Let’s start off by saying congratulations! Now that you’re engaged, you’ve got a big couple months ahead of you that include dress shopping, planning, rehearsals, and more. However, you don’t want the stress of wedding planning to overshadow the excitement that lies in the fact that you get to spend the rest of your life with your betrothed. At the Smokehouse Grill - the leader of wedding catering in Maryland - we know how much goes into pulling off the perfect wedding, which is why we’re here to share with you your first 9 steps in the wedding planning process to ensure that you have a stress-free wedding planning experience.
When you first get engaged, so much begins to float through your head. You’re excited to share the news and start wedding planning, but it’s extremely important to soak in this exciting moment and share it with loved ones before the planning begins.
The leader of wedding catering in Maryland recommends beginning your engagement announcing with close family and friends first before you tell others. Parents, siblings, grandparents, and extremely close family friends are often the first to know. Once the close relatives know about the engagement, couples will often share news of the engagement on social media (AKA making it ‘Facebook official’).
Next, take time to get your engagement ring sized and insured. You may not be used to wearing it and want to protect it from getting lost or damaged as soon as possible. Once that is done, it’s time to prepare for engagement photos! These photos will be used for your Save the Date announcements and for wedding stationery. Book this photo session shortly after the engagement.
Next, it’s time to pick your wedding party. If you and your betrothed have been together for a few years now, you likely already have a good idea of who is going to be in your wedding party. Take the time to ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen in a thoughtful way to join you on your special day -- after all, a bridesmaid proposal is a worthy proposal in its own right.
Finally, you may be thinking about hosting an engagement party to celebrate your engagement. Whether you’re throwing this yourself or your friends and family are hosting the celebration in your honor, there are a number of affordable ways to host an elegant engagement party. Keep in mind that it is extremely typical that anyone invited to the engagement party will also be invited to the wedding, so plan accordingly.
Once the fun and excitement of announcing your engagement wear off, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Wedding budgeting can be extremely stressful but it is also extremely important to take the time to do in order to avoid blowing your budget out of the water (or accumulating a bunch of debt early on in your marriage).
Because wedding budgets are heavily based on the number of guests you invite - due to the price of catering in Maryland, venue size, and more - it’s important to begin by laying out your guest list. Once you have an idea of how many people will be attending your wedding, you can begin setting more realistic budget goals.
When budgeting, consider the fact that close family members may want to contribute to your wedding. Parents paying for the rehearsal dinner, grandma purchasing the wedding dress, and a friend making the wedding cake are all ways that will save you money in the long run.
From there, crunch the numbers and define your budget. If money is tight, formulate a realistic savings plan for the months leading up to your wedding and make budget cuts where necessary.
Once your budget is laid out, you’ll have a pretty good idea of the type of venue and catering you’ll be able to afford for your big day. Not only is budget a huge determinant of your venue and catering in Maryland, but personal preference and date availability is key. Typically, couples plan their weddings 12-18 months ahead of time, but that means venues and caterers often begin filling up equally as far ahead of time.
Because of this, venue and catering are among the first aspects of planning that you should nail down. However, this presents a bit of a decision game. Is having the perfect date - like the anniversary of your first date or the same anniversary as your parents - more important than finding the right venue? Do you have the perfect venue in mind, but they don’t have your ideal date available? These decisions go hand-in-hand.
Once you decide which is more important, nail down these decisions. Book your venue and your caterer, taking the time to ask all the necessary questions regarding pricing, accommodations, and limitations.
When it comes to choosing a wedding caterer, be sure to consider the leader in catering in Maryland: the Smokehouse Grill. The Smokehouse Grill provides a selection of casual and upscale dining options fit for any wedding budget and style. Cooking is completed on-site and with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients made to ensure the highest quality, tastiest food possible. Additionally, the Smokehouse Grill offers open bar packages for as little as $4 per person per hour, making it more affordable than ever to keep your guests satisfied on your big day.
Ready to get planning? Get in touch with the Smokehouse Grill today to book your catering, learn about our wedding planning packages, and so much more!