Pop the champagne and cue the music - you're engaged! First things first congratulations, now let's get to work and plan that wedding. There are usually two types of brides, the one who has been dreaming of this day since preschool and has every detail down to the kind of flowers their flower girls will carry. The other bride has never thought about her wedding day and has no idea where to start! That's OK! It doesn't matter what type of bride you are when it comes to starting the planning process. All that matters is that your wedding is true to you, and this is where a wedding planner comes in to help!
We spoke with one of our favorite Tahoe wedding planners, One Fine Day Events, about their tips on how to start the wedding planning process. Owner Stephanie Martin shared with us their checklists, must-haves, and the most crucial detail of all! (hint hint - it's about the planner) Keep reading to learn how to have a one of a kind wedding.
WHAT IS YOUR STYLE?
Are you a glam bride who dreams of arriving at your lakefront ceremony on a classic wooden boat and walking down the aisle with a string quartet or a bride who wants to be surrounded by an intimate group of family and friends on a mountaintop overlooking Lake Tahoe? Whatever couple you are, determine the style of venue you want to be married at; a hotel, lodge, private estate, or meadow.
The next question is, what is the style of wedding you would like? Are you looking for understated elegance, a contemporary affair, or a wedding full of glitz and glam? Make sure it is a reflection of who you are as a couple, and everything will fall into place.
GET REAL ABOUT YOUR BUDGET
This is never the most exciting part of planning, but it's one of the most important. Talk to all individuals participating in the budget and make sure everyone is comfortable. This can be an uncomfortable area, so it's essential to lay out the foundation first. If your parents are going to cover florals and your fiance's parents are covering catering, make sure you know what they want to spend, so there are no surprises. Sometimes it can be challenging to understand what a wedding costs, so call planners. It's crucial for all parties contributing to be comfortable with the budget, so issues don't arise.
FIND YOUR PERFECT PLANNER
Find a planner that gets you. Start by researching planners. Look at their Instagram and website and call them! Don't judge your decisions strictly on Instagram. Talking to a planner over the phone will allow you to get to know them better. Ask about their pricing and, most importantly, get a feel for the planner. This is where your personalities come into play. Find a planner that you feel comfortable with and are confident they will get the job done. Make sure your priorities for your wedding are in line with the style of their work as well.
Talk to at least two planners. Stephanie Martin suggests finding a planner that fits your personality style and someone you connect with. Make sure they will work with your budget and have the experience and skillset to produce what you want.
Find a planner who knows the area. If you are planning a destination wedding in a location like Lake Tahoe, find a planner who has connections and knowledge of the region. Lake Tahoe is a small area, and it's helpful when your planner knows how to get things done in a small town. Weather can also contribute to some last minute changes and a local planner will be prepared to deal with those unexpected moments.
Find someone you trust. There is no point in working with someone that you don't trust or a planner that recommends vendors and styles that don't mesh with you. Find someone you can rely on, and you don't feel like you need to question their recommendations. Stephanie shared, "For a successful planner-couple relationship trust needs to be the building blocks your foundation." We couldn't agree more!
LOVE YOUR VENDORS
Love your vendors! These are the people who are going to make your wedding dreams come true. Book vendors who you are excited to work with you, and who you are eager to work with. Just remember, don't get carried away. There is an abundance of resources that you can share with your vendors for inspiration, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to use all of them. Make sure your vendors and planner have a plan for the breakdown. This will ensure that rentals are returned, trash is disposed of, and décor and accessories are returned. You don't want to have to deal with this after your I Do's. Most importantly, stay true to yourself and your budget and find vendors who will help you do this.
SAY YES TO HAVING FUN
This is your wedding, HAVE FUN! Enjoy the planning process by hiring a team to take care of the leg work for you. This is such a special time, so enjoy being engaged and don't get wrapped up in the unnecessary details. Everyone has heard the term Bridezilla. This is not something you want. This term comes out when a bride or groom does too much. Let a planner take over and this won't happen to you.
Stephanie likes to remind brides that everyone gets emotionally charged around a wedding, Do whatever you can do to stay calm. There is so much hype around having the perfect wedding, don't do that to yourself. Let your planner take care of the details so you can have fun. Enjoy the experience, stay true to yourself, and don't forget the most important part that this is a celebration!