Updated: Jan 4
Congratulations, you’re newly engaged! Take it in! Spend some time together and celebrate that you found your forever person. Once the excitement has settled, your mind will start running nonstop with all the questions!
When do I need to book this?
How much do we need for that?
Who do we invite?
When do we even want to get married?
Well, if you’re already stressed don’t be. You have come to the right place. In this blog, we will get you started with a list of things you will need to cover for the big day. Think of this blog as your guide to conversations. After reading this you will have a clear idea of what you want. This is meant to get you started. Stay tuned for blogs that help you actually plan your day. You can find out more specifics about how to book what you need to look and feel your best in our blog coming coming soon.
Here at Siroki Lash Studio in Jacksonville FL, we specialize in Lash Extensions.
I have been working in the wedding industry doing hair and makeup for going on eight years, so I have seen a thing or two! I also have heard all the stories! I have learned from my prior brides, so you don’t have to! Grab the Fiancé, a snack, and let's get into it!
The "I do" to do's!
1- Discuss the date
Now that you have got the engagement out of the way. We need to talk, when! Let's select that wedding date! Remember, the sooner you plan the better if you want a popular wedding date. In 2022, the most popular date was 10/22/2022. Now that the 2023 wedding season is approaching keep the new dates in mind. You can find these with a quick google search.
Couples usually like to get married on dates that repeat because it looks good on the wedding certificate. However, when deciding to save that date think about a few things; the weather, the area the wedding will be in, the cost of transportation for guests, and the time of year, and if guests have children in school it may affect attendance.
I have witnessed some very unfortunate situations due to weddings being held during the peak of Hurricane season here in Florida. Remember, 2020 threw us all for a loop and the wedding industry is still recovering so vendors are all more booked than ever. If you have your heart set on a specific venue secure it!
2- Discuss & set a target budget
This will keep you on track for what is realistic for the big day and stops any pre-wedding day stressful arguments before they start.
Set a budget with a low-end goal and a high-end maximum of spending. So many people skip this part and end up spending way over what they thought.
We recommend keeping track of all of your expenses by getting a credit card for the wedding day expenses and only paying with something like that. If you’re not so into credit then a shared account with money allocated is a great approach as well.
3- Discuss the type of wedding you want
Okay so typically, a wedding involves two people, that's two different ideas and styles to put together.
We will start this with basics- think ceremonies, elopement ceremonies, church service, large venue, small venue, indoor, outdoor, etc. This ties back into that budget we want to set and keeps us mindful of what is truly important at the end of the day, staying on a budget but making sure the wedding is meaningful for both of you.
4- Discuss the wedding party
Weddings are nothing short of a production! So think of who you guys will want to be present with you every step of the way.
Make sure they are reliable, they can afford to be a part of a wedding party, they mix well as groups, and they mean a lot to you. These memories you are building are for a lifetime- just like the photos of your wedding party on the big day!
5- Discuss a guest list in order of importance.
We all know a lot more people than we think we do. So start by jotting down a list of names you feel HAVE to be there and go from there. This way if for any reason you have to cut the list your VIPs are at the top, and you have a place to refer back to.
This again ties into your budget and the type of wedding you want. Don’t forget you may have to be accommodating to guests with handicaps or other contributing factors.
6- Create a Pinterest account.
Okay, Pinterest has changed the game in the wedding industry. Have you ever heard the term "A picture is worth a thousand words?" That might as well be about Pinterest. The best ideas come from this search engine! Everything you could want a wedding-related idea for is on Pinterest. When creating this account keep the tabs organized to refer back to when meeting with your vendors. For example, a hair tab, a makeup tab, a decor tab, a flowers tab, a bridal party tab, etc.
7- Start Pinning ideas for what is listed below.
Refer to this guide as a creative hub for your Pinterest board. It will aid you in staying organized so all the discussions moving forward flow with ease. The less to stress over the better. Trust me, you don’t even want to know how many times I have heard "I thought I had it right here, I meant to organize these" Start with the different idea pins separated so when you are scrolling through it's already set up! Thank us later!
8- Look into the venue.
You may be thinking, isn’t it a bit soon to be looking into wedding venues? Oh no, not at all. Wedding venues are typically booked out a year in advance. Many of them offer cheaper rates based on the day on which you choose to get married. Weekend wedding dates are typically more popular but if you snag up a weekday you can usually save a bundle on venue costs. This way you have an idea of the day of the week, and where you are thinking of getting married. This is always best to do after you have selected the guest list because you know what size venue you need.
9- The Outfits (For BOTH OF YOU)
As a little girl, I dreamed of my wedding dress! Not so much the day because I was always a flower girl for my cousins growing up and I saw all the planning that went into a wedding. However, my favorite part was always the dress shopping! Seeing the brides walk down the isles left me speechless. Which is saying something! I assume as a couple you have both thought of what you would wear on your big day. Some couples keep this as part of the budget and others decide to leave it out and pay individually. Whatever your decision make sure you're both at an understanding. Now that you have the date set up and the venue ordering the outfits for the big day can begin. When bridal shopping dress boutiques will commonly ask for all of those details so it is helpful to have a clear set of answers.
10 -Discuss what food you would like to be served
The fun stuff, the food. We love to hear all about the cake tastings, and appointments with catering services. Food is personal so keep it that way. The food is another way for your guests to get to know you as a couple.
