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I’m Planning My Own Wedding – Where Do I Start?

Some of you may be planning your own wedding, so for those of you who don’t have a Full Time planner doing everything for you – you may find yourself wondering “Where do I start?”

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, and sometimes you just don’t know where to begin or where to go once the venue and date has been booked.

Below we take you through a typical order we go in when planning our brides’ weddings:

  1. Venue and date – obviously this is the BIG one!  Once you have your venue and date, the ball can start rolling.
  2. Photographer – photographers in Charleston are booked a year or more in advance, it is very competitive.  If you have a few photographers you like, reach out to them for availability and pricing as soon as you have your date so you can meet with them to see if they would be a good fit for your wedding and secure your favorite.
  3. Website & Save the Dates – if you have your date and you’re planning a destination wedding, go ahead and make your wedding website and order the save the dates.  Your guests will need to plan ahead if they are traveling, so add the venue information, registry links, and hotel blocks on the website, and remember to include the website address on your save the date…  And Voila, your guests are immediately all informed!
  4. Dress – depending on how far off your event may be, you will want to start looking at wedding dresses.  Dresses should be ordered 8-10 months before your wedding.  It will take a few months to arrive, then alterations start about 6 weeks before the wedding and can be broken up into up to 3 separate fittings.
  5. Officiate – not getting married in a religious location?  Do you have a family member or friend officiating your ceremony?  Would you rather have a man performing the ceremony than a woman? Putting out the feelers for who will be officiating your ceremony is best done earlier rather than later.
  6. Entertainment – if you have a particular Band or DJ in mind, reach out to them and see if they are available for your date – these vendors only do 1 gig a night so it may be good to reach out early if you’re particular.
  7. Caterer, Florist, Rentals, Cake, and Bar – these vendors typically do multiple events in a day, so there isn’t as big of rush on these – I would focus on these once the rest of the list has been attended to.  In terms of timing, within 6 months of your wedding date these things should be getting worked out.
  8. Transportation, Specialty Furniture or Decor, Videographer, Etc. – these are items we consider “luxury” and happen at the end when the budget is looked at and made sure there is room for it.

With Fabulous Fete as your Day-Of Coordinators, we are with you every step of the way, making recommendations for the right vendors based on your vision and budget – plus we are happy to review any of your contracts to make sure you are taken care of!