It’s been months of that knot in your stomach about traveling upstate for Thanksgiving to finally meet the 2 people who created this amazing person that you fell head over heels for - The time is now. Not only are you meeting the parents (da da dunnnn) but the WHOLE family.
Are you ready? A gentle knock on the door leads to many warm smiling faces and the day swiftly moves forward. At the end, it wasn’t so bad, right? The dad was lovable, the mom reminds you a bit like your own - warm, welcoming and someone you just might be able to be friends with. Heck, even the brother in law was alright despite his loud voice and slightly inappropriate jokes.
As the evening winds down and the pumpkin pie plates as being walked to the kitchen, you both decide its time to call it a night.Bellies full, you walk hand in hand to their childhood room where so many dreams and stories were had.
Just as you start to get cozy under the flannel sheets and realize this really has been the most perfect day, they roll over and ask you the most serious question in the most lovingly casual way… "will you be mine, will you marry me"? Your head start whirling and you totally forget about the high dose of tryptophan corsing through your veins and your blurt out the words “YES”!
Amazing! What a weekend - now what?
I am here to guide you through the next steps of the rest of your life (sort of)...
The following are some steps to help ease the exitment and potential aniexty.
First Step - Smell the Roses and Enjoy
Having something this BIG happen to you has a HUGE emotional impact on oneself, hold tight and ride that bronco until its legs start to tire.
If you try to start planning all of the elements of your wedding right away its the equivalent to drinking a gallon of coffee and running in circles until your legs give in to psychical exhaustion - one thing at a time. Otherwise, this could be the beginning of the “Pre-Wedding Burnout”
Second: Where To House This Epic Evening?
The very first thing that gets booked up (typically) is the venue. So this is something you want to take a look at, soonish. Depending on the feel of your party and what is most important to you should dictate your venue. Start the conversation through a phone call. Emailing is ok, but in this day and age of everything computer screen based, it lessens the human interaction. The person on the other line of the phones day is going to be that much better after they hear the excitement in your voice about YOUR wedding day. Excitement is intoxicating and you can’t help but be affected by it. See what the venue has to offer.
What is included, whats not
Is there a time you have to be off premise?
Is there a noise ordinance?
Does the venue have liquor liability insurance?
Can you bring in an outside caterer?
Will you have to rent a generator and bathrooms?
Is there potable water on premise?
What is the max amount of people that the venue can legally accommodate?
Third: How close are we to our seventh cousin Ann?
From the multiple brides and grooms to be that I have spoken to, this is easily one of the hardest tasks. Caterers will typically charge you a cost per person price, so financially speaking, this is the harder part. Generally, how I handle this is when the conversation starts, I just need a ballpark estimate of how many people we are going to be serving to start the proposal. I require the final guest count 30 days from the event. Good luck with this one!
Fourth: Planning one of the biggest meals of your adult life - Make it Memorable.
Okay, You’ve got your venue settled, you have a rough number of attendees, now you will need to consider how you will feed all of these lovely people. Some venues come with built in caterers that they require you to use. These caterers have signed a contract with the venue so that its a mutually beneficial relationship; a lot of people like one stop shopping and the caterer is guaranteed business. Sometimes, the venue will allow you to pay a fee to use an outside caterer, usually ranging around $1000. This is entirely up to you, but I am pretty picky and want things done my way. If I don’t “click” and really feel a connection with the in-house caterer, this may be a deal breaker for me.
This is obviously a important topic to me as this is my chosen career. This (outside of the fact that you are committing yourself to someone that means everything to you) should be very high on your list. We all have been to too many weddings were the food was stereotypically mediocre. I cannot think of the biggest celebration of my life not including the freshest of everything, except aged cheeses and charcuterie :), produce that was picked just mere hours ago and foods that were cooked within moments of serving should adorn every corner of the dining area; a meal fit for Olympus! Zeus himself is giving away his sons and daughters and would expect no less than a meal that will go down in his guests memory forever!
Sorry, the topic of grand meals brings out the story teller in me. Anyhow, there is so much of the same out there. That is the very reason that I have poured so much into Heirloom Fire. Nothing gives me more pleasure than having that first conversation about creating something really special for my Brides and Grooms and seeing the process through to the last hugs as we depart the scene.
Regardless of what direction you choose, make sure to ask some of the following
What staffing services do you provide? i.e. waitstaff, sanitary team, bartenders.
What will you require us to provide you with from the rental order (chairs, tables, glass, etc) and what this factored in to you initial quote?
Are you bartenders TIPS certified?
Are you insured?
Where may there be additional items that you may need down the road?
Are there any additional fees I should know of?
Do you offer tastings?
There are many other things to consider including bands, DJ's, Florist, and so and thankfully my good friend Magdalena over at Magdalena Events does a much better job going into specific details right HERE. These are just some things you should get thinking about as soon as those butterflies give you a rest.
Oh, and one last thing to remember:
There are so many steps, take it one day at a time and set realistic goals and most importantly, have fun and enjoy the ride!