How Do You Plan A Wedding Day and What Does it Look Like?

Planning your wedding can be tough. Especially when you have never been married before, and you are just trying to figure out the basics! We hear a lot from our clients, “I know nothing about weddings, and I am trying to plan a wedding! What do I need to do? How do I get help?” Most people would say, “Hire a wedding planner, they will do it all for you!” Which is completely true, but sometimes, it’s unaffordable. Hiring wedding planners can be a big weight off your shoulders, but doing it all yourself is also a way to save some cash. Either way works, so figure out what’s best for you! At The Waters, we have full time event managers who can help all the way through if you don’t know where to start. But, this article will help get you started and get you to visualize how a wedding works and what you will be experiencing at our venue the day of your wedding. 

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Finding Your Wedding Venue

First and foremost, you need to find your venue. Everything starts there. If you do not find your venue first, you might have trouble booking or finding other vendors for your day. Booking your venue will solidify your wedding date and weed out vendors or caterers that are already booked. For our venue at The Waters, we have six preferred caterers that you can choose from with no extra fees on our side. We find that at our venue, having multiple catering vendors to choose from gives you many options for pricing and food variety, giving a great overall cuisine experience.

What vendors do I need?

On the day of your wedding, we include an event manager, bartenders, tables, and chairs. We also have an elevator, some rentals, plenty of parking (we allow overnight parking at no cost), a getting ready room, a ceremony package, and more. Other vendors you will need to choose from for your wedding day is a DJ or band, dessert caterer (if your dinner caterer doesn’t provide this option), florist, decor rentals, videographer, hair and makeup artists, photographer, an officiant, transportation, bar and bartenders (some venues do not have a bar), and whatever else you find you may want. It’s important to book your vendors early so there is no issue with finding them at a later date. 

Start Planning

After you have found and booked all your wanted vendors and caterers, you will want to start planning your wedding day. Having an itinerary makes it easier to plan it all out. You’ll want to figure out how much time each vendor will need to set up or get work done. For example, some of your vendors for rentals, catering, etc., may need extra time to make sure everything is prepped and ready by the time your wedding starts. At our venue, we allow for an extra 2 hours of free set up time before your wedding start time. Typically, 2 hours is enough for our preferred vendors. This may differ depending on the wedding venue of your choosing. Once you have your vendors figured out, you’ll need to know how much time you’ll need to get ready. At our venue, we give options for an 8 a.m. start time and an 11 a.m. start time to get ready. Depending on how many bridesmaids you have, this could take some time for your makeup artists and hair stylists. Plan this accordingly, and you’ll feel stress-free and have plenty of time to hangout before your wedding.

Here is an example of a typical and very basic wedding day itinerary with the ceremony and reception at The Waters’ venue:

8:00am – 1:00pm: Get hair and makeup done

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Eat lunch

2:00pm – 4:00pm: Set-up at venue

4:00pm – 4:30pm: Guests arrive at venue

4:30pm – 5:00pm: Ceremony

5:00pm – 6:00pm: Cocktail hour and appetizers (during this time, typically bridal party goes and takes photos with photographer)

6:00pm – 7:30pm: Dinner

7:30pm – 11pm: Reception 

11:00pm – 11:30pm: Take-down and leave venue

Planning a wedding may seem like a lot and it can get stressful. Don’t get down on yourself for feeling overwhelmed. Understand that it is a day you’ll always remember and to make the best of it! We want to help make it the best day of your life, so book with our venue and we will make that happen seamlessly for you. 

Let us know how we can help you on your special day. 

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Header Image: Megan James Photography

Inserted Image: Ally Corinne Photography