Wedding Planning Steps

Thursday, January 18th, 2018
elegant weddings at heart of the desert in New Mexico

The holidays are a very popular time to get engaged. If you are starting to think about what you need to do to plan your wedding, this simple guide will get you moving in the right direction. If at any time, it just seems like too much, consider seeking out the guidance of a professional wedding planner. You will generally find a good list on www.weddingwire.com.

The Checklist:

Start building a checklist to keep yourself on track. Wedding Wire offers a great customizable online version.

The Guest List:

The guest list is the best place to start. You just need a rough version to get started, but you need to know how big of a venue you need based on the number of attendees. Of course, you’ll need to choose your wedding party early on.


You must know your budget before you do anything else. Look at your finances and ask your parents what they can contribute. Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding and groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. Once you have your number, you need to think about your vision, what all the parts and pieces are and how much you can contribute to each item. Then you need to start working on the reality check by making calls to various vendors to see what things cost. Wedding Wire offers a great program for managing your budget.

Define your vision:

Chances are, that you have dreamed about what your wedding looks like since you were a little girl. It’s probably changed over the years, but now is your chance to make it a reality. Start thinking about what kind of venue it’s in. Is it a church wedding or a destination wedding? Is it indoor or outdoor? Is it simple or ornate? Are there lots of decorations and/or flowers? What colors do you have in mind? Is it themed? All those things play into your budget, but they also will guide you into selecting your venue and everything else.

Select your venue:

Since you defined your vision, you know what you are looking for in a venue. Do your online research in the area that you want to hold the wedding. Again, Wedding Wire will come in handy. Narrow it down to about 3-4 locations, then make appointments with the venues to check them out. Make a list of your questions before you go, so you don’t forget anything. Go in with a season that you would like to get married, but be flexible with your dates so you aren’t disappointed if your specific date is already taken.

Some important items to consider are:

  1. How far away is it from the church or can you do the whole thing there? You don’t want guests to get lost or have large delays in time due to long drives.
  2. What are your catering options, both food and bar? Can you bring in your own caterer or does the venue have to provide the food/beverage? Often it is more expensive if you need to use the onsite caterer, but it can also be more convenient. Is alcohol permitted? Who manages that?
  3. What’s the realistic capacity? You want your guests to be comfortable and not squashed like sardines, yet you don’t want it to be so large that it looks like a bunch of people didn’t show up.
  4. How is the parking? You don’t want people walking a mile to find a place to park. That’s horribly inconvenient!
  5. What’s the bathroom situation? Are there enough? Is it close by?
  6. Is there a ready room or will you need to come completely dressed?
  7. Does the venue provide tables, chairs, linens? If not, this is an additional expense and delivery/set-up piece that will need to be planned for and managed.
  8. Are there audio/visual capabilities? You want to make sure your guests can hear you stating your nuptials and you may want to show a video.
  9. If you are considering an outdoor wedding, think about weather back-up plans.
  10. What kind of décor will you need to enhance the venue? If you are doing an outside wedding, usually you won’t need much. The beauty of your surroundings should provide a stunning backdrop for your photos.
  11. Will your colors/theme work here? If your colors are silver and purple, and the venue is gold and green, it’s not going to compliment each other. Sometimes, a neutral backdrop is the best, so you can make it your own.
  12. And of course, how does it work with your budget? You don’t want to be venue poor when you still have many other things to come out of your budget, from a dress, to a wedding cake and so much more.

If you are considering an outdoor venue in New Mexico, check out The Patio at Heart of the Desert. It offers a stunning Tuscan style patio for up to 200 people and a picturesque backdrop of a pistachio orchard for your photos.

Start Contacting Vendors:

Once you have your location chosen, start thinking about the other parts and pieces to fully develop your budget. What all falls in here: Wedding Planner or Day of Coordinator (if you need one), Invitations, Cake, Flowers, Décor, Rentals, Catering, Beverage, Photographer, Entertainment (Band/DJ), Officiant, Favors/Gifts. Make sure you have chosen vendors that you know will produce, based on what you have seen and experienced. Check references. We don’t want any last-minute surprises!!

After the Vendors:

You mean there is more? Yes, there is…The Dress! The Honeymoon! And of course, the official little piece of paper that makes it all legal.
The Details: Where are guests staying? Do you need a block of rooms? Where is the rehearsal dinner? Did you book the rehearsal at the venue and with the officiant? What’s the flow look like the day of? Who’s running interference for you the day of? Write your vows. Get your hair done.

The Day of:

Stay calm! You planned every detail and have back-up plans in place. Let it all come to fruition, enjoy yourself and your significant other. Think of the fantastic honeymoon you have planned, and the exciting lifelong journey you have ahead. Cheers!

Weddings don’t have to be stressful if you put the work in ahead of time. Do your homework, check references and stay on track with your budget and checklist. Prepare for the unexpected. Then make sure to enjoy your special day. Hopefully, it’s a onetime thing and something you will remember fondly for the rest of your life.

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.