When you get engaged obviously the first thing to do is send E V E R Y O N E a selfie!! And after the initial excitement has been shared, you’re faced with a lot of decisions. To be honest, you’ll probably be getting advice from everyone in your inner circle.
The most important thing to decide is what is best for YOU and YOUR partner. From mountainside elopements to extravagant weddings, from a courthouse ceremony to your local church… you have a lot to plan. And these are the four things that I believe will set you up for wedding planning success.
Set a Budget
Weddings can span a broad range of prices and it is way too easy to go over budget. By setting a budget up front, you are able to prioritize the items and vendors that are most important to you. It isn’t the most fun conversation to have, I know! But if y’all can get through wedding planning you can get through anything!
You certainly wouldn’t want to fall in love with a venue, dress, etc. and realize it’s totally out of budget. Bring your parents into this conversation if they will be helping with the budget so that everyone is on the same page! It’s helpful to have an overall budget for your total spending. You should also your top 3-5 vendors and how much of the budget you want to put there.
Find your venue
Now that you have a budget, and hopefully potential wedding dates in mind, you are on track to find the perfect venue! This venue will be the backdrop for ALL of your wedding photos so be sure its a location you LOVE. Some things to consider: does the vibe feel right, are there plenty of picturesque backdrops, can you imagine hanging these photos on your walls?
Use online resources like the Knot and ask your friends who have recently been married to help you create a list of potential venues. This is the time to figure out if you’re a rustic-chic wedding or a modern-downtown wedding… the possibilities are truly endless. Once you have a solid list, visit them a in person and work with your partner to find your dream wedding location.
You must decide if you want an all inclusive venue (ceremony and reception, will provide rentals, does catering on site) or if you’ll be splitting up your day to multiple locations. Once you’ve found the perfect venue(s) thoroughly read your contract and sign on the dotted line. There ya go…you’ve officially set a date for your wedding—and the real fun begins!
Book your Photographer
I am certainly not alone in saying that your wedding photographer will be your most important vendor. After the food has been eaten and the guests have gone home, what you’re left with is your memories and your photos… and a top notch marriage of course! With the rise of social media you’re probably already following a photographer or two. Make sure that you’re considering their editing style, their personality and their price point! Reach out to them as soon as you have your date, or before if you already know they’re the one! Most photographers book 12-18 months in advance so if you have someone in mind definitely reach out and start the conversation early.
Celebrate with friends and family
It goes without saying that this is an EXCITING time for you and your partner! So while there is definitely time sensitive planning to be done, there is so much to celebrate and you should set the time apart to enjoy it. Plan an engagement party or dinner and invite those closest to you. Allow yourself to be the center of attention and celebrate the road that brought you to this moment, this relationship, this ENGAGEMENT!
I hope that these tips help set you up for wedding planning success. Bookmark this blog as I release new Planning Tips every Wednesday to help you along your journey. I wrote these blogs using examples from REAL weddings and am inviting YOU to learn from my experiences. You’ll get simple, stress-free ideas to help you make smart decision so that you can have the best wedding photos ever!