21 August 2016
Wedding Planning Checklist
5 things to tick off your wedding planning checklist before you contact a planner
Every wedding planner knows that not all couples might have a clear idea of the type of wedding they want from the start. As a profession, we are there to guide and advise couples to create the wedding of their dreams. However, we are not mind readers. Just like any other professional, a wedding planner will not be able to help you unless she has been given the basic level of information required to advise you. This is why, before you contact a planner, you should have completed a wedding planning checklist.
After having been contacted by so many confused couples through the years, I have decided to compile a wedding planning checklist. I know how overwhelmed couples can feel when starting to plan their wedding, whether at home or abroad. Hopefully this wedding planning checklist will help you organize your ideas. It will guide you through the first steps of planning your wedding stress-free. And in turn, this will also help me understand the best way to help you.
1. WEDDING DATE
Let’s start with the basics. You might not have a set date in mind yet. However, you should at least know what time of the year and whether you have flexibility with weekdays versus weekends. All these things can have an impact on the type of wedding you want. If you know your preferred location, you can check the weather almanac for average temperatures beforehand. Your destination wedding planner will also be able to advise you on best periods in terms of weather and prices. However, she will at least need to have a general idea of your plans. If on the other hand you have a date set in stone, you will need tell your prospective planner in order to check her availability.
Second on the wedding planning checklist is setting your maximum budget. Couples often contact us asking how much their wedding will cost but, as far as weddings are concerned, sky is the limit. Therefore, it is paramount that your destination wedding planner knows your budget level early on in order to understand how best to help you. Some locations, like the Amalfi Coast and Lake Como are extremely expensive. Of course different venues suit different budgets. If you want in house accommodation for your wedding party, you will have to pay a considerable premium for it. A civil ceremony is often three times more expensive than a symbolic one. And so on and so forth. Your budget will ultimately determine your choice of location, venue and suppliers. Therefore, your wedding planner will need to advise you based on that.
3. GUEST NUMBERS
Your guest count will fluctuate but your destination wedding planner will need to know your maximum number of guests from the start. This will help her advise you on feasibility, recommending venues with the right capacity and ultimately work within your budget. Firstly, decide if you want a small, mid-size or big wedding. Then start making a list of all the people you wish and must invite. If for example you are going for an intimate wedding, you will need to be ruthless when it comes to compiling your guest list. And remember, the average cost per guest for small weddings is much higher compared to big weddings. This is because fixed costs such as venue hire, photographer, music, etc. are spread over a lower number of guests. As a result, suppliers such as caterings charge more per head for smaller numbers in order to cover their overheads.
4. TYPE OF CEREMONY
Have you thought about the type of ceremony that you are going to have? Legal, symbolic or religious? The amount of coordination that goes into planning a religious or a civil wedding abroad is much more demanding than a symbolic wedding for example. Your destination wedding planner will of course provide guidance on paperwork and requirements. She will also arrange for translations/interpreters and assist with booking, but ultimately it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary paperwork and comply with statutory requirements. If for example you are not baptized and confirmed, a Catholic wedding in Italy is going to prove difficult. Do you want an outdoor ceremony to take place at the reception venue? Then symbolic, civil and Protestant weddings are all possible options. But do bear in mind that not all venues offer the option to have a civil wedding on the grounds.
5. PREFERRED LOCATION & VENUE
Italy is a very big country and each region is very different. Although not an essential part of the wedding planning checklist, browsing through possible locations might help you understand the type of wedding you want. Destination wedding planners like us operate throughout the entire territory and we do not expect you to know the exact location from the start. However, having a general idea as to whether you prefer a seaside, countryside or lakeside wedding, a villa, castle or country house wedding, will help your destination wedding planner understand your style and advise you on venues and locations effectively. If you are envisioning a rustic vineyard wedding, we might recommend Tuscany. On the other hand, if you are looking for a romantic villa wedding overlooking the water, then maybe the Italian Lakes are perfect for you.
If you have completed the wedding planning checklist or if you are struggling with it, email us or give us a call. We will be happy to chat about your wedding plans a bit more in detail and start planning your wedding together!