Wedding Planning | Start Out on the Right Foot

By Shalese Higginbotham, Madison at the Mill

There’s no “wrong” way to plan your wedding, but there are a few things you can do “right” from the start that may save you some headaches later on!

Protect the Bling
It’s hard to get down to business when you’re celebrating…but seriously, get your ring insured! You’ve waited a long time for this rock, so make sure it’s protected! A lot of people will talk about adding your ring to your homeowner’s policy, but did you know you can add it to a renter’s policy as well? Put down the champagne and get on the phone with your insurance agent!

Photo from Diamonds Direct

Know Your Numbers
One of the FIRST things you should do after getting engaged is talk about the guest list. It’s so, so important to have at least a general idea of how many people you need to invite. And yes, you will find as you start brainstorming your list that there are people you “need” to invite to avoid any hurt feelings!

Giving your guests a plus one can make your guest list grow pretty quickly. But consider this: when you have a date, you’re more likely to get on the dance floor! If the party is a priority for you, make sure your guests have someone to dance with. Plus, if you have some guests who may not know a lot of other folks in your circle, they’ll probably have a better time if they can bring a date.

Save the Date
The best next step? Pick a date! Depending on your family, career, or lifestyle, there may only be a few dates that work well for you AND the majority of your guests. If you have a lot of folks coming from out of town, you may want to choose a long holiday weekend to give people extra travel days. If you’re flexible, that’s great! You’ll have more options when it comes to choosing a venue. But if you have specific dates in mind, it’s best to know those before reaching out to venues.

The Venue Search
Once you have an approximate guest count, start your venue search. You never want to fall in love with a venue that could only hold half of your guests! If you choose a space that’s too small for your guest list, it can become really difficult to make cuts. Remember, you can always make a large venue feel smaller, but you can never make a small venue bigger!

Once you nail down your dream venue, the rest will fall into place. From your dress and the flowers to decor and food, it will all make more sense when you picture it inside the perfect venue.

Shalese Danielle Photography at Madison at the Mill

Shalese Kocher is the Venue Coordinator and Marketing/Sales Director for Madison at the Mill, an industrial-chic wedding venue in Orange, VA. To learn more about Madison at the Mill, please visit