Hey guys, Kate here. I'm so happy you're here and I'm excited to be a part of your wedding planning journey. Let's chat about the first step in planning a wedding. Many couples skim over it or skip it altogether, which can lead to some massive frustration down the road. So what is this first step? It's creating the foundation of the wedding that you want so you don't end up planning someone else's dream wedding.
Just like you need a strong foundation for a house to be built upon, you need a solid foundation for your wedding to come together properly. We'll get into the components that build your foundation in just a minute, but first let me share a story with you about why this seemingly simple task is so important to do at the beginning of your planning.
Several years back, I had a couple come to me after they had locked in their wedding venue. We started working with the rest of their budget and the details, and as we were talking about the remainder of their wedding priorities, it turned out that they had some pretty high expectations for music, floral, and décor. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but the problem in this case was that they had committed to a pretty high minimum for the venue in comparison to the rest of their overall budget. As we were breaking things down, it became apparent that we didn't have enough room in the budget for the band that they had initially wanted, and we needed to cut back a little bit on the centerpieces and rentals they were hoping for.
Now, were they still able to have a beautiful wedding with great music and beautiful florals? Absolutely. But if we had created their foundation prior to them agreeing on the venue, they may have chosen a different space in order to accommodate that band and the initial décor that they had wanted. So how do you create your wedding foundation? This is done by getting solid with the five pillars in wedding planning.
Pillar 1: Setting your priorities
Pillar 2: Creating your budget
Pillar 3: Making your guests list
Pillar 4: Creating your timelines and checklists
Pillar 5: Building your vendor team
I go into detail on creating each pillar in the Wedding Planning Blueprint course which you can find at www.planningcollective.com, but for now, let's do a quick overview of pillar one so you can better set your wedding planning priorities.
The main priorities that I want you to consider are the size of the wedding, the location, the time of year, and the wedding components like floral, music, food, bar, and décor. Now, at this point, when I say the size of the wedding, we're not referring to the guest list specifically, but rather the general number of people that you would want to attend. If you want a smaller scale event, it's important to set this priority early on so you know where to draw the line.
Generally speaking, a micro wedding will be between 2 and 20 guests, an intimate wedding between 20 and 60, small weddings are between 60 and 120 guests, a medium wedding would be 120 to 200, and a large or huge wedding would be 200 plus. The size of wedding you want is going to reflect in the different styles of venues that you're going to look for and how you're going to break down your budget, so it's important to decide on this early on. A micro wedding would be perfect for a destination location or maybe a reservation at a nice restaurant after a simple ceremony.
An intimate wedding of 20 to 60 would be most likely to be held at a private room at a restaurant, perhaps even at your home. Once we get into a small, medium, and large weddings, we're most likely looking into renting an event space that could accommodate that size of a group, or bringing in a tent and rental equipment to your home or another location.
Speaking of location, that is one of the other priorities that I want you to think about early in the process. Now, sometimes location means you have to decide between what city or state. If you live close to where you grew up, that might not be the deciding factor, but you have to decide if you want to have your wedding at a church, a temple, or a religious institution, versus having everything in one location like a ballroom with a ceremony location on site. You'll also want to take into consideration how many guests will be coming from out of town, and if it's going to be a higher percentage, make sure that you're sticking close to a hotel or a property that is by their accommodations.
Once you've decided on the size of wedding you'd like and the location, let's talk about the time of year. Does your preferred location have a traditional season? Here in Michigan, if you wanna take outdoor pictures in a park, you're probably not going to want to schedule a January wedding. Most commonly, people think about the weather as we're talking about deciding on a time of year, but if you live by, say, a college town, having a fall wedding can bring on a huge set of challenges dealing with football, traffic, or other activities going on with the university. If you're in a downtown area, make sure you check for any events like festivals or conferences that could impact the traffic as well as hotel availability for your guests.
And the final category when we're talking about our wedding priorities is going to be talking about the different components that bring together your wedding plans. So this is where you break down all the various elements of the wedding, like the music, floral and décor, menu, cake, stationery, and so forth. It helps you to determine what your non-negotiable must-haves are and what you would be happy to either pass or keep simple prior to locking in any major decisions. You can grab a free copy of my list of all of the different wedding components, along with a backyard wedding planning guide that will be an absolute life saver, over at www.planningcollective.com.
So your homework for today is to sit down together and make sure that you've discussed the main pillars relating to your wedding. Again, pillar one is breaking down the wedding priorities. Pillar two is creating your budget. Pillar number three is creating your guest list. Pillar four is creating your timelines and your checklists. And pillar five is building your vendor team. As I mentioned before, I'll be sharing more details about each pillar in upcoming episodes on the podcast, but you can get a jumpstart with the Wedding Planning Blueprint course today. Find more details over at planningcollective.com.