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What should I do first when planning my wedding?

This week’s blog is written by Anna Pohl, the Director of Linen Operations at Linens by the Sea. Her experience as a wedding and event planner gives her a unique perspective into the planning of life’s important events.

Over the years, many have asked Anna, the following question:

"What should I do first when planning my wedding?"

As she says, “absolutely everyone starting out and getting ready for a wedding asks me this key inquiry.” According to Anna, although there is no one correct answer to this question because every section of the country and the world is different in how weddings work on a timeline, these following wedding components are a few things you might wish to consider as “what to do first.”

1.) The Dress – Of course, the most fun thing to do for a bride is to get the dress! It’s practically a wedding tradition to search for the perfect dress first. They’re beautiful! They’re romantic! They’re amazing! However, please keep in mind your budget before opening your pocketbook. Some brides spend half their budget on a wedding dress because they haven’t taken the time to account for the total amount they want to spend on the wedding. Also, there a few brides that end of purchasing two dresses because they haven’t thought about the time of year or the venue in which they’re getting married, and their “perfect” dress doesn’t end up working out quite right due to these factors and many more.

Wedding Dress photo ready at the Palmetto Riverside B&B

On a entertaining note, don’t forget the shoes! These treasures are often an important part of the pre-wedding detail shots. On a more practical note, you also want to make sure they’re comfortable and that you hem the dress in accordance to the height of these heels at your final fitting.

Katie Beye Photography

2.) Venue and Date – Be sure to find the perfect venue….and date! Once you discover where and when the wedding will be taking place, you can follow with all of your other cool plans. You may have fallen in love with a particular date, but the venue of your dreams isn’t available and already booked. In that scenario, you may want to consider changing the date or the venue. Many couples are faced with this decision, and the earlier you decide, the smoother the rest of the planning process will become.

The Ringling Ca’d’Zan – a spectacular venue in Sarasota, FL

If you start early enough, you can surely select both the venue and the date of your dreams from the first launch of your plans. This can also be true of the ceremony if at a church, synagogue or other religious venue and can even be true of your favorite officiant or clergy person to help you tie the knot. Most but not all officiants can only perform one ceremony a day in their busy schedules, so lock this time in as soon as you can for your utterly perfect wedding ceremony.

Aaron Bonrfleck Photography

Just like there is only one venue or only one officiant, there are other wedding professionals that there are only one of. To ensure you get exactly who you’d like to work with on your special day, you might want to book these professionals “first.” On the other hand, caterers, lighting and AV companies and event design studios can typically work on multiple events on the same date, so you have more time to select these services in your planning process. You truly don’t have the fear of missing out on using them since they can work with you and with others in their schedules. These are some examples of event vendors that are “one of a kind” and you’d want to hire right away: the DJ, your favorite band, a fabulous photography, and a creative videographer.

Fitz Otis of Jay Goodley Entertainment

4.) Hotel – Not many couples think about the availability of a hotel and accommodations during certain times of the year, but this can be very important if your wedding happens to take place at the height of an area’s tourist season or during holidays when lots of people travel and stay in hotels. If this is when your wedding date falls, look into booking your hotel(s) from the very start. In fact, room blocks are quite essential to help you guests with better booking rates and to make sure some rooms are definitely reserved for your upcoming celebration no matter what the time of year.

Groom and groomsmen having fun at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, Jacquelyn Marie Photography

As Anna states, “I personally think it’s great to see a florist to get ideas on color and design at the very start of the planning process. Florists are color experts!” Another way to get inspired by color is to look at bridesmaid dresses….then you can pick out invites and other paper products in a color theme to match.

Bridesmaid dresses at a ceremony at a public beach access on Longboat Key, FL

Andrea Snow Photography Anna’s advice when speaking to the florist is to, “Always think about your personal favorite style of flowers which influences a lot of the other looks like the linens…my favorite!” Just check out the following interesting floral designs and imagine what Linens by the Sea linens would look best with them.

    The above flowers show vintage romantic, hollywood glam and tropical inspirations.

Fun modes of transportationOn a side note, even though it’s not first on the to do list…don’t forget about transportation and leave it to the last moment, so you can get what you want. Right now, there are so many creative ideas out there! From yachts to vintage VW busses, trolleys to black stretch limousines, you can find just about anything to fit your budget and your personality. Also, don’t forget about your guests. At today’s wedding, many couples are hiring charter buses and similar modes of transportation to make sure guests are safe from any drinking and driving, which is a well thought out idea.

Hope this is helpful to you in your wedding planning. Most importantly, enjoy the planning process, delight in a super fun time on your wedding day and have a enchanting marriage! All of us here at Linens by the Sea wish you CONGRATULATIONS!!! And if you’d like to tell us what part of a wedding festivity should be the very “first” thing to plan, we’d love to hear from you.

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Linens by the Sea was born out of passion, ingenuity and creative flair. Our goal is to turn important events into lifelong happy memories. We pride ourselves on attending to your individual needs, and every day we strive to make your special occasion simply unparalleled with our outstanding linens. Please Contact Us if you would like to start designing your upcoming festivity.

7600 Matoaka Road
Sarasota, FL 34243
800-588-8235
941-757-3523 office | 941-727-1938 fax

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