function initPage(){ } Wedding Planning: How the Heck to Start and Planning During COVID

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February 10, 2021

Wedding Planning: How The Heck To Start

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how to start planning a wedding

You’re engaged! Congratulations, that’s amazing! …now what? Right about now, you’re probably thinking, “I don’t even know where to begin, or how to start wedding planning”. Well, let me help! You have come to the right place – let’s chat weddings!

how to start planning a wedding

Where to Start

Here’s what I recommend:

  • Decide on what’s most important to YOU. You and your partner, that’s it. Grab a pen, paper and your fav drink, and brainstorm your needs, wants, and don’t wants for the day. You don’t need a date, location, or even a season for this. Just think about your most perfect day ever and what it would include, and write that down. And, by ruling out what you don’t want, you’re closer to finding what you do! This list can include anything from “good food”, “pretty lighting” and “a fun party”, to “a white tent on an acreage on the third weekend of September with about 100 guests” (sometimes it comes to you easily! Sometimes, it takes some contemplation :))
  • After you’ve got your needs, wants and don’t wants down: start with a season, then a date. What’s your favourite season? What season works best for the two of you, or for the people you want there with you? Then, with your must haves in mind, start looking for venues that you like the vibe of. This doesn’t have to be a traditional venue with a formal name; maybe it’s your parent’s backyard, maybe a park in your city, maybe a viewpoint on your favourite hike in the mountains! When you start to find potential spots, you’ll feel the spark! Sometimes, you find the venue before you pick a date, which can work in your favour, because you can work the date around availability, best seasons there, etc.
  • So, you’ve got a date and a venue! You’ve already got a good start with wedding planning. Next, look for vendors that fit your vibe. I’d recommend starting with planners, photographers and videographers, and caterers, and then hairstylists and makeup artists, and florists. If you’ve had your eye on someone for a while, reach out to them even if you’re super early in the planning process; they would love to hear from you and can help you bring your idea even more into focus.
  • My final piece of advice – only ask opinions of people whose opinions you *actually* want. To some people its their mom, their best friend, their future in-laws, maybe its no one but yourselves!!! The opinions will come, there’s no avoiding that, but you can absolutely choose which ones to take into account. It’s sooo easy to get caught up everyone else’s ideas. I’ll be the one to say it, it’s not possible to please everyone, and you need to decide who you will let sway you. It’s your wedding day – you’re allowed to be selfish!
how to start wedding planning

Wedding Planning During Covid

Let’s be real, its 2021 and Covid is still very much a part of our lives, and is still affecting wedding plans. If you’re hoping to get married in 2021 or 2022 (let’s be optimistic about 2023..) here are some things to keep in mind:

Restrictions are ever-changing, so having plans A through E isn’t overboard, it’s responsible! Be real with yourselves about what is truly most important to you. Is it getting married as soon as possible and starting your lives together? Is it having both your big families and all your friends present? Are you comfortable with the idea of downsizing, or should you hold off on planning until things are more certain? Now is the time to get realistic and dig deep into your values as a couple and how you want to celebrate the first day of your marriage!

Have Fun With It!

At any point in this process, you can change your mind! Maybe you love the venue you found but they only have availability in a certain month; think about whether you’re flexible on that. Maybe you’ve decided you don’t actually want a plated dinner and just want a cocktail party instead! As long as you’re being true to you and honest with yourselves, the plans will come together and you’ll create a day that feels right for you.

Remember to take breaks throughout the planning process – when you check something off, celebrate! And remember to have fun with it! Your wedding day will be a blast, and planning it should be fun too.

I hope this helps clear things up and gives you a starting point for how to start wedding planning! Have fun, celebrate the progress, and enjoy that engaged life!

*disclaimer: I am not a wedding planner and don’t claim to know the best way to plan a wedding! This is simply from my own experience of helping my couples plan their wedding days and then photographing those days; and, my own experience with planning a wedding of my own 🙂 For expert advice for weddings in your specific area, a wedding planner or coordinator might be right for you!

The photos featured in this post were taken at a beautiful, outdoor fall wedding at Coronation Park in Red Deer, Alberta. Stay tuned for a full post about how amazing it was! For more wedding inspiration, check out this Intimate Backyard Wedding, and this Adventurous Waterton Lakes Elopement !

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