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First Five Steps to Wedding Planning

Congratulations, my love! You’re getting married! This is a cause for a celebration (or a few) before you dive head first into planning your dream wedding day. During those celebrations you may be getting ALL of the questions: “when’s the wedding?”, “where are you getting married?”, “how many guests are you thinking?”, “have you looked at dresses yet?!”. Take a deep breath (mostly advice to the people asking those questions…).

Have no fear (or more importantly, anxiety), I have provided my First Five Steps to Wedding Planning when beginning your wedding planning journey below. During almost every initial consultation call with a couple they mentioned how overwhelming this journey has already become and have been burnt out in the early stages. My purpose during these calls with frantic couples is to create a sense of calm by narrowing our focus as to what are their priorities and keeping our vision on those.

Here are Casey & Co. Event’s First Five Steps to Wedding Planning:

1. Celebrate & Daydream

Pop that champagne, you’re engaged! For lots of recently engaged couples, they want to hit the ground running right away by collecting as many quotes or proposals as possible. If you’re like any person that gets engaged, you’ve probably dreamed of this day since you were little. So bask in that newly engaged glow and take the time to first celebrate with your fiancé, first!

Then start saving those inspirational images, or ideas (if you haven't already for the last 10 years). Once you have saved enough content, take a close look at all of the similarities. What did you like about each image? Write it all down. I guarantee you’ll start to see your “theme” form right in front of you: from either a natural nautical look, romantic garden, boho chic, or sleek & modern.

2. Crunch the Numbers

Rip off that bandaid and have that tough conversation. This will guide you and your future husband or wife in creating boundaries and expectations from the start. If you start looking into anything related to your wedding day prior to setting your budget, you’re

Photographer: Niki Marie Photography setting yourself up for disappointment with something

that will not be within reason (which would be devastating).

Save yourself the energy, time and possibly disappointment by establishing those parameters from the start - and do it together! If your families are lending a helping hand, this is the perfect time to ask them what they are comfortable contributing so you're able to piece it all together.

3. Finalize the Guest List

For many couples, this can be another tough conversation to have during the first few stages of wedding planning. Pour a glass of wine, get cozy on the couch together and get started with the basics: 1. List each of your immediate families, 2. List each of your close relatives (uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents), 3. List your best friends (hello, wedding party!), 4. List the friends of your parents (you know these may be thrown in) and finally, 5. List colleagues. It certainly can be a working document throughout the planning process to eliminate along the way, but having an idea of your highest estimated guest count will give you guidance when selecting a venue since they all have capacities to stick within.

4. Location, Location, Location

Once you establish your inspirational wedding, the budget you’d like to stick within, and finalized the guest list then the fun part starts with the “where”. Combining the answers to the first three steps will be the framework you will use to begin in the right direction on the style of venue you see yourself saying “I do” at. Your venue choices could be the backyard you grew up in, a venue that reflects your home state (cue oceanfront for Rhode Islanders), or something that reflects you as a couple or something you like to do together (such as a museum!). The locations can be endless, but unless you have the parameters of your style, budget, and guest count then this will narrow in on the venues you should set up tours with!

5. Sign the Dotted Line

Specifically for your wedding venue! The wedding industry is booming right now, especially in the Newport, Rhode Island market. Meaning, your dream venue may not have your desired dates for two years out. Once you narrowed down your potential wedding venue after attending tours and you get that “this is the one" feeling, sign that contract and celebrate! One of the hardest parts is done and now you can focus on those little details…or you can now hire a wedding planner to do that.

I hope this helped give you a sense of where to begin in the planning process and you feel more in control of these decisions being made. But if you ever feel overwhelmed and need a helping hand throughout the process, know I am here to help!

xoxo, Casey


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