11- Discuss having a cocktail hour or not
Cocktail hours typically consist of games or music, and sometimes some ordures come around. I have even seen champagne servers going around while everyone gets to know each other. This portion of the night is completely up to you. Have one, don’t have one. Most people that elect to do a cocktail hour want to have a second away from everyone to just be with each other before they are announced as married at the reception.
There are so many things being done now in the culinary world. Hit up Pinterest and go with vendors that are reputable for weddings in the area you’re going to be getting married in. Most of the time wedding vendors and venues will have preferred catering services to use.
13- Bar set up (open, cash, beer & wine)
Drinks are personal. You can do personalized cocktails each of you work with a bartender to make them. Those are always a hit! You can also do beer and wine. Book a seemlier have a bartender, open bar, or cash bar. The options in the world of cocktails are endless. The budgets vary drastically when it comes to drinks so keep this in mind when looking. Ps. If you want to opt out of alcohol altogether that has been done as well.
14- Wedding Planning Services
If you're great at DIY, and you prefer to have all the control a wedding planner might not be for you but if you want to take a more guided or hands-off approach to the wedding so the stress of the day does not rest only on your shoulders we highly recommend a wedding planner. Think of them as wedding fairy godmothers if you will. Remember Cinderella? Her fairy godmother is an event coordinator. They listen to your dreams and make them happen. Wedding planners are not all or nothing you can also book a day of planners if the idea of booking them to plan from start to finish is too much for you. Also, keep in mind when looking for venues if the venue comes with a day of coordinator or a bridal attendant. These are great perks!
15- Photographer and or Videographer
When booking a photographer and or videographer do your research they will be with you all day. They are a significant portion of your wedding day budget and that content is for a lifetime so make sure you love it!
16- Music and Entertainment
I've seen weddings with music and entertainment of all kinds. A plugged-in cell phone "DJ". A live band, an entire marching band, A DJ with the entire setup, and even live musical instruments have been played. All of these are to be considered within your budget you can spend nothing or thousands. It's up to you. Keep in mind that the music sets the mood so consider the "vibe" you want when selecting the music.
Oh, Florals! Where to begin? The time of year must be considered if you want a particular flower. I am by no means a florist. However, discussing your desired look with the florist is very important before the wedding. I hear the photos are great! Look at that, we are right back to Pinterest. Some weddings I've seen have even done faux floral arrangements and the silk flowers were hard to spot! Again, Flowers can be a big chunk of the budget so consider these numbers and shop with budget and importance in mind.
18- Event Decorations
We all know wedding planners can make magic happen, but, they can only make your dreams come true with guidance. There are so many options out there now. You can dance on the clouds, that's when they make it look like the dance floor is covered in clouds. You can have custom-built bars, champagne walls, and donut walls. Honestly, the possibilities appear to be endless if you book the right team!
19- Beauty Services
We have finally arrived at my area of expertise- beauty! Booking beauty services should be done a few months before the big day. Here at Siroki Lash Studio, we recommend booking your lash extension appointment at least two weeks before the big day then we schedule your fill-in a day or two before your wedding where we reconvene and create the lash set perfect for the wedding day.
This way any changes you may want can be made at the fill appointment. Think of your original installation as the trial and the fill-in appointment as the final application.
Much like this process, I recommend booking your Makeup Artist and Hair Stylists with trials before the big day. This way you can guarantee you like what the artists do and anything you may want to change can be adjusted before the wedding. Makeup Artists will typically recommend facials if needed and Hair Stylists will recommend hair extensions, or a cut if necessary at the time of the trial.
This is why you want to start looking into these things months in advance so you can make sure everything is covered with no rush and if you need to schedule any more appointments you can. Some beauty services such as nails and blowouts can be booked as a group with your bridal party.
These are so much fun and make sure everyone can get their beauty services done in time.
Just remember to book these kinds of appointments ahead of time. For example, at Siroki Lash Studio we offer Segmented Lash Extensions for groups on location and in the studio! Learn more about what a segmented lash service is here.
Depending on your venue parking may be a bit of an issue. To avoid that you may want to plan and think of transportation for your guests there are valet companies that do this strictly for events.
You could also book transportation for your wedding party and yourselves on the day of. The classic wedding exit with a car driving off into the moonlight is never bad! Vehicle rentals, horse-drawn carriage, a limo. The options are out there if you choose.
21- Gifts or Party Favors
I know, I know! I keep mentioning it but Pinterest has great ideas for every budget. Discuss this among yourselves and make sure whatever you select it is true to you as a couple.
This one is so often overlooked. If you do not have a checklist things can go crazy and sometimes the little details that make such a big difference can get lost in the hustle and bustle.
Haha, see what I did there. This is something you don’t think of immediately when planning a wedding but it is so very important. Save the Dates, Seating Charts, and Name Cards. The list goes on and you know who has that list? The wedding planner! Like I said I am not a wedding planning pro but I've heard the stories and you do not want to forget these little touches.
23- Tips/Gratuity for your vendors
Another detail that gets overlooked and can be easily forgotten on the big day is tips and or gratuity for your vendors that worked oh so hard to make your magical day a reality.
The simplest way to ensure this is not an oversight is if you look back at your budget and set aside cash envelopes for your vendors before the wedding. Including thank you cards is also a nice touch!
Okay, so you got most of the planning out of the way if you made it this far. Now that you have gotten the big planning out of the way you can focus on what brought us here in the first place. The two of you!
Discuss your Honeymoon. Some couples elect to wait a while after the wedding. While others want to get right to that vacation. Whatever you do make sure this trip is all about you two. Happy Planning! Bon Voyage!
“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”