Updated: Nov 18, 2018
The first step to planning and having the wedding of your dreams is visualizing it. Often, you will hear brides (or yourself) say something along the lines of, “Oh, I don’t know what I want, I was never the type of girl to plan out her wedding from a young age.” But even the girls who did dream of their wedding early on have a lot to do to bring their wedding dreams to reality.
So before you get swept up in what everyone else may be envisioning for your day, stop and ask yourself, “What would I really like my wedding day to be?” You will of course want your wedding to be filled with joy, love, and what inspires you the most. But what this looks like will be different for everyone.
Start with what is important to you and your fiancé.
Perhaps there is a memory from your relationship that you want to incorporate into your wedding day. The celebration of your marriage is also a celebration of your whole relationship leading up to this day. Reflecting back on important moments while envisioning your wedding will help you establish your priorities.
For my wedding, my husband and I knew that we would be sharing the day with our friends and family, and we wanted to highlight aspects of our relationship. So from the ceremony readings to the lawn games, everything we chose held special meaning and was important to us.
Think about how you want to feel on your wedding day.
You won’t remember every second of the day, and there will be moments that you miss, but you will absolutely remember how you felt on your wedding day. Envision those feelings - being surrounded by those you love, laughing with your close friends and family, or relaxing in the moments before your ceremony. Your wedding day will evoke so many emotions, and visualizing those feelings will give you insight into what you want your wedding day to look like.
Ask yourself who you want to share this significant and intimate day with.
Weddings are intimate by nature. You’re sharing vows and pledging the rest of your life to someone you love. Thinking of this day for what it truly is (hint: it’s not just a party) will shift the perspective for creating your guest list.
Each of your guests will be witnessing your vows and celebrating in the day with you. Be selective when it comes to your guest list! You will appreciate that your day included only those that you carefully chose to share the moment with, and you will feel surrounded by love and support.
Imagine how you would like to celebrate your wedding.
Now that you have prioritized what is important to you and your fiancé, and you can picture who you have surrounding you and how you are feeling, it’s time to imagine how you are celebrating! While a wedding is definitely more than just a party, there is still cause for celebration.
Maybe you see yourselves toasting champagne to the sound of fireworks in the background, or feel the warmth of a bonfire as you make s’mores and laugh with friends. There are endless ways to celebrate your wedding - from a weekend camping to a lavish dinner party (and everything in between).
Reflect on weddings where you have been a guest.
Visualizing your wedding day based on you and your fiancé’s priorities will make the wedding your own. But you can still draw ideas from other weddings where you have been a guest to incorporate things you enjoyed and what you would rather do without.
I have always enjoyed weddings that have a cocktail hour between the reception and dinner, as guests have a chance to mingle (and I’m a sucker for appetizers). But when I was single, I never enjoyed the attention and competition that comes with a bouquet toss. So I made sure we had a cocktail hour at our wedding (complete with crab cakes and bruschetta), and we nixed both the bouquet and garter tosses.
Picture where and when your wedding will be.
Are you picturing yourself in a forest with the summer sunlight peeking through the trees? Or are you in a small church that you grew up going to? Maybe it’s an elegant dinner party in the winter. No matter what you envision, deciding the “where” and the “when” for your wedding will guide you in choosing the venue, theme, colors, decor and more.
Cameron and I kept picturing ourselves getting married in a cathedral of trees. We wanted a venue that highlighted the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and we wanted the outdoor ceremony to feel magical and natural. Once we could envision where, we knew it would have to be in the summer. This specific vision of where and when led us to the perfect venue.
Create your vision board (and step away from Pinterest - for now).
Your vision board should be separate from Pinterest, as your focus for this board should be centered around your priorities, and what you want to experience on your wedding day. The focus is not on finding the perfect table decor or floral arrangement, but on visualizing the way you will feel and what you will experience on your wedding day.
Once you have compiled images and started putting together your vision board, keep only what makes you happy. The images you choose should bring you joy and make you feel excited for what your wedding day will look like. If a particular image isn’t giving you that feeling, get rid of it. Make notes as you go of what you love about each image so that you have a point of reference for each photo.
Use The Planning Gathering tools.
Bringing your wedding vision to life takes careful thought and meticulous planning. By focusing on what is most important, the true meaning of the day will show through in the choices you make.
The Planning Gathering will walk you through the step-by-step process of visualizing your wedding and making it a reality. From asking yourself the important questions, to creating your vision board and spending plan, The Planning Gathering will keep you on track as you plan your big day!