Tis’ The Season for Engagements
Approximately 43% of engagements happen between November and January.
December is a time to celebrate the holidays and many couples are spending time with family. This makes it an especially popular time to pop the question, so that everyone can celebrate the news. According to the Huffington Post, December is the most popular time of year to get engaged. Whatever the reason, November through December is the most popular engagement season.
Just like there are 12 days of the Season …..
There are Twelve Stages
Engagement Season to Planning the Wedding
1. Pop the question and announce your engagement. Announce the exciting news of your upcoming nuptials in your local paper, on social media, or have an engagement party. According to Wedding Paper Divas 40 % of couples wait 13 to 18 months between “Yes!” and “I do.” According to various sources, the average engagement last year spanned 13 to 16 months. The Wedding Channel’s poll on the ideal length for engagement is roughly split at: 20 percent for three to eight months and 20% for nine to 12 months. Approximately 27 % of the votes were for one to two years. However, it’s your engagement, your relationship, and your wedding, so do what is right for you.
So you are engaged … it’s time to start planning …. the first steps …
to the beginning of the rest of your life together.
2. Set a budget and choose style of wedding. Choose if you will hire a planner or do it yourself.
We all have dreamed of the perfect wedding day. With thoughtful consideration and planning it can become a reality. First set a budget. This will directly affect the style of the wedding you plan. You may think you know the cost of planning a wedding, and may be shocked to find out the actual cost. Research the vendors and get price quotes before setting the final budget. Research the cost of a wedding planner, venue, caterer, wedding cake designer, DJ, entertainment such as wedding soloist or string quartet, photographer, florist, wedding dress with accessories, grooms attire, wedding bands, decorations, linens, party supplies and party rentals, alcohol and bar tending services, transportation, guest favors, wedding party gifts, officiant fee, marriage license, invitations, rehearsal dinner, and honeymoon. Consider all inclusive packages as this type of arrangement can save you money, time, and stress. Wedding planners not only save you time and stress, but they can also save you money. They can keep your budge under control and they may be able to get discounts that you would not qualify for on your own.
There is a lot of information online. There are wedding sites like One Wed, Martha Stuart Weddings, My Wedding and many others that can give you ideas on budget. Check for discounts on sites such as Groupon , Wedobo , BridesRally , Wedding Channel and MyWedDeal.com. They can save you money and help you find quality vendors. Ask venues for a list of preferred vendors. Preferred vendors may offer a discount if you use certain venues.
Once you have an idea of what your wedding may cost, discuss the finances with your fiance. Things to consider: Do you want to go traditional – parents of bride and bride pay? Do you want to be more modern – pay for it yourself or split the cost between both sets of parents and the bride and groom? Keep in mind that the tradition of the bride’s family paying for most of the wedding and reception is no longer set in stone. Today’s more elaborate weddings often require sharing the financial responsibilities.
3. Choose how many guests to invite and the number of people who will be in your wedding party.
Choose people who mean the most to you and who will enjoy the style of your special day. Do not feel pressured to invite everyone you know. Consider the style of your wedding. A wedding in an air balloon should be a small intimate affair. A wedding in a remote area will not be appropriate for someone who has mobility concerns. A formal wedding may not be appropriate for children.
Consider your budget. Many budget items are proportional to the size of the wedding you host. The style of your wedding will affect the cost per person. An afternoon wedding with cake and punch only will be less cost per person than an evening formal sit down dinner. You may have to choose between a simple wedding to accommodate more people or a smaller guest list with a formal wedding. Keep in mind that if your families are paying for all or part of the wedding that they may feel entitled to add to this guest list. It is important that you help them understand budget considerations and the number of people who can attend.
Budget should be a consideration not only the number of guests you invite, but also the number of people in your wedding party. The number of people in your wedding party adds cost to the budget. They will add to the cost per guest, cost of flowers, rehearsal dinner, and you will want to give them a thank you gift. Also consider the expense that your wedding party will personally incur. They will be responsible for their attire, transportation, lodging, and a gift for you. It would not be wise to ask someone to be part of your wedding if it will be a financial hardship for them.
4. Find an officiant. Finding the right person to marry you is an important decision – after all, your wedding officiant will have a huge influence on the tone of your ceremony. Seek an experienced professional that suits your personality. You will want to make sure that you find an officiant who is willing to perform the type of ceremony you are envisioning. A lackluster wedding officiant with a boring ceremony will set the wrong tone. An officiant that is steeped into their own tradition and unwilling to customize your ceremony will not be a good choice. A good officiant will take the time to understand your personalities, style, and beliefs so that together you can create the perfect ceremony for your special day. Things to consider when searching for an officiant.
- Ask for a price quote,what is included in their packages, payment options, and when payment is due.
- Ask what type of ceremonies they perform.
- Ask if you can customize your ceremony.
- Ask if they can provide you with examples of different types of ceremonies.
- Ask if you can have guest speakers and or a co-officiant.
- Ask if you can review and edit the ceremony script.
- Ask if you will receive a copy of the ceremony script before the ceremony.
