Best Wedding Planning Tips

Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips

Do You Need the BEST Wedding Planning Tips?

Wedding Planning Tips are a must when you’re first starting out. But, before we jump in…..CONGRATS on your next big adventure! You should take just a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy your new status. Once the initial shock of being engaged wears off (and you take a second to peel your eyes away from the new ring on your finger), you’ll need to start making decisions. Here are the 11 most important things you need to do to kick off your wedding planning:

(WAIT!!!! Before you move on…we really think you need to read a little about Why Wedding Style is so Important! That’ll help you with the rest of the steps.)

Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips

Set a Timetable

Because, the minute you get engaged, everyone will be asking for your wedding date this is the most important wedding planning tip. In reality, you won’t be able to set an exact date until other significant decisions—like choosing (and booking) your venue—are made. So first, focus on determining a range of dates that’ll work for you. The average engagement lasts 15 months, but also think about what season you’d prefer. Consider any major holidays or family events you’d like to avoid conflicting with. Did you know that the date you choose could alter your wedding budget by thousands of dollars? The most recent wedding trend is fall weddings. That’s why booking a wedding in the months of September or October could increase your wedding costs significantly. It’s better to book in the winter or spring for the best rates.  And if you’re looking to book for 2024-2025 watch out!! The wedding industry is being forced to sky rocket prices as the cost of EVERYTHING goes up. One local caterer warned me that their prices have almost doubled. It’s better to book earlier and lock in a lower fee. 

Set Your Wedding Vision and Pick a Location

Next Wedding Planning Tip…your Wedding Vision…Before you try on a single gown, book a band or sample a bite of cake, look at the big picture. Imagine what kind of style and vibe you want to set for your wedding. After that consider where you want to hold it. Close your eyes and picture your fantasy wedding. What do you see? Is it a candlelit ceremony in a mansion? Are you walking barefoot on a beach in the tropics? Or maybe it’s in your hometown’s botanical garden. Here are some key questions to consider: Big Wedding or Small Intimate Wedding? Outdoors or in? Home  or away (a destination wedding)? Modern, classic, romantic, boho, rustic or all-out glam? Fancy, casual or somewhere in between? To help you get a better idea of what you want (and what you don’t want), spend some time to gather inspiration. Check out magazines, books, and real wedding photos online. However, don’t limit yourself to the obvious sources. Something as unlikely as a wallpaper pattern, a scene from a favorite movie, or a family heirloom can spark your creativity. Bottom line: Always keep your eyes open for inspiration while wedding planning. If you’re hoping for a Unique Wedding Venue check out our blog about it!

Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips
Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips

Set Your Budget

Moving on to Wedding Planning Tips #3. This is one where many couples get frustrated when they haven’t budgetted properly before they begin planning. So, sit down with your families and figure out how much everyone is contributing. This number will affect every decision and purchase you make. So, be sure to work out your budget before you start planning with our online wedding budget tool. It can be an uncomfortable conversation to have. However, it’s better to get it out of the way now so you have a realistic picture of what you can spend. In addition, it’s REALLY important to consider during the budget time which aspects are essential to you. If it’s photography, budget for a pro to handle the day. Think of your wedding vendors like a car. Buy a $2,000 car and it may die on the way home. Invest in a newer $15,000 car and it will last you years. Your wedding is only one day. You never get it back and wedding vendors charge what they’re worth. Remember we’re always here to help with your wedding planning. That’s why we’ve provided you a link to check out with the average cost of a wedding in Erie, PA: How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

Draft a Guest List

As you begin to build your guest list, you’ll need to consider some factors. If you have a particular ceremony or reception site in mind, for instance, you’re going to be limited by how many people it can accommodate. You just can’t squeeze 300 people into a lighthouse. Would you rather have quality one-on-one time with each guest or throw a once-in-a-lifetime party for all your friends and family? If mom and dad don’t budge about inviting crowds of friends and family, you’ll have to hear them out—especially if they’re footing a major part of the bill. Keep in mind that more guests mean higher prices, as catering costs are calculated on a per-head basis. Guest count is the BIGGEST influence on your Wedding Planning Budget. So, in addition to location, your budget will have a big influence on the size of your guest list.

Find out why MICRO WEDDINGS have been gaining so much popularity since 2020. 

Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips
Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips

Register (Before Your Engagement Party!)

Worried that you’ll look gift-grabby if you register too early? Don’t! With all the engagement parties, showers and well-wishing relatives in your future, everyone will appreciate your foresight. And although gifts are optional for engagement parties, some of your guests may want to give you something to commemorate the occasion. So register for at least a few items beforehand so they don’t have to ask (or guess) what you’d like. One thing to note: Don’t include registry information in your engagement party invitations or any other formal manner. Stick to using word of mouth or links on your wedding planning website.

Speaking of Wedding Website…here’s a bonus Wedding Planning Tip…Make a wedding website for free on places like Wedding Wire, The Knot, and Zola. Many of my couples make one and share it with me as their wedding planner because it answers a lot of my questions. 

Get Insurance on Your Engagement Ring

This doesn’t seem like it would be a part of your wedding planning. But, no matter how careful you are, the peace of mind that engagement ring insurance will give you and your fiancee is worth it. There are two basic ways to do it: As an extension of your renter’s or homeowner’s policy (which would reimburse you for a set amount of cash if you lose the ring), or through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance (which might offer more coverage than a standard homeowner’s policy by replacing a lost or stolen ring).

