When it comes to wedding planning, we want you to have full control over the details of your day. Your wedding should reflect what you and your fiancé enjoy. To make your planning process smoother, Eventective has created the Ultimate Wedding Checklist. Please feel free to use this as you begin your journey to a beautiful wedding day!
Where to Begin Wedding Planning?
As you start the wedding planning process, two questions must be answered early on: When is the wedding? How many people are coming?
When is the Wedding? You need to establish a wedding date first. The time and date of the wedding ceremony and reception may be determined by guests’ availability and by the availability of venues and vendors that might be servicing your wedding.
Did you know you can save money when you choose a wedding date off-season? Some venues and vendors discount their packages up to 50% off when you pick a non-popular date – so give that some serious thought. Saving money is best feeling, especially for the bride and groom.
What’s Your Headcount? Once your wedding date is chosen, you will need to consider how many people to invite. Keep in mind that not everyone you invite will be able to attend your wedding. Typically, you can count on 70-80% of your guest list to come.
Having your total headcount is important because it will affect other wedding planning decisions, such as the venue size, catering needs, rentals, and more.
Planning Note: The number of people you invite to your wedding has the LARGEST impact on your overall budget.
Now that you know when your wedding is and how many people will be attending, let’s start wedding planning!
How Long Will Planning Take?
First, you will need to figure out how much time you need to plan your wedding day. Often, if you have chosen a hard date, then you must have all the planning done by that date. Figure out if you can plan everything yourself or if you will need a professional wedding planner to step in and help.
We’ve helped millions of people plan their weddings, and here is what we have seen for the time required to plan.
|Number of Guests||Time Needed to Plan|
|0 – 50||4 – 5 months|
|50 – 100||7 – 8 months|
|100 – 200||9 – 10 months|
|Greater than 200||10 – 12 months|
Obviously, you can take as much time as you need to plan your event. Couples even choose to take a long engagement to just enjoy being engaged and to start wedding planning casually. Whether you have a hard-set goal or a casual one, figuring out your timeline is important.
Find a Wedding Venue
Once you know how many people will be invited to your wedding, you need to find a venue to accommodate your guest count. What goes into the decision of where your wedding and reception will take place? We’ve asked thousands of planners what makes the biggest difference in selecting a perfect wedding venue, and here’s what they said:
- Price—How much the venue and wedding packages cost.
- Amenities—What the venue offers for wedding ceremonies and receptions.
- Location—Where the venue is located: local or destination wedding.
- Flexibility—How flexible the venue’s wedding packages are.
- Ambiance—What the atmosphere reflects and looks like at the venue.
Price and amenities included in the wedding packages outweigh all other considerations for most people planning a wedding.
After price and amenities, location is the next important. If possible, select a venue that is easily accessible for your guests. If you choose to have a destination wedding, keep in mind, many guests may not be able to attend.
How Much Will I Spend?
The two things that will cost you the most are the wedding venue and the catering. As stated earlier, trimming down the number of guests is the #1 thing you can do to save money. Additional services, such as a DJ, Photographer, or Videographer operate on an hourly basis and not on the amount of people attending the event.
We have thousands of venues and vendors who have given us pricing packages so that you can get a sense of how much you will spend on your wedding with and without food.
|Number of Guests||Average Wedding Package Costs|
|0 – 50||$2,000 – $4,000|
|50 – 100||$4,000 – $8,000|
|100 – 200||$8,000 – $16,000|
|200 – 300+||$16,000 – $30,000|
These numbers are very general, and there are many variables depending on the wedding. A larger wedding that does not include a lot of amenities or catering options may be lower in price altogether than a smaller wedding with all the bells and whistles.
What Activities Will Be the Reception?
Dancing the night away and singing along to the Y.M.C.A is definitely a highlight of any wedding but including other activities can also be fun for your guests. Here are some ideas:
Photo booths are one of the most popular wedding add-ons now. Guests will enjoy dressing up in funny outfits or using wedding day props to create memories for the bride and groom.
A photo booth can be rented for $500 – $800, and most vendors will pick them up and drop them off at your reception for you!
Play Wedding Games
Play some wedding games at the reception like the “Shoe Game” where the bride and groom need to lift their shoe to answer questions about each other. Whoever lifts their shoe the fastest gets to answer the question first.
Do You Need a Wedding Planner?
Answer these questions:
- Are you a busy person with little time to plan?
- Do you have extra money to devote to a wedding planner?
- When you dream of your wedding day, do you imagine it completely done and set up for you?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “Yes,” then you should consider hiring a wedding planner for your special day.
Eventective has helped millions of people plan their events. As you begin your planning process, download our free Wedding Checklist below for a detailed view of your wedding planning process: