Where to start when you start planning a wedding

“My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days. But when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked.
— Elizabeth Taylor


A long table set with white plates and place settings for a formal dinner event.

Recently engaged? Congratulations! If your thoughts have turned to walking down the aisle, we are here to help. Planning your special day can be daunting. But it doesn’t need to be. In fact, it should be fun.

Our Catering Manager, Randy Araiza has worked with hundreds of couples to plan their dream Palm Springs destination wedding. She has put together her wedding planning checklist for those just starting to think about their special day.

1. Give yourselves plenty of time to plan for your wedding.

You don’t want to rush things. Take time to consider all the aspects. For example, are you hoping to have a destination wedding? If so, when can your guests travel? If it’s a large wedding, can you secure the location and the vendors you want? Is there time enough to design your wedding dress or suit? “I tell couples to book their date with lots of time to plan,” Randy says. “That way, guests can make their travel arrangements and no one feels rushed.”

2. Make a collective decision about the type of wedding you both want.

For some couples, their wedding may be their first big series of decisions as a couple. Discuss what you want together and determine if you are going to have a large or small wedding, a local wedding or a destination celebration. “Having these discussions before you start to plan will set you on the right course,” Randy says. 

3. Determine your budget.

“Ask yourselves how much you can afford to spend on your wedding and how much do you want to spend,” Randy says. Weddings can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, with costs to match. Make sure you identify the price parameters of your wedding before you start meeting with professionals. That way, you can plan around the reality of your budget.

4. Closely tied to budget is guest list — who do you want to invite?

Spend time making your guest list before you start planning your wedding. The number of guests you wish to invite and the number you anticipate attending will determine a large part of your budget.

5. Make a list of ‘must haves’.

How do you envision your special day? Is it the feel of the wedding, the flow of the day, a ceremony at sunset or a Sunday afternoon garden wedding that is important? “Define what’s essential to you,” Randy says, so you can clearly articulate your dream day when you start meeting with the wedding professionals who will bring your vision of your day to life. ”

  • Scenic Palm Springs wedding ceremony featuring lush greenery, elegant decor, and a breathtaking mountain view.
  • A beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony in a garden with blooming flowers and guests seated on white chairs.
  • Scenic view of a serene lake at sunset, with colorful hues painting the sky and reflecting on the water.
  • A bride and groom happily sit in a suspended chair, capturing a moment of joy and love on their special day.
  • A beautiful couple stands in the center of a vibrant garden path, surrounded by lush greenery and blooming flowers.

6. Once you’ve made your list of ‘must haves’ think about what you don’t want.

If there are aspects of weddings you don’t want to incorporate into yours, note it, so you can share this information with the venues and professionals planning your wedding. 

7. Think about the dates and the seasons and how they impact your wedding.

Do you have a date that’s special that you wish to plan around? Consider the seasonality of that date — is it going to allow you an outdoor wedding, for example? If you’re planning a wedding in Palm Springs, the seasons here provide flexibility throughout the year. You might choose a morning garden wedding, an indoor wedding with a garden and mountain view or an evening wedding. Once you identify the time of year you want to get married, you can determine which venues work best.   

8. What style of wedding are you dreaming about?

Have you always wanted a formal, black-tie wedding or a more casual one? Do you want a candlelit evening ceremony or an afternoon garden wedding? Randy says that understanding the style of wedding you want goes a long way in helping to identify the venue and the choices that will make sure it reflects your wishes.  

9. Research your venues.

Now that you have a sense of the size of your wedding, the style and season of your wedding, which venues will deliver on your dreams? Take time to identify the possibilities so you’re sure the location is perfect.

10. Be sure to hire a professional wedding planner in the destination you have selected.

“It’s so important to work with people who have local knowledge,” Randy says. “They will be a key partner in your planning.” A local wedding planner will know the venues you’re considering, the seasonal considerations, will have contacts with the other vendors you will need such as florists and photographers, and can steer you away from spending time on aspects of wedding planning that won’t contribute to your special day.

If you’re considering destination weddings in Palm Springs, Parker Palm Springs has a selection of unique wedding venues on our iconic private estate. Please contact us. We would love to discuss your plans.

About Us

Parker Palm Springs receives regular accolades as the best luxury hotel in Palm Springs. We offer only 144 rooms on thirteen acres of exclusive, private property. To help plan your next vacation, weekend escape, special event, or wedding, please Contact us.

Call 760-321-4606 or email us with questions

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