Planning a Summer 2016 Wedding? Here’s What to Do NOW!

So you are about a year out from your big day. Congratulations! While it may seem far off in the distance, there are some important wedding planning tasks you can tackle right now that will save you panic and disappointment down the road.

Get a Grasp on Your Budget

First, it is never ever too early to get realistic with your wedding budget. At one year out from your big day, you have the opportunity to also plan to save a bit more to expand this budget if you wish. No matter your financial situation, it’s good to know early so that you don’t go too far down one path only to have to change course due to budget.

Here are some questions to answer right now. How much can you contribute? Does anyone else plan to contribute? Do you have the ability to save a bit each month for your wedding fund? And definitely get familiar with the average cost of most wedding items like flowers, dress, food and an officiant…which can almost all be found online!

Scope Your Guest List

We have referenced this very important early step before, but it’s worth saying again. The size of your guest list will help to determine many other details of your wedding so it’s smart to do it early in the wedding planning process. For example, a large wedding will cost more than a small wedding and will impact your overall budget. Also, the number of people you are trying to accommodate at your reception will impact the venues available to you.

First, understand what is a reasonable budget for you and then start adding family and friends to an A list and a B list to start. This will be a huge help when it comes time to send out those save the dates in a few months!

Shop for Venues

Summer is the most popular time to tie the knot. If you know you want a wedding that is more than a year away, you have a great advantage of getting the venue of your dreams in comparison to waiting until the last minute.

Take some time this summer to tour the places at the top of your list. You’ll get to see them in the same season in which you will get married there. Also, you can see what dates are available currently and compare rates.

Here is one dream space we created for an outdoor summer wedding. How romantic!
Here is one dream space we created for an outdoor summer wedding. How romantic!

Check Availability with Your Must-Have Vendors

Once you’ve identified your top venues, you’ll also want to identify your must-have vendors. For example, is there a particular catering company or makeup artist that you simply must have at your wedding? Go ahead and sign into a contract with them now! You would surely regret waiting any amount of time and having them book someone else that same weekend. If you know they are “the one,” go ahead and make it official!

Have a Backup Plan

Especially during a summer wedding where parts of your ceremony may be outside and a stray thunderstorm is not uncommon, a backup plan from the very beginning is a smart idea. As you dream of your big day, keep an open mind to the possibility that things may need to alter from this dream based upon weather, budget and availability.

For example, if you have your heart set on one venue – great! But be sure to seek out one or two additional options with which you would also be happy. In the unfortunate case that your dream venue is no longer a viable option, you will be able to move forward and seize the next opportunity.

Determine Your Wedding Style

Finally, when you are about one year away from your wedding, it’s fun to begin to determine your style and some of the details you’d like to incorporate. Things like your colors, style of menu and overall feel will have a big impact on the other, smaller details of your day. Browse online and bookmark things that catch your eye. Then, when you meet with your wedding planner or caterer, you have a general direction to inspire them.

Are you getting married next summer? Tell us about your wedding plans or ask us your wedding-related questions by commenting below!


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