up, break down, etc.)?

  • How long do you have access to the venue ( 6 hours, 10 hours, all weekend, etc.)?

  • How close is the venue located to guest hotel accommodations?

  • Is there parking on-site?

  • What does the venue provide to help you plan your wedding? Do they require hiring a wedding planner?


However, when you’re considering having your wedding on a private property, the questions and logistics are a bit different since you will need to bring all items (tent, tables, chairs, water, restrooms, etc.) to the property. One of the main things you will need to make sure is that there is access to electricity and water. If not, a generator will need to be rented.


Tip #3: How = Set a Budget

 



You may wonder why we would make this the last tip rather than the first. Well, we have found that, you don’t know, what you don’t know when you’re in the beginning stages of planning your wedding. And that is okay!  

 

As you begin to plan, you’ll realize that you won’t know the cost of things until you begin the planning process with finding your venue. That is typically the most expensive part of the wedding and that cost will determine how much you need overall.

 

There are templates online that will help track your wedding budget (and we have an extensive one that we use for our clients), but to you get started, I recommend listing items that are most important to you & your fiancé.

 

Here are some suggestions:

  • Venue (what does it come with-chairs, tables, linens, etc.)

  • Rentals (chairs, tables, linens, backdrops, ceremony arches, plates, glasses, silverware, charger plates, napkins, etc.)

  • Facility Items (Restroom trailer, generator, tents, dance floor, lighting, etc.)

  • Vendors

    • Wedding Planner

    • Entertainment (band, ceremony musicians, DJ)

    • Catering & Dessert

    • Bar (bartender, rentals, drinks: alcoholic, non-alcoholic, etc.)

    • Photography

    • Videography

    • Photo Booths

    • Décor & Floral

  • Transportation

  • Hotel Blocks

  • Personal Items (rings, hair, makeup, bridal party gifts, guest book, favors for guests, etc.)

  • Attire (wedding dress, tux rental, veil, shoes, cuff links, etc.)

 

We have found it easiest to assign percentages to each category, with the most important ones having the highest percentages.

 

For example & to keep it simple, a total budget of $10,000, the venue cost of $3,000 is 30% of the budget. That leaves 70% of the budget to allocate toward other important categories. For this example, allocate 40% for food/dessert, 10% for entertainment and 10% for photography. Then allocate the remaining 10% to the other categories until it adds up to be 100% or $10,000 or whatever your overall budget is.

 

We know that setting a budget can be scary, however, having a good and realistic idea of what you want to spend will help you stay within your perimeters. As I always like to tell our clients when we’re tracking their budgets, they make the final decision and if they want to increase in certain areas, then it is their choice to do so, we will adjust. The average wedding cost in New Hampshire is typically between $30,000 - $60,000.



If you’re feeling overwhelmed by just reading these tips ..... that’s where we come in!


Contact us here to begin the conversation, so we can help ease your mind, plan the wedding you're envisioning, keep you calm & on budget, think about all the logistics & the little details behind it all!

 

 

 

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