Where And When Will Your Wedding Be?
The very first decisions in your wedding planning process are when and where to get married. These may not be as straightforward as they seem, and are often inter-connected.
The big picture
• First of all, you must decide where in the world. If the two of you and your families all live in the same city, this may be a no-brainer, although a destination wedding is an increasingly popular option. If families and friends are geographically scattered, it may be a trickier decision.
• Consider legalities, especially if you are of different nationalities, or would like a destination wedding. This may affect the timing.
• Planning a wedding in a different city or country is, of course, trickier. You may need to hire a wedding planner in that location, and/or make some trips there. Allow for this in your budget.
• If you expect any guests to travel long distances, you must allow them plenty of time — to book time off work, save up the money, obtain travel documents, book flights, and so on.
• The larger your wedding, the further in advance you will have to plan, to ensure you are able to book suitable venues, and just because there will be more to do.
• If you would like your wedding to be during a peak season, you may need to plan further in advance, especially if you want to use popular venues or vendors. Off-season may mean more choice and lower costs.
• Before choosing the date, check the calendar for civic holidays, family events, and work obligations.
• If you have your heart set on a certain venue, you may have to choose your wedding date according to its availability.
• It takes about a year to plan the average wedding. The timeline in the 2life Weddings app reflects this. But of course you can condense it into less time or stretch it out to more, depending on the circumstances.
Once you have settled on a location (city/country) and narrowed down the date, you can start looking for venues. Things to consider:
• You want the venue(s) to be comfortable and appropriate for the wedding concept and theme you decide upon.
• Will it be outdoors? If so, you will need to book rentals (tents, chairs, porta-potties, etc.) and come up with a plan for inclement weather.
• Make a list of wedding-day needs and ensure that the venue will attend to them.
• Are there other events at the venue on that day that could impact your timelines?
• Ensure there is sufficient parking.
• Ensure the venue is accessible for elderly or disabled guests.
• Holding the ceremony and reception in the same venue can save money (and be convenient).
Image(s): Edoardo Agresti