Congratulations! You're engaged! Now what?
The first thing you should do is not a checklist item: ENJOY THE MOMENT. Take some time to love and be loved. Call family and friends. Craft the perfect Facebook announcement. Take the Instagram photo. Or just keep things a secret and relish this next level of your relationship for a little while. This is a fun time--enjoy it!
Now that you've basked, let's break out that wedding planning binder:
1. SET the TIMELINE
The average engagement is about 15 months, but some weddings happen sooner and some later. Ask yourself what season you'd like to get married in, how long you need to save money, how long you'll need to plan, and what major holidays/family events you'd like to avoid. You don't need to set a specific date, but decide on a range of dates you're interested in to sketch out a timeline for your engagement.
2. GET SOME INSPO
Picture your fantasy wedding: Big or intimate? Indoors or out? Vintage, modern, rustic, glam? Upscale or casual? Check out Pinterest, look at wedding blogs, check out wedding websites, take inspiration from a favorite movie scene—knowing your style and your vibe will help you with the details (what do those centerpieces look like?) but also give you a big picture plan and help you with your budget and guest list (coming up next).
3. BUDGET and GUEST LIST PLANNING
Establish your wedding budget and get a sense of your guest list numbers. You and your partner should draw up an invitation list, and then you need to tap your families for theirs. If your family is helping you financially, have a clear and honest discussion about their wedding budget as well as yours.
Now, money and guests are not often the most comfortable conversations you can have, but they are essential to getting yourself off to the right track. If you're budget-conscious (and most people planning a wedding have to be), you'll want to establish these guidelines right away. If you need some guidelines, the folks over at A Practical Wedding know their stuff. Click here to find some advice, tips to stay on budget, a breakdown of costs for a wedding, and a few sample budgets to help you visualize your wedding day budget.
Now is also a great time to choose that wedding party and ask them to be a part of your special day!
4. VENUE RENTAL and THE DATE
The next step for most couples is to research, tour, and book their wedding venue and/or ceremony site. The venue is the backdrop for all your wedding photos, where you can draw inspiration, and influences your food and beverage. Take tours with a few places when looking for venues, and run a budget on each of them. Here at Vesperman Farms, we conduct tours every weekend, and as part of our service, we'll even help you with a price estimate so you leave your tour knowing both how you feel about the space, but what you'll roughly pay. You want your venue to cross off as many items on that wish list as possible, from the look to the feel to the food to the price.
Once you've toured, budgeted, talked, and decided, narrow down that date and book your venue. And congrats! You've gotten a HUGE step of the planning out of the way.
Not sure what type of wedding you want? Go explore! Try out a few types of venues--you'll know when you find the right place.
Not sure what questions to ask? Check out this exhaustive list of all the things you could and should ask when touring wedding venues.
Once you've selected a date and booked a venue, make sure to block off those hotel rooms!
5. BOOK the OTHER PLAYERS
Now that you have a date and venue booked, go looking for those other players that make your day: the DJ/musician, the photographer, the baker, the transportation. If you're not sure where to start, ask your venue. Most venues have a preferred or recommended vendor list that they can provide you, solid recommendations to great wedding players. Get all those players into the pot as soon as you can.
Some people work renting a venue a different way, especially if they have a vendor they really need to work with. If you lock that must-have photographer down to a date, just keep that date forefront when searching for venues.
People plan their weddings in multiple different ways, and all you need to know is that flexibility, compromise, and quick but careful action are things that all couples must confront when planning a wedding.
6. ALL the DEETS
Now that you have the booking part of the process out of the way, you can really start nailing down some of the details. Talk with your vendors about decorations, music playlists, and timelines. Look for the dress. Rent the tuxes. Buy the wedding favors and the wedding party gifts. There are many details to attend to—you'll keep busy, we promise!
If you are looking for a complete timeline, the ever-wonderful theknot.com has a great timeline here for you to check out!
Happy planning, y'all!
Many people have a "To Do List" for their day or week or month to keep themselves on track and to make sure all the things that need to get done, well, get done. I write a To Do List almost daily, so I feel that I'm pretty experienced in this area, but I've never seen ones quite like Kyle's.
These random lists are a typical "day in the life" of this farmer/businessman/amusement park owner/animal caretaker/events coordinator/manager/designer/[add an infinite number of random job titles here], and these lists are actually what inspired this blog. Because we got thinking—with as many types of hats we wear each and every day, how best do we tell our story?
Here at Stories From the Farm, we want to bring you a more complete sense of the Vesperman Farms identity. We want to answer questions about things we do on the farm, such as how we plant the corn maze or how we incorporate sustainability into our farming and events business.
We want to tell our story and our history, and as a Century Farm, we have a lot of stories and a lot of history to tell.
