EM

First of all, congratulations on your recent engagement to your forever life partner! The love, patience, and growth that has brought you to this milestone deserves to be acknowledged and savored, so let us be the first to tell you to pause, relish in your unique love story, and celebrate this moment. 

Now, we know your brains might start drifting to where and how to get started in the wedding planning process with the new titles of fiancé(e)s, so to help you get started, we’re sharing the first 5 things you should consider when dreaming of your wedding day once engaged!


General Location

A key factor in the wedding planning process is choosing a city or general area where you’d like to have your wedding. Do you want to get married in the city where you currently live with your partner? Or perhaps the bride or groom’s hometown? Do you want to have a destination wedding? Or perhaps a wedding in your favorite annual vacation spot? We suggest you choose a location which shares a bit of your story together, because it always adds a sweet personal touch to your guests’ experience.


Time of Year

The general location helps narrow down the time of year for ideal wedding weather. Ideal wedding weather will alleviate a lot of potential stress (trust us on this one!) and unforeseen budget adds if there is less probability for inclement weather. For example, we suggest avoiding the Bahamas, Florida, and Southern states overall during hurricane season or states like Michigan, Iowa, Wyoming, and Idaho during winter seasons due to heavy snow. If you decide to select a wedding date known to have blustery weather, we suggest you set aside a contingency budget for potential infrastructure or staffing adds and discuss a plan B in the (hopefully) unlikely event of postponement.


Guest Count

This is one of the first questions your wedding planner will ask you. Guest count drives the budget per head and also what is possible to personalize your guests' experience. Depending on the guest count and budget, you may need to make compromises in décor, entertainment, or custom elements like parting gifts or seating cards to accommodate must-have elements like catering and seating. Guest count also drives which venues you can consider as all have maximum capacities and some have minimum capacities for food & beverage minimums.


Hire a Wedding Planner

We cannot stress this point enough (and I swear I’d give the same advice if it wasn’t also my career!) but save yourself a lot of stress and time from the start and hire an experienced, trustworthy wedding planner. She/he will help you make budget decisions which reflect your priorities, design an experience unique to your relationship, propose reliable vendors who will perfectly achieve your wedding decor, and make sure all logistics and legalities are handled leading up to your wedding day.

Having a wedding planner is especially helpful if you don’t know exactly where you want to have your wedding. Your wedding planner will guide you in the venue selection process as you weigh the pros & cons in selecting the perfect wedding venue, your first big financial commitment in the planning process.


Marriage Certificate

Before your personal wedding to-do list fills up with creating a guest list, finding a wedding dress, creating a wedding registry, bachelorette party plans, etc. we recommend couples apply for their marriage certificate as soon as possible. No matter where you’re getting married, you need a marriage certificate to legally certify your commitment, so once you have a general time of year chosen, it’s great to check this crucial item off the list and know it’s taken care of!

We learned from 2020 that when the world shut down and there were fewer available marriage license appointments, it was sometimes difficult for our clients to secure appointments in the most convenient counties. With a head start, you allow yourself more flexibility which is especially helpful if you jobs with demanding schedules.


Congratulations again on your recent engagement and we hope the coming weeks are filled with nothing less than joy and excitement for your next chapter with your love! If you have any specific questions, we're more than happy to answer them at ellamaeproductions@gmail.com.


Xo,

Michelle


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