Each year we meet couples who are in the very early stages of planning a wedding for next year. “Where do we start?” is the most common question. After engagement, most couples don’t know anything more than, “We want to get married,” (which is incredibly important). However, because there are so many options in front of you and it can feel very overwhelming.

“Do we have our wedding in a fancy ballroom?”
“What about doing something downtown in a sleek urban loft?”
“Oh, but I’ve always dreamed of having my feet in the sand…”
“Excuse me, but what is Pinterest?”
“If we don’t have a vision for our wedding, how do we find one?”
“People keep asking us what our colors are going to be. How do I make that stop?”

The good news is your wedding can be whatever you want it to be. Today we are going to walk you through how to get started, and how to let the “style” of your wedding reveal itself to you. Also, if you’ve pictured pale yellow bridesmaid dresses and calla lily bouquets forever, go for it! There is no wrong or right in regard to the look of your day.

Aside from hiring Tears of Joy Events to guide you through the wedding planning process, the first decisions you make regarding your wedding are the hardest and the further you go the easier things get. In fact, towards the end you’ll notice things start to just fall into place. Let’s start with the hardest part.

image via Huffington Post

image via Huffington Post

PLANNING A WEDDING: THE GUEST LIST

Most of your wedding decisions and costs, will be based on how many people will be attending your wedding. A key thing to remember: not everyone you invite is going to attend. We suggest the following confirmed guest expectations:

Under 50 invited: 90%+ attendance
75–100 invited: 75–90% attendance
100+ invited: 70–80% attendance
150+ invited: 65–75% attendance

Clients are often surprised to hear that only seventy percent of their invited guests will show up, but in our years of experience, it’s a generally good place to set your expectations. Think about it, we’ve all missed events we’ve deeply wanted to go to for various reasons — unavoidable work conflicts, already paid for vacations, family obligations, illness, or simply a lack of resources. The reason you see attendance going down as your invites go up is simply because if you’re inviting fewer than fifty people, those people are more than likely close friends and family. However, when you get into the two hundred range you’ve probably moved from the “closest friends” to “friends” and “acquaintance” category.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are a general guideline, not law. You will want to book a venue that will hold most of your guests if it comes down to it. Know your people. If your friends and family are more than likely to show up, then plan accordingly. If you’ve invited people who may or may not come, keep that in mind.

Let’s get into the reason why this is important?

image via Callaway Gable Studios | wedding venue: Vibiana DTLA

PLANNING A WEDDING: THE VENUE

It’s likely that the venue you choose will have the biggest influence on the rest of your wedding. A hotel ballroom with red and teal carpet and drapes is probably going to call for different decor than a barn in the woods. Just like a restaurant in Malibu will probably call for a different feeling wedding than a lodge in Arrowhead. Once you have your guest list, Tears of Joy Events will is here to help you start your venue search. There are two main ways to do this:

NARROW DOWN BY LOCATION or

NARROW DOWN BY TYPE OF VENUE

Tears of Joy Events is here to direct you to venues that are most suitable for your vision and desires. We know you are excited to find the perfect location, so allow the world wide web to be your friend. There are the obvious venue locators, such as Here Comes the Guide and Wedding Wire, but Google is also in your corner. Try phrases like “Los Angeles beach wedding” or “Los Angeles loft wedding” and key in on wedding photographers’ blog posts because many are optimized to come up specifically in searches like this, and may feature wedding venues that are otherwise difficult to find because they have very little web presence. Save yourself some time and find out as much as you can about a venue before you go visit.  You want to be able to narrow down your list based on price, noise restrictions, as well as, food and beverage restrictions.  For example, do they allow you bring your own booze? Do you have to select a caterer from their preferred list? Do you care?).  You also want to be sure they are available on your wedding date.  Weed this information out before visiting.  Ideally, so that you aren’t wasting your time, you should only visit three or so venues in person. If you find this to be too daunting of a task, Tears of Joy Events is here to help you.  Just ask about our services.

NEXT UP…

So, now that you have your guest list and your venue, let’s talk about your next moves.  You want to focus on the things that will make the biggest impact on your guests.

  • You, the happy couple, in love
  • Food. That they are well fed. That there is plenty of food. That the food is served in a timely manner. And the food is delicious.  If your wedding doesn’t live up to this, your guests will be cranky and they will complain during and after your celebration.
  • Alcohol.  Unless your guests don’t drink, you want to be sure that you serve enough alcohol.
  • Music.  People want to dance and have a great time, whether you hire a DJ or a band, they want to PARTAY!

Your guests will also notice a beautifully decorated space, especially guests who aesthetically driven. Therefore hiring an incredible florist, budget permitting, is also a great investment.

Weddings do need color (dresses, ties, flowers, linens, etc.) so you will need to decide on a color palette. Look around your house, take a gander at your wardrobe.  What colors  are you generally attracted to? Consider weddings you’ve been to where you loved the colors. Check out photos of previous weddings at your venue and decide what stands out to you in terms of colors. You can be as colorful or as neutral as you’d like. There are no rules, this is your day.

FOR MORE (DETAILED) INFORMATION ON GETTING STARTED PLANNING A WEDDING, CONTACT US FOR A FREE BRIDAL CONSULTATION!