And speaking of insurance, you really should purchase wedding day insurance also. This protects you if anything should happen and you need to cancel. Thousands of couples experienced the devastation of lost deposits in 2020 when everyone was forced to shut down. Most wedding deposits are non-refundable so wedding insurance can help you in this area. It also covers you from the risk of vendors or venues collecting damage fees from you. You can’t control all of your guests and if someone breaks an irreplaceable item at your venue YOU are the one held accountable. Wedding Insurance will save the day. 

Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips
Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips

Choose Your Bridal Party

Now it’s your turn to propose to your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Remember, the earlier you ask, the sooner you can enlist their help. And keep in mind that your wedding party is agreeing to spend their money and donate their time. Be considerate and kind by informing everyone about all your plans (including costs for attire, bachelor and bachelorette parties and more). Always show them a good time and make sure they know how much you appreciate them.

Remember the financial investment as well when choosing your wedding day outfits. Your bridal party will appreciate you choosing a cocktail style dress in a color they look good in that they’ll actually wear again. Or, if you allow them to select the shoes so it’s not a one time thing. Be kind to those you love. 

Consider a Consultant/Wedding Planner

Best Wedding Planning Tip ever….If you’re a super-busy couple, have demanding jobs or have big (read: complicated) dreams for your wedding weekend, then you should hire a full-time wedding planner. A full wedding planner will help you prepare your entire event, from the engagement party to the honeymoon. You can also hire a part-time consultant to devise a wedding blueprint. This usually includes a budget, schedule, and lists of good vendor and site choices. This is all done before you launch solo into the preparations. Another option is a day-of coordinator, who will make sure everything goes smoothly on your wedding day. It’s crucial to ask what your Consultant includes in their service. Some will help with decor while others will refer you to another professional. Erie Wedding Services has a full time Certified Wedding Coordinator/Planner available to answer questions and get your started on the less stressful path. You can contact her here: Contact the Wedding Planner..she’s nice…

It’s me….I’m the wedding planner…I wrote this. 😉

Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips
Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips

Book a Venue (and Set Your Date)

Your reception venue will become the backdrop for virtually all your photos. It can influence everything from heavy hitters like your budget and guest list to smaller details like your menu (if you choose a venue with in-house catering). Ensure that you get the look, price, and extras you want by scouring local listings, shopping around, scheduling visits and booking early. Bonus: By signing your venue contract, you will officially have your wedding date (congrats!).

Some venues that we work with that we think are worth checking out: 

Kingview Mead in Harborcreek, Pa

Lakeview Country Club in North East, Pa

32 West 8th in Erie, Pa

Hire Priority Vendors

If you just can’t imagine getting married without a specified local band or Disc Jockey playing at the reception or a photographer whose work you love, act fast. Many top wedding photographers and other in-demand vendors are hired more than a year in advance, and once they’re booked, they’re gone. Your Highest Priority Vendors should be (in order) Photographer (And Videographer if you’re getting one), Disc Jockey and Catering. The DJ creates your atmosphere and controls the flow. The Photographer captures your special moments. Finally, your catering staff keeps everyone full. If you hire high-quality professionals in these three areas everything else will fall into place. A great professional will make your wedding planning easier.

Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips
Erie Wedding & Event Services - Wedding Planning - Wedding Planning Site- Wedding Planning Tips

Shop Dresses!

Finally, we’re on the last Wedding Planning Tips. Notice how this one is last, because I see disaster happen time and time again with brides doing it out of order. AFTER, you’ve booked your Hall, Photographer, DJ and Caterer it’s time to get down to details. Begin your search by browsing dress photos online (and saving your favorites—you’ll want to take them with you to your appointments). Then, learn the lingo before setting foot in a dress salon. Read up on silhouettes, necklines, trains, and hues that might flatter you. The season will also affect your choice. Getting married in the sweltering summer? Go with lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, linen or organza. Having a winter wedding? Brocade, faux fur, and velvet will keep you warm. Satin, shantung, silk, and tulle are perfect year-round. In addition, pick a style of dress that fits your wedding vision. Consider the atmosphere you’re creating. Does your dress style match the feel? Lastly, take into consideration how the rest of your bridal party will look and feel in the style you’re selecting. You’ll want their outfits to compliment yours while you shine!

Now you’re fully ready to get started with these wedding planning tips! Or are you? There is a lot to be said having a seasoned Wedding Planner alongside for the ride. For one, we know which pros to refer you to based on what you’re looking for and your personality. Think of us like a little match maker. 🙂

Lets' Start Planning

At Erie Wedding & Event Services, we understand that your special day is a reflection of your unique story. Our comprehensive planning, exceptional DJ services, gourmet catering, professional photography, cinematic videography, and entertaining photo booth rentals are tailored to bring your vision to life. By filling out our contact form, you’re taking the first step towards a seamless and memorable celebration. Entrust us with your dreams, and let our dedicated team craft an event that echoes your individuality, leaving you with nothing less than perfection. Begin your journey with us; let’s create moments that will resonate for a lifetime. Your story deserves the magic of Erie Services.

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