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What comes first?

jitterymo

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
412
What was the first thing you did to start preparing for your wedding? I can't even decide where I want to have my wedding, making it hard to decide other aspects... Is a venue (for both ceremony and reception) the first thing you did?
 

chloeishere

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Messages
189
Venue was the first thing we did... it set the date, it let us know how many people we could invite and what our food/ alcohol situation would be, etc.
 

mogster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2011
Messages
364
Definitely venue as well for all of the reasons chloe mentioned.

The order (more or less) in which I planned the wedding:
venue
photographer/baker/florist/dj
dress/bridesmaids' dresses
hair/makeup
invitations/registry/wedding website
tuxes/accessories
decorations
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
2,407
First we came up with a preliminary guest list so we could determine approximate number of guests. Then we looked at venues. Estimating the number of guests helped us rule out some venues.

Some venues fee is based on a minimum number of guests. Even if you don't have a venue's established minimum number of guests, you will still be charged as if you did. For example, Venue Beautiful charges $X per person and has 150 person minimum. If you're only inviting or expecting 100 people, you will still be charged for 150. That's fine if you want to pay that base amount for the venue itself, but it would end up being a lot more per person. Also, the room might look a little empty with only 100 people rather than closer to 150. On the other hand, if you are going to have 100 people and a venue's capacity is lower than that, well, no can do.

I picked the dress based on the venue and day / time of wedding.

Then we picked the photographer early in the process to be sure we would get the one we wanted / he wasn't already booked. It turned out our photographer was familiar with the venue, so that was a bonus.

We looked into everything else after that.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
8,467
We started with an approximate guest list to get a rough number of people. I already had a venue in mind, but getting the guest list together (even if it isn't finalized) let us know what locations we could or couldn't afford. Mary Poppins also made great points about why an idea of how many guests is useful when looking at venues.

We're still in the early stages of planning, but next up is venue. We have had our favorite picked for a long time so now I just have to call them and work out the details & deposit (doing this in a couple of weeks!). We have a generic time in mind, but the date will be determined by the venue's availability. Since they are also doing the food that will be several big things done.

Save the dates will be done as soon as the deposit is made at the venue. Photographer soon after that and then invitations.

I'm hoping to hold off on dress shopping until April or so to give myself a chance to drop some weight first.
 

vc10um

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Messages
6,006
Ballpark guest list with some wiggle room (so that we knew we could hit minimums and wouldn't exceed maximums)
Venues (church and reception)
Photographer
Shoes
Dress (yes, I picked the dress to go with the shoes!)
DJ/Cake/Hair and Makeup (all on recommendation from photog)
Set up website so I could put the URL on the...
Save the Dates
Bridesmaids chose their own dresses
Hubby's attire
Transportation
Centerpieces and remaining Decor
Rest of my accessories
Invites
Gifts for bridal party/parentals
Remaining Paper Products
Favors

...I think that was most of it. I'll note that we actually put the deposit on the photographer before the venues b/c we were already penciled in with all 3, we just happened to be meeting with the photographer first!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
First thing we did is research to find out different types of weddings cost per head in our area. Then we talked about total budget and then broke down budgets by category (theknot.com has a good tool to help you with this), expectations (things we considered 'must haves'), and then did a rough a guest list so we'd know how many people we needed to accommodate, and talked about what year and time of year we thought we could have the wedding at (save enough money to afford the wedding).

THEN we saved up money. THEN we booked the venue (cause we had to pay a deposit with the funds we paid).


First thing you really need to do is research, then talk. Then rest is just action. You need information and a plan first though.
 

audball

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
4,946
We're early on in planning as wel. First things first - we came up with our vision. What was most important to us and what didn't matter at all. We spent some time discussed other weddings we'd attended to pin down things we liked about them and things we didn't like. Further- we actually discussed what we even remembered about these weddings after they'd been more than 1 year ago. Turns out, it wasn't much! We tended to remember the venue it was held at and general things about how the couple looked, most cases we remembered colors and season. I can honestly say that without having asked my sister and some close friends, if the wedding was more than a year ago, I couldn't remember what food was served, what kind of flowers/centerpieces there were, nothing like that.

So once we decided what was important to us, we discussed how much we'd be comfortable spending. To this day we are still torn between eloping and having our version of a wedding (small!). So we roughed up a budget for each that we'd be comfortable with.

Then we started looking for venues based on the things that were important to us that would suit our guest count (less than 40) while keeping in mind what other poster's have said: Just because a venue CAN hold X amount, doesn't mean your small group will look good in such a large space.

We have an appointment to see our first choice venue on Monday and we're really excited. We will not be setting a date or making any deposits until we have physically set aside the budget we have discussed so that we eliminate the stress of scraping it together last minute.

Good luck! It's definitely stressful but I think if you can decided what's most important to the two of you and stick to a budget you're comfortable with, you won't regret your choices!
 

star sparkle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
1,706
You've gotten some great advice so far!