We want to feature the happy days of the couples who choose to get married here and talk about the people who host their events with us. And we want to share our events, like Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and pizza nights. We want to be a source of information and a resource for people looking to hold events, especially for brides and grooms beginning their wedding planning.
We want to talk about our fall season, where it all started. We want to share family stories, give you behind-the-scenes looks at how we make it all happen, and talk about all the things you love about fall.
And finally, we want to have a place where we can write about all the things that don't fit into our other mediums like Facebook or our website. We want to share who we are with you in a more complete sense than some of those other media outlets allow. We want you, after reading some of our posts, to get to know us a little better. And we hope you'll join us here to read more Stories From the Farm, 'cause we have a lot of items on that To Do List that we are excited to tell you about!
Elly and Nate were married on July 1 in a sweet ceremony surrounded by their family and friends. These two people are incredibly kind--I loved planning meetings with them because they were so considerate of each other, working together to make decisions they both wanted for their wedding. They have an incredible foundation for marriage and it was a joy to be there for the beginning.
Photos by the talented Zelora Images.
Fresh, colorful flowers brightened up the barn, beautiful arrangements by Country Crossroads Floral and Gifts.
What could be a more perfect ending to a beautiful summer wedding than a bonfire?
Some of our brave couples take a turn on the zip line...it didn't surprise us that Elly and Nate jumped on there!
Vesperman Farms was a wonderful place to host a wedding. The planning process was smooth and well organized. Morgan and Kyle are very easy to work with and did their very best to make our day exactly how we wanted. The food was amazing—we had so many compliments! The space itself is beautiful and spacious. We could not be happier with our choice in venues! -- Elly and Nate
Congratulations, Elly and Nate, and thank you for choosing us as your wedding venue!
Every year for fall season, we plant upwards of 16,000 seeds in an eight-acre field. With the right weather and a lot of care, we see a lot of orange out there! Many of those pumpkins find their way off the farm to be carved for Halloween and to decorate people's homes, but there are always some left. So what do we do with all these leftover pumpkins?
One of the best ways we use up our leftover pumpkins is to send them to another local business, Potosi Brewing Company, for their seasonal Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale. After fall season ends, Kyle and Callie head out to the pumpkin patch spend a lot of time picking 'em, cleaning 'em, baking 'em, and juicing 'em. Check out their hard work below!
After the pumpkins go through our prep here, we send 'em off to Potosi for the rest of the magic. We are so happy to partner with Potosi and be a part of their brewing process.
The next time you take a drink of that smooth brew, send a quick thanks to both your brewmaster and your pumpkin master! :)
(Photos by Potosi Brewing Company)
Oh, and all the rest of the stuff? Those seeds and innards and extra things? Well, that goes to the pigs.
Rene and Brandon were married on a beautiful, if slightly misty, day at the farm in September 2017. We had so much fun with this couple--they are so sweet to each other and to everyone around them, their families kept us laughing all day, and we were so happy to be part of their special day.
Photos by the amazing Adrianna Joy Photography, LLC.
Decorating with the Carsons had a few barn wedding fall musts: metallic pumpkins, wood circles, burlap, beautiful floral arrangements, and of course, antlers.
We always love it when we can make donuts for couples and their guests--it's a delicious way to end the meal!
I can't tell you how much fun we and all the guests had at Vesperman Farms. And the food! The brisket and cheesy potatoes are an absolute MUST. Many people said it was the best brisket they had ever eaten! -- Rene and Brandon
We loved the color scheme of this lovely wedding! And the gorgeous flowers were by Country Flowers and Gifts in Lancaster, WI.
Thank you and congratulations, Rene and Brandon!
Kyle, Callie, and I had a lot of fun last night getting out of the barn to join other vendors at the Taste of Lancaster to benefit the Grant Regional Health Center. We met (and caught up with) a lot of great people, ate some delicious food, and, as a bonus, sat by the Spurgeon Vineyard table! :)
We made a variety of appetizers for people to taste, from delicious finger sandwiches to BBQ meatballs, bacon cheddar tots, and buffalo chicken dip. And, of course, we had our apple cider donuts!
Kyle also showed off some pretty impressive carpentry skills creating this snowman and pallet Christmas memory tree to represent our farm. The snowman was auctioned off at the silent auction to a very happy bidder. We kept the tree, though—it had too many memories!
Thanks for inviting us to participate. We look forward to next year!
The big guy is stopping by twice this year for our annual Breakfast with Santa! Today was our first breakfast, and the following Sunday (December 10) we will welcome him and you back for another one! We had a delicious breakfast, super fun cookie decorating, and lots of good times with Santa and his elf. The barn looked pretty festive too. :)
If you're interested in details for next week's breakfast, we'll be here from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out our website for more information. Thanks to everyone to who came to celebrate Christmas with us!
Happy holidays from our family to yours!
Fun on the farm...in blog form!