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D4N_7445                                                                                                                                   Photo Credit:Luxe Images

Your Castle and Royal Court:      

  Here are some details about each step in selecting  Your Castle and Royal Court!                  Your Castle is your venue- where you will get married and celebrate. Your Court is your wedding party and team of vendors you need to hire to make the most of your wedding day. Within the first month of engagement everything can seem exciting and overwhelming at the same time- it doesn’t have to be… Here we have prioritized  a list in a order of when we advise you complete them within the first 3 months of engagement… once you do you will feel right on track! Come on .. let’s do this!

1.BUDGET

As you begin your journey to your big day, remember that your budget is YOUR budget. A wedding planner can help you make decisions that will help you navigate your budget elegantly. While your expectations should meet your budget, a beautiful detailed wedding can still be planned at a modest  budget. Just remember to prioritize your spending on what matters to you most…

2. HIRE PLANNER                                                                                                                                             Whether they are a full service planner, or a day of coordinator, don’t go at this alone! Let a wedding planner take some of the weight off of your shoulders. A planner can help you hire other vendors like photographers, Makeup artists and DJ’s or recommend people they have worked with before. Feel free to chat extensively with planners as your interview them so they can understand your vision. The most important things to measure when hiring a planner are there  communication styles, flexibility   and personality. Be sure to take the time to know that you are a good fit…Its an special relationship that will also require  your trust so they can help you plan your dream wedding!

3.GUEST LIST                                                                                                                                                         Now it is time to get your guest list together! Come up with  and answer to these questions and it will be easy to create the list…Who makes the cut and why? Will children be invited to attend? Can guest bring a plus 1?   Does this guest love and support your union? Keep in mind the larger your guest list the larger your budget will be Its a good idea to check in with family to see what their expectations are and who they want to invite. Start a spreadsheet electronically so so you can easily update information and export the list as you need. Once you come up with a solid number , keep it in mind for when you choose your venue as you want to be sure your guest count matches the capacity of the venue you select.

4.  Begin to outline your VISION                                                                                                                   Time to get inspired! What does your dream day look like? Come up with a vision, an overall idea of how your wedding will look and feel. Think about a color scheme, create a pinterest board and start collecting pictures of concepts that visually tell your story as a couple.

5.CASTLE                                                                                                                                                      Budget? Check! Guest list? Now it is time to find your royal castle! That is to say, your venue. When picking your venue, consider your vision. Try to visit the the location at least once to get a feel of the place. If it is a destination wedding be sure to account for travel expenses in your budget. Ask if they cater, and how many people it seats. If at all possible, it is best to book your venue twelve to eighteen months in advance.                                              

6.SET A DATE  

When do you want to have your special day? Do you have a day in mind that is symbolic to your relationship? What season would you like it to be in? Consider the venue when setting your date as well, if the wedding is outdoors, or on a beach, you may want to set it in the spring or summer. If you would like to have an outdoor event – be sure you like and understand the rain plan before booking!  Certain times of year can also influence pricing… if you are being mindful of your budget January and February / November and December are considered “off season”  for many wedding vendors and sometimes have more affordable pricing options. Additionally weekdays and Sundays are often considered  days that prices could be lower while Holiday’s could coast more. Finally if you are considering  a destination wedding consider the  travel trends for that area… if you are looking for a peaceful beach wedding in Cancun you may want to avoid Spring Break!

Now you are ready to select your Royal Court!

7. Select a WEDDING PARTY  

You’ve probably already thought about who you want to be your  in your wedding party.. but if not it’s pretty simple… select people you want by your side on your big day… literally!  Get a list together  with your fiance of who will be in your wedding party! There are not hard fast rules, it’s more important to have the people you want than pairing up  your party in perfect sets of two. Once you are settled on this invite them to be apart of your special day  and share with them the wedding date and location so they can make plans to be by your side!

8. Select ATTIRE FOR YOU AND YOUR PARTY    

Say, “Yes!” to finding the perfect attire! If you plan to wear a wedding  dress begin your search 12- 8 months in advance as it can  take up to 4-8 months for  wedding gowns  and 3-6 months dresses for your bridal party gowns to arrive, and four to six weeks for alterations.  The same can often be true for custom suites. Should you decided to rent suits give your self 6 months prior to the wedding to finalize measurements and placing your order.  Also….Don’t forget accessories!

9.  Hire your PHOTOGRAPHER AND OR VIDEOGRAPHER              

 Of course you’re going to want to remember your special day for years to come, so now it is time to hire your photographer or a videographer!  If possible it is very helpful to meet with Photographers/ Videographers in person so you can get to know them and better understand their process and style Be sure to have them show you examples of their work  and if possible physical albums. One of the best ways to ensure your Photographer is a good fit is  to take your engagement photos together so you can experience their style and personality.

10.Tastings… CAKE AND CATERER      

By far the tastiest step in wedding planning is picking out your caterer and  your cake  or desserts! Start with catering…Your caterer is one of the largest parts of the budget and definitely key to the success of your event. Selecting your caterer early on will help to refine your budget. Think about what experience you want to give guest with your meal .. and make it personal. Your planner and venue may have some recommendations…its great to start with those. We strongly suggest getting a quote to ensure  there is a good fit budget wise.. then schedule tastings to ensure the food is…Yum! Try to go to at least  2 different caterers if your venue  allows options… and try  at least three different cake  or dessert vendors…. just to be sure …

11. Don’t wait on the HAIR AND MAKEUP ARTIST

 Hiring a makeup artist is a great way, to ensure you’ll feel pampered on your wedding day! Check out their portfolio before you hire them, and schedule a day for a test makeup to negotiate payment and to see how well they work with your face. A smart tip is to schedule your trial makeup on the day of your engagement photos, to see how the makeup looks on camera.

12. and finally DJ, MUSIC, AND LIGHTING                                                                                             

  To really set the festive mood, you’re going to want to hire a DJ, Musicians or some other form of entertainment. Think about the kind of music you want, and check out reviews. Maybe you want to interview your we strongly suggest a personal connection in person or virtually to see if potiential musicians connect with your styles.  If you think you may need specialty lighting or a photobooth… look for DJ services that offer both, it may be more cost effective  and easier logistically.

.…. and not you are all set to share the news….. up next Category 2 The Proclamation!