des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

Sweet Beginnings: Inspiration, Vendors and Venue

For Brides

Hello again, lovelies! Thank you for the overwhelmingly warm response to this fun, new series last week. It is my sincere hope that this helps at least one bride on her journey to planning her beginning.

So far, we’ve covered budget, guest list and choosing a date. If you’d like a recap or to start from the beginning, read part 1 here. Today, we are going to tackle items five through seven on my getting started list. We are starting to get to the fun stuff! However, we also mustn’t forget to address some serious team-building and location considerations for your day.


Start compiling inspiration and determine a wedding style

What is a wedding style? You hear them mentioned all the time- Classic, Rustic, Modern, Vintage, Casual, Eclectic, Bohemian. The list goes on. Why do you need a style? There are so many ideas and resources available these days that it’s easy to go overboard and stray from what you envisioned. Determining your wedding style is the first step to ensuring your décor and overall feeling of your day fit your personalities.

Are you a city duo who loves the glitz and glamour of galas and grand parties? Do you just love bling? Are you a country couple who wants to go casual on your parent’s farm? Or maybe you want to dress up a backyard wedding with full-tented elegance. Perhaps you just love a time period- Art Deco Gatsby or 1960’s Retro? There are many quizzes available to help you determine your style if you are struggling. Some of my favorite resources for inspiration and direction are Style Me Pretty, Bride Meets Wedding, The Knot, 100 Layer Cake, The Every Last Detail, and Swooned, among many others.

You don’t need to delve into details at this stage, just know which direction you are gravitating toward. The rest will follow suit as you go. Bottom line, your wedding style should be a clear reflection of your and your fiancé’s personalities.

Research vendors and planners- do your homework

I know that this part is not ‘fun’, but it is essential that you put the time into research. Any vendors that you choose to include in your day should be people you trust, that you connect with, and most of all, that want to be part of your day and make it special for you. There are a lot of absolutely wonderful, heartwarming and talented people in the wedding industry. However, if you do not ‘click’, that is ok. It does not diminish that vendor’s quality or talent, it simply means that there is a better fit for you. Similarly to setting your top three budget priorities, make a small list of what you are looking for in each of your vendors.

When all is said and done, you want to be as informed as possible when making your selections. You wouldn’t just go buy a house because it was the first one you saw, right? So why would you assume the first vendor you find is the perfect one for you? The key is to narrow it down to no more than three or four to meet in person. I will discuss much more on this later, when we break things down into further detail next month- it’s a BIG one.


{ photo by Carolyn Ann Photography }

Choose your venue

Yay! Now we are getting to the fun stuff. Now that you know your budget, how many people you need to accommodate and what your style is, you can start touring venues. I recommend trying to schedule your visits within three to four weeks of each other. If you spread them out too far, a few things can happen. First, you might forget what each one looks and feels like. Second, you run the risk of your date booking before you make your decision.

Aside from asking about details and costs, you’ll also want to keep your vision and style in mind. Can you see yourself hosting your friends and family, dancing your first dance with your love, and making memories in that space? When you can answer unequivocally “YES!” then you have found your venue!

Enjoy the process of defining your style, with your fiancé of course, and finding the location where you will become a Mrs!! This is all taking me back, ah! Next week, we will cover hiring vendors, so stay tuned.

xoxo, Jenn

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