Planning a wedding is so exciting!!!! Often times I hear couples talk about the stress that can come along with it. While planning a wedding should be all about you and your partner, I know that outside opinions can come up. You may start feeling like you don’t know what to do next. Or remember everything you need to get accomplished. Do not worry, I am here for you! I’m here to support all of my couples as their photographer. I’m also here as a friend to give you a hand when you need it. That’s what today’s blog is all about! Sometimes you just need a little guidance on where you should start!
1. Start planning the big stuff
My top tip is to start with the big decisions and work your way down. After you get engaged, everyone is going to be asking when you are getting married and where! Take some time to just enjoy being engaged!!! Don’t wait too long to sit down with your partner to start making those big decisions together. Think about when you want to get married and select a few dates that you both like. I say “a few dates” because it helps to have some flexibility when picking out your dream wedding vendors! If the venue you absolutely love is booked on the day you select, have a backup option. Some other big decisions: who do you want in your bridal party? What vendors will you need to hire? How big do you want your wedding to be?
2. Make and stick to a wedding budget
This is an important one that I know can be intimidating. Weddings cost money but they should not have to put you in a stressful financial situation! Decide what you and your partner want to spend on your total budget. Plus find out if any family members are offering to help you out. Then decide what is most important to you. If wedding photos are a top priority for you, know that you will probably pay more for a photographer you can trust and love! BUT you can be more relaxed with other things, such as flowers or table decor. There’s no right or wrong answer here. Think about what your max budget is and then decide what your top priorities are when it comes to the wedding, spend accordingly!
3. Give yourself time
In the wedding world, you really want to give yourself some time to book vendors and venues and plan. Of course, you can plan an elopement or even a wedding in a few months. But it does make it much easier to give yourself some time. For instance, it can take up to 9 months to get a wedding dress ordered and that’s before alterations!
Many wedding vendors start booking out up to 2 years in advance. Don’t stress about being on top of everything the day you get engaged but do start thinking ahead. People wonder why the heck you need to book a wedding venue a year ahead, but wedding venues book fast. Make sure you’re on the same page and start reaching out to vendors. And if it’s one of your priorities, you definitely want to have the best chance of booking that wedding vendor!
4. Do your research on wedding vendors
This is one of my top tips guys. Do your homework and research on everything wedding related! Reach out to a few photographers whose style you like. Ask about their pricing, to see full wedding galleries, and get to know them. With florists, ask to see photos of past work. For caterers ask to see sample menus and do a tasting. While I did say budgets are important, and they are, so are quality wedding vendors and items. Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life! You deserve to have it how you want it!
Make sure you ask your vendors important questions so that you vibe well together and enjoy their work. This way there are no surprises on the wedding day. Personal recommendations from friends and family members who recently were married are great. Because they can tell you how it was working with vendors! Also, ask vendors for their preferred vendor lists. Many vendors work together on multiple weddings and have confidence in recommending them and their services to you! I have a list of preferred vendors I love to share with all of my couples.
These are just a few of my top tips for planning your wedding! There are so many more, which is why I have created a FREE wedding planning checklist for you to download! You can click here to download the full checklist! No more guessing on what you should be doing and when. I have attended countless weddings and know that this checklist will help you feel excited about planning and not stressed.
If you have any other wedding planning questions, please reach out to me! I’d also love to chat with anyone who just got engaged (CONGRATS!) about photographing your wedding!