You met your love match – a ring has been given and proposal accepted- let the games begin! From the moment you make your announcement, you can anticipate getting the third degree from your friends and family (literally) demanding details. Talk about fueling your anxiety- HANG TOUGH. This is for posterity and it's your life and future – take time to make it work (but not too long:) on your terms. Pace yourself to plan while setting realistic goals to maintain sanity – this should be (and can be) fun. Here are some key components to consider initially for your special day – or in many cases – weekend – to come to life!
- What is your vision? It's time to dream – or maybe you've been dreaming about your wedding all your life –it's showtime- "I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille"! Jot down what you have in your head as a reference list to fine-tune as you plan.
- Location, Location, Location! Are you having both your ceremony and reception at one location? Church wedding? Ceremony in Vegas with reception at later date? Contemplate if your guests will be largely local or a majority from out of town and the consideration you need to provide in your planning as a result. Allow some discussion on the following topics: lodging, transportation, even something as simple as parking and accessibility – do the deliberating now so you can check it off the list! Often, it's not a 4-to-5-hour-one-day event. You need to consider multiple events including Rehearsal Dinner, Rehearsal, and sometimes a Post Wedding Breakfast.
- Budget? Ok, reality check. Are you paying for this on your own or will you have parents (or perhaps multiple parents, godparents, grandparents?) Who will be assisting? This is no time to start playing the lottery to achieve your wedding dream. Have the good conversations and get this information established as it will determine the size and scope of that vision of yours and what is practical!
- Wedding Date? Back to your vision – are you in photos with lush summer flowers? Or perhaps the new beginnings of Spring? Coziness of Autumn? Maybe the love & togetherness of a Winter Celebration (not to mention the bonus of built-in holiday decor and discounts at many establishments!) Does it have to be a Saturday or perhaps Friday, Sunday or other significant date important to the couple? The busiest seasons of September/October OR May/ June? Daytime or Evening event?
- Be Resourceful. The internet can be your friend – or your worst enemy if you don't reel it in and focus. Be confident of all the soul searching you completed going through all the bullet points above. You got this. For example-Do not spend time and energy visiting a dozen site locations to find your desired spot. Rely on reviews, photos of past work, and even initial correspondence with any vendors you are considering - especially how easily you can develop the rapport as you contact vendors using people/businesses you trust.
Most importantly – Enjoy being Engaged! Sure – you can spend time planning and plotting the wedding to top all weddings but this all stems from the love of two people and cultivating that relationship. Allow time and money to go places and experience things together prior to the big day. Don't let your lifestyle suffer or sacrifice too much. Think long game. It only takes some mild creativity to incorporate pieces of the two of you into your wedding. This is truly what brings all your friends and family together – put on a good show!
Jenny Betlejewski, Director of Catering at Turf Valley Resort