Book the place, find the dress, choose the right photographer … when you start the wedding preparations, you can quickly feel overwhelmed. Do not panic. You just have to go step by step.
Once the euphoria of the marriage proposal is over, couples realize the magnitude of the task. Color of towels, scent of wedding cake, choice of florist or jazz group for the cocktail… Between the logistics, the hiring of service providers and the choice of 1001 details, there is something to be dizzy. Unless you are an event professional, you can quickly lose your footing. Our tips to start planning this day effectively and without a cold sweat.
1. Define the budget
For Nessa Buonomo, author of the blog La Mariée aux pieds nus and of the guide A wedding that looks like you (Ed. Eyrolles), the first step is to agree on the budget. “Take the time to define in a clear and objective way, the envelope that you want or that you can allocate to your marriage, according to your income, your expenses, your savings … Be frank, there is no There is no right or wrong amount, just a budget to relate to your desires, and the need, perhaps, to have to make certain compromises. ” It is the budget which will then guide the various choices.
2. Establish your priorities
The designer dress, the champagne at the cocktail party, the star DJ, the photo booth, the generously flowered centerpieces, the drone shots of the ceremony, what are we ready to ignore? And what is non-negotiable? In order to be able to arbitrate expenses, it is essential to agree on the essential budget items and bonuses.
3. Make the guest list
The number of guests determines the two most important positions: the place and the caterer. Before starting any process, it is necessary to have an idea of the number of guests. Once the list has been drawn up, if it is too long, we decide: do we invite the children? What about the great cousins whose first name we don’t even remember? Are the friends of the mother-in-law’s bridge club essential to the success of this day? Now is the time to tune your violins, not once the invitations have been issued.
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4. Find your style
“Start by defining the wedding style you want. Rather rural, urban, industrial, elegant, traditional … Depending on this, you will direct your research to the place that best meets your expectations, ”advises Nessa Buonomo. If there is no obligation to choose a theme (travel, cinema, the Middle Ages…), however, it is strongly recommended to define an atmosphere, colors, an atmosphere. This will allow to have a common thread to guide the different choices, whether it is the place, the outfit of the bride and groom, the stationery or the centerpieces. It’s hard to imagine a grand style wedding in an inn, or a rock’n’roll ceremony in an old abbey. Or it is a bias that we assume.
5. Reserve the place
“The reception venue is the first job to look for when you start planning your wedding.” warns Nessa Buonomo. And for good reason, it is the availability of it that will determine the date. Once the place has been reserved, we can start canvassing other providers. We start by agreeing on where we want to say yes. Wedding in Provence or on the beaches of the southwest? We keep in mind the fact that we can only marry civilly in the town hall of a city where we have ties (one’s own or that of the parents). If we want to say yes away from home, we will have to consider the idea of organizing a separate civil marriage. Once the geographical area has been defined, we start the visits.
6. Reserve the date in town hall
Is the place reserved? Direction the town hall. In big cities, it is sometimes difficult to find a date. We do not hesitate to do it early.
7. Do not rush
“We must certainly anticipate for many positions, but we must also allow time for reflection,” warns Nessa Buonomo. When we start, we tend to want to go fast to complete everything on time. Result, we make unnecessary purchases, or we arbitrate badly. This is particularly true for decorative inspirations. At the beginning, we are swarming with ideas and we have difficulty sorting out. If you allow yourself a little time, you can better determine what is really important.
8. Cast providers
This is probably the most difficult task for the bride and groom. DJ, photographer, caterer, florist, videographer, pastry chef, wedding planner, stationery designer… We start with the positions that are most important to us because certain providers in high demand are sometimes booked more than a year in advance. And once they’ve committed to a date, they can’t be duplicated… To find them, we take a look at wedding blogs or at shows like the Andy Festival, which took place on October 26 and 27. , and Love.Etc (which was held for the eleventh time on February 8, 2020) in Paris or the L’amour L’amour La mode festival in November in Lyon. Word of mouth is also used. We choose providers according to their style, but also to feeling. It is important to surround yourself with people with whom you feel confident for this particular day.
9. Unearth the dress
We go to Pinterest and the websites of different brands of wedding dresses to try to define the style we are looking for. It may not be the one for which we will opt in the end (the fittings are often full of surprises!) But it is a first lead. We retain the names of the brands and designers that we like the most and we make an appointment. We do not hesitate to contact them from September for the following summer. The schedules are often busy, especially on Saturdays! On the other hand warns the expert: “No need to decide in June of this year for a wedding which will only take place next summer, or two years later!”
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10. Define your inspirations
Once you have found the wedding style you want and the different providers are booked, you can go into detail. Announcements, menus, centerpieces, guest book, animations… We gather as many inspirations as possible, by organizing different boards on Pinterest for example. This will make it possible to refer the various providers such as the florist or the pastry chef. A photo is often more meaningful than a description.
This article, originally published in January 2019, has been updated.