1) THE DATE - If you do not have a very specific date in mind (i.e your anniversary, new years or a birthday) pick your favourite venue FIRST, then ask for their next available date in your time frame. You don't want to have to choose a different venue than the one you LOVE because of the date.
2) THE THEME / COLOURS - Keep a theme and colours in mind whilst venue hunting BUT do not finalise them until you have booked your venue. This way you can incorporate your ideas seamlessly into your venue, you don't want to have bought items for a vintage vibe but your venue is a modern wine farm.
3) VENUES - Make a short list of venues to visit, the more venues you see the harder it is to pick just one. Look at venues online, email and request the package details for the venues you like the look of and scratch the ones off the list that are out of your budget straight away. This way you have a short list of places that are in your budget making the decision that much easier.
(Side Note: We only viewed 6 venues)
4) GET A FILE - I know it sounds cheesy but get yourself a file to store all your wedding planning goodies...it helps A LOT! This way you have all your guests' details, supplier details and check lists in one place. It also makes it so much easier to see what still needs to be done.
(Side Note: go download these they are a huge help)
5) GROOM'S INVOLVEMENT - Please don't drag your fiancé to every single appointment. The more you push for their input the less willing they are to give it. Get him involved for the big stuff like...the date, the venue, the officiant, the guest list, the photographer and cater (if not done by the venue). But trust me he doesn't want to decide if you should have pink or clear diamantés in your rose bouquet...he just wants you to be happy.
6) INVITES - Invites are SO important! Think of them as the trailer to the movie that is your wedding...they set the scene for your big day. I am not insisting you need to spend a ton of money on them, just really think about the look and feel you want to reflect.
(Side Note: I did my own invites. If you are looking for custom designs email me)
7) THE DRESS - Spend money on your dress even if you have to make small budget sacrifices elsewhere. Your dress has everything to do with how fantastic you look and feel on the day. If you feel awesome you will glow awesomeness. PLUS you are going to see that dress every single time you look at your wedding photos.
8) DIY - It adds a great touch to any wedding and makes it feel more personal, however be reasonable about what you want to make in the time that you have. Start your projects as soon as possible you don't want to be rushing them in the 2 weeks before your wedding like I did (sorry Mom you know I'm a procrastinator)!
10) ON THE DAY - Remember no one but you will know if something is not EXACTLY how you planned, or where it should be, or the speeches are in the wrong order, or if your cake isn't the perfect shade of peach...DON'T let it ruin your day, focus on each other and savour every single moment...it is over in the blink of an eye.
Enjoy the planning process...everyone I know who is now married has said they miss the planning process!