- Ask to see a copy of their license.
5. Find a venue. You will want to visit potential venues at the exact time of day the wedding will occur. This will give you a feel for lighting, temperature, ambient sounds, traffic, Things to consider when searching for a venue.
- How many guests do you want invite.
- Type of ceremony, indoor, outdoor, will the reception and ceremony be in the same place.
- Cost per person and what is included.
- Ask about payment options and when final payment is due.
- Will they allow outside vendors.
- Convenience of venue, accessibility, accommodations for disabled, driving and traffic conditions, parking.
- Style of venue.
6. Find a photographer. Seek the most experienced, talented professional you can find. Make sure you get what you want and do not shop by price alone. Photographers have a personal style and their own idea on the best way to tell a story through pictures. The way a photographer perceives storytelling is going to affect what type of photos they take, what they take pictures of, equipment they use, where they are when the important events happen, and everything else in between. So make sure your photographer can recreate your vision of your dream ceremony in the pictures they take. Things to consider when searching for a photographer.
- Ask for a price quote,what is included in the packages, payment options and when final payment is due.
- How will you receive the pictures. digital or print or both.
- Ask to see samples of their work.
- Ask when you can expect to receive the pictures.
- Make sure they fit with your personality and style and can understand your vision.
- Ask if they have a second shooter on the day of and if they have an emergency back -up plan.
- Ask if they have insurance.
7. Find a DJ. Dito on the DJ. Seek the most experienced, talented professional you can find. The DJ will be the heartbeat of your event. They will be the master of ceremony, time keeper of events, and keep the party going. The right DJ will make it a memorable and fun event. Things to consider when searching for a DJ.
- Make sure you get what you want, and do not shop by price alone. Experience and expertise are a premium.
- Ask for a price quote, what is included in the packages, payment options and when final payment is due.
- Make sure they fit with your personality and style.
- Make sure they are experienced as master of ceremony and can handle every detail of your event.
- Ask for play lists.
- Ask if they have insurance.
8. Find a caterer. Look, taste, and feel. That’s right, food should look good, taste good, and make you feel good. Things to consider when searching for a caterer.
- Attend a tasting and ask for a sample menu.
- Ask for a price quote, what is included in the package such as delivery, set up, take down, linens; payment options, and when final payment is due.
- Ask what is their signature dish or what type of cuisine they offer.
- Ask to see pictures of their work.
- Ask about license and insurance.
9. Find a cake designer. Ditto on the cake designer. The cake should look good, taste good and make you feel good. Choose a cake designer not just a baker. There is a huge difference in the quality and design artistry that a master cake designer provides. The more complicated the design, the more experience, and the more you will pay. One cost-cutting option is to order the cake of your dreams made on a small scale for a price you can comfortably afford, and then order sheet cakes of the same flavor to be cut in the kitchen to serve your guests. Once you find your designer, you’ll want to work with them to come up with a wedding cake design that falls within your budget. Things to consider when searching for a cake designer.
1. Know how many people you want to serve. This will have a direct effect on the design.
2. Find a style, look at Pinterest, bridal magazines, and cake decorating magazines for inspiration.
3. Go to a tasting.
4. Know your budget and clearly convey that to the designer. If you are on a tight budget be flexible with the design.
5 . Ask for a price quote, what the package includes, payment options, and when final payment is due.
6. Ask for suggestions. The designer may be able to suggest cost saving tips without compromising style and design.
7. Ask for examples and pictures of their work.
8 . Ask about license and insurance.
10. Set the Date. At this stage of planning, you should have all the information you need regarding the vendors, their availability, and the cost. This will help you choose the date and time of day for your wedding. Keep in mind you will also want to make sure the date and time is going to be convenient for your guests.
11. Create a wedding website. There are many free personal wedding websites available from sites such as Wedding Paper Diva’s, The Knot, and ewedding.com just to name a few. If these don’t suit your fancy, just search the web. Make sure you add information that will be interesting and useful to your guests. A few suggestions of what to add to your wedding website: information about your engagement including pictures, wedding date and time, venue information, rehearsal dinner, welcome party for out of town guest, hotel information for out of town guests, local attractions, breakfast after the wedding, and gift registry. Make sure you add your website on your save the date cards and invitations. You can even use the website for RSVP and save on postage.
12. Invitations and save the date cards. Before you order the invitations, this is also a time when you may need to revisit your guest list. By this time you will have a better understanding of the expense per guest. This is the time when you may have to make the final adjustment to make sure you do not go over budget.
After you accomplish the 12 steps on this to do list you can then focus on the next steps, like florist, decorations, wedding dress and accessories, bridesmaids dress, tuxes, transportation, bridal shower, bachelor party, wedding favors and honey moon.
AZ Ceremony wedding officiants are experience in many aspects of wedding planning. Our officiants can help you plan your wedding from the ceremony to the honeymoon. Our officiants will give you many ideas for you ceremony and can refer to experienced vendors for everything else.
Start planning your ceremony today. Contact us for a complementary planning session.
Call 480-269-3219 or email info@azceremony