We’re Engaged, Now What?
Congratulations! We are so happy for you. Our first suggestion is to take a moment to take that in – breathe, enjoy a glass of wine, and celebrate with your significant other. Wedding planning is a sort of beautiful chaos, so enjoy the calm.
As a venue management company, one of our first questions to couples is, “What is your estimated guest count?” So, after that wine, sit down together and seriously start considering the who’s who or your big day. We understand that it is a difficult task to tackle first, the web of friends and family is sometimes hard to interpret, but we believe in you and we promise it will be worth it.
The second step is to determine your budget. This is so, so, so important. Before you start looking at venues, or vendors, invitations or dresses, have a conversation about the elephant in the room: money. Is family willing to help? What are you comfortable spending? What can you spend? We hesitate to tell you this, but the Pinterest worthy wedding is often expensive. When discussing your budget, think about where your money will be going – the venue and the caterer are usually the bulk of the budget. It’s important to note that your guest count and your budget go hand in hand. Reducing your numbers by even 10 people might make a big difference.
After you have established a budget and a solid guest count, begin the conversation about the where. Are you interested in the mountains, beach, wine country (our personal favorite), a destination wedding or something closer to home? There are so many options to consider, but again, pull out the wine and start the conversation about your “must haves.” We suggest making a list and prioritizing that list. There are a lot of properties out there, but you might have to compromise on a thing or two. For example, wineries don’t allow hard liquor, so if a full bar is on your list, a winery might not be a good fit. When you are searching for your venue, always consider the added value that each offer (this will help with your budget). Some venues include tables and chairs, which can be a big savings. Special lighting, an on-site kitchen, and adequate restrooms can also be your budget’s friend.
There are many things to consider as you begin this journey but start with these three and you will be on the right track. Solidifying your venue that will fit your estimated guest count and budget will allow you to lock in a date and start booking vendors. People, purse, and place, after that, enjoy your wine and have fun planning.
About the author: Milestone Events Group is Northern California’s most experienced & largest event management company providing site selection services to multiple locations throughout Sonoma County. Over the past 5 years Milestone has helped hundreds of couples simplify the venue selection process by providing clarity, predictability and ultimately confidence for clients who work with them to evaluate wineries, ranches, and other locations for their private events.
After the venue selection process is complete, Milestone is also available to help produce events in a stress reduced and highly professional manner. www.MilestoneEventsGroup.com