As Wedding Coordinators, we know how essential it is to stay organized when planning a wedding, and one of the main ways we do that is with wedding checklists, timelines, to-do lists, and of course our tried-and-true traditional wedding binders!
Traditionally, timelines and to-do lists have been printable, one-size-fits-nobody documents that start after many things are already in motion and get stuffed away (and somehow lost) in those binders we mentioned. Thankfully, technology has done wonders for our organization skills, and many new-age wedding planning tools are developed with interactive capabilities for brides, grooms, and wedding planners to take full advantage of. This wedding checklist tool from WeddingWire, for example, uses your personal wedding information — your wedding date, progress so far, etc. — to generate a customized and super detailed to-do list.
But what about the earliest of early details — before you have that wedding date, or really any idea of what you want your big day to look like? Enter: the checklist before the checklist.
Below is a list of some of the early things to start thinking about if you’re engaged or know you’ll likely be getting engaged soon (we know the best secrets are hard to keep!). This is basically a “take some time to daydream” checklist, or list of questions to ask yourself — you know if you didn’t grow up fantasizing about every floral detail.
Talk With Your Fiancé
This may seem obvious, but it’s too important to leave out like all the other wedding checklists do. All too often we hear brides sighing in frustration over their disengaged fiance or the opposite where someone is shocked over how much their partner cares about certain things. This is why you should start everything with a conversation. Have some fun with it! Make it a date where you celebrate your upcoming journey, but where you also ask one another about your wants, needs, and preferred involvement in the entire process. This ensures that you start wedding planning as a team, but that you understand and respect the role you each will play going forward.
Of course, things change — so make this a reoccurring chat where you have frequent check-ins to keep communication open.
Get Realistic With Research
While we called this a daydream list, it’s more fun to fantasize within the realm of what’s possible. Start by digging into what weddings commonly cost on a high-level, including everything from favors to venues. These numbers will help you understand what’s realistic and what’s not, what things you’re willing to cut out altogether, which things are must-haves no matter the cost, and also with the next item on this list.
Know Your Financial Personality
This is less fun than the others but still important and more useful than being prompted to “choose your budget.” If you know a friend or family member would want to contribute heavily, are you comfortable having large expenses come out of someone else’s pocket? If you know you’re on your own, are you comfortable living with any added debt? Answering these questions honestly and right away will then guide every other decision you make, and how you’ll think about those choices in the first place.
Find Your Favorite Time of Year
Your wedding should be a representation of who you are, so think about which season brings you the most joy. Meditating on this fact will help you then decide other crucial details, like your actual wedding date and whether or not you want an indoor or outdoor venue.
If you come alive in the summer, for example, you’ll need to figure out if you’re willing to risk the chance of getting caught in the rain at an outdoor celebration. It seems like we’ve gotten worse than ever at predicting the weather, but tools like Weather Planner try their best to help with picking dates far in advance and could be worth checking out.
Focus On The Feeling
This may seem silly, but we promise it’s worth trying out. This is kind of like a meditation and vision board exercise in one. At some point, you should sit quietly with yourself and close your eyes and without thinking of anything else, just picture your perfect wedding day. What do you notice first? What does it feel like? Let the images play out in your mind for at least 5 minutes, and then write it all down on a piece of paper or create a Pinterest board even. Hopefully, you’ll have a mix of things, from the people you really love to certain colors or moods, like lightheartedness or serenity.
This piece of paper is now the physical embodiment of “the big picture” that you need to remember and revisit often whenever you feel like you’re getting wrapped up in minute details that really don’t matter, which happens to the best of us. But at least this way, you’ll remember where your planning all started and what you’re truly working towards.
And Hey – Remember, having a Wedding Coordinator by your side will make the wedding planning process that much easier. We will guide you through all these wedding checklists, make sure you are on track all while keeping you and the hubby stress-free. Let’s face it, wedding planning can be hectic and not easy – but it still should be fun!