Here’s a question that has been popping up a lot lately: what or who should a couple book first?
The answer isn’t simple – it depends on your budget and who you ask (we all think we should be first). Regardless of budget, I think you should book a Planner or Coordinator first (told you). A Planner or Coordinator can guide you toward the wedding professionals that best fit your style and budget – and possibly get you some good deals or specials in the process. If nothing else, we can assist in budget planning as well as which steps to take next. Sometimes you need an unbiased third-party to discuss things with – having a strong grasp of your budget and desires will be essential.
Then what? If you haven’t already now is the time to determine what is most important to you about your wedding. Is it the setting? Have you always envisioned being married overlooking the water or in a historic home? Maybe your favorite restaurant or the place you two met? Your venue will set the tone for the entire day and if this is the most important thing to you then you should definitely book it first second.
Maybe the venue is less important to you than your gown. Knowing the gown you want can help direct you to the venue if you don’t have one in mind already. Always envisioned a gorgeous ball gown with a long train? Perhaps a backyard barbeque is not the right setting for you. Not the big gown type? Then you probably don’t want a more formal setting either. And if you don’t know what style of gown you want, well that tells you something too – you may not really know what type of wedding you want.
Having said all that, one of the things I love most about weddings today is that there are no hard and fast rules…if you want the elaborate gown but he wants the backyard barbecue then make it work. Your wedding should be a reflection of both of you.
Here’s a real life example from my own wedding planning: this is a second marriage for both of us so we knew what we didn’t want – anything that reminded us of our first weddings. After much discussion, we finally decided to have a cruise ship wedding…which meant a big, elaborate gown would not be realistic for me. I needed something that would travel easily. And though I still didn’t know what style of gown I wanted, knowing I had to be able to pack it easily really helped me to choose. Later when Hurricane Ike made us cancel our cruise ship wedding two months before the big day, finding a venue was my first step in the re-planning process (yes, I re-planned my entire wedding two months before the day).
So my vote goes to Planner or Coordinator first – then either book your venue or buy your gown, whichever is most important to you. As for the rest, your Planner or Coordinator can help you determine that. 😉