For us, we first came up with our vision - what type of wedding we wanted to have. The vibe, the feel, the size, etc. After that we searched for a venue that fit our vision, because all venues will provide a different experience. It took us a long time to find a place that was exactly what we wanted AND would accomodate our small guest list of 20 (you'll find that many venues have minimum count requirements for holding an event), but eventually we did. Venue was the first thing we solidified, since that dictates so much of what you'll need and where you'll need it.

Second thing we solidified was our photographer, and everything else just happened as I found time and motivation to get it done. For me, that has been the biggest hurdle. I'm not cut out for wedding planning!
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,446
We first did a draft guest list to get a ballpark number (~200-220 attendees is our goal, so we're inviting a little over 250 - our venue can accommodate up to 300 if we decide to suddenly go crazy). Then we decided on what sort of feel and theme we wanted. We really like art deco and want it to feel less "weddingy" and more like a big awesome party at which we happen to be getting married. So then we chose a venue. Our venue is a recently-renovated art deco theater that usually does concerts, so they have a full bar there, they already have lights, we don't have to rent tables and chairs because they have them, there are DJs who often work in that space so we have a list of DJs we can choose from, they have a caterer (we don't have to use them but the head caterer's credentials really impressed my fiance, who is a foodie, so that made that decision easy). So when we picked our venue, most of the other stuff fell into place. Then we picked a photographer, because it was really important to both of us to have the perfect one. We did all that in August. Our wedding is in April and the only other thing we've done is my dress and invitations, lol, so we're hiring a wedding planner.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,446
Star Sparkle, twenty guests?!?!? I don't know how you're doing it. Our rehearsal dinner, which is just immediate family, extended family we see every month, and wedding party, is 70! It's also tough to find a restaurant that will accommodate a party of 70.
 

star sparkle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
1,706
distracts|1358550191|3359131 said:
Star Sparkle, twenty guests?!?!? I don't know how you're doing it. Our rehearsal dinner, which is just immediate family, extended family we see every month, and wedding party, is 70! It's also tough to find a restaurant that will accommodate a party of 70.
Haha, yeah. I guess I'm the opposite of you - I didn't want my wedding to be seen as a party, and I really have zero desire to have oodles of people at my wedding that aren't super close to me or that I don't even know. For my FI and I, the most important aspect of the wedding is the getting married part, not the party part. We also wanted to make it "us," and a huge event is most certainly not us. I absolutely *hate* being the center of attention, so if we had more than our true nearest and dearest, I think I would be super anxious and actually dread the wedding rather than be happy and excited for it. Yes, we have tons of family and friends on both sides who aren't invited and won't be there. That doesn't bother me, though, because the people we most want to be there will be there.

I bet it would be hard to find a restaurant to accomodate 70! We just barely nailed down a "rehearsal dinner" plan last week - we had just been planning on going to a restaurant near the venue and where the OOT guests are staying, but we've since decided on doing a beach bonfire that night with everyone, and a bonus is that the beach we're doing it at is still less than 3 miles away from their hotel. I'm super excited about it!!! With such a small group, I think it will be way more fun than just going to a restaurant!
 

StacylikesSparkles

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,304
I did things a little backwards lol...On NYE 2011 to 2012, now DH told me that he wanted to get engaged that year (2012) and that if I was interested, he also wanted to get married the same year. I found my wedding dress online within 2 weeks (this was totally on a whim and worked out!), booked our photographer, decided that we would get married on his parent's farm, then we got engaged 01/28 (woohoo!) and started planning out the lists of people, decorations, etc.
 

jitterymo

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
412
so many great ideas, thank you everyone!!!

We have decided that we will have our ceremony in the church where he grew-up, and for the reception I would like to have it at the Veterans Hall (my dad and mom are both members so we get a discounted price!), but we aren't going to make any final decisions yet (put together a list of all the possible venues and made a pro/con list to help with the decision).

What we really need to do next is get our stone set... (we have plans for when we get back from Vegas, leaving in 17 days!!!)

I'm sure one we have our Venue everything else will start to take shape. As I too can't make up my "theme" until I have the venue. To me the Venue help the overall Vision.
 

hippi_pixi

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
634
i agree do up a guest list first. i wanted a small intimate wedding of 50 people but ended up with a 100 people guest list and no wiggle room so that did play a big part in what venues we could book. i wanted a wedding on the beach and then reception in a lovely restaurant about 30 mins away. turned out the local council specifies max 40 people allowed to be invited to a beach ceremony and my other half and parents thought the restaurant would look too crowded for 100. so we though we'll just have a casual look around the hinterland area to see what other options we had and we walked into 1 venue and both agreed on the spot this is it lets book today! they had just 1 saturday left for spring 2013 so i transferred the deposit then and there. the venue is called 'Weddings at Tiffanys' in Maleny, QLD, Australia. check out their website its gorgeous :) http://www.weddingsattiffanys.com.au/

moral of the story is work out a rough number of guests and then have a look at everything! i had always imagined i would get married with my feet in the sand but by having a look at other options we found something that worked so much better!

once we had a date and venue everything else was easy. theme will be vintage, color scheme will be tiffany blue, we picked a great local photographer and entertainment, choosing cake baker and videographers now. got our save the dates ready. just got to sort out wedding dress and bridal party. and an engagement ring we are still working on that...

good luck!
 
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