So you’re engaged! Congratulations!
If you’re like me, you ran out to the nearest bookstore and purchased a few wedding magazines and started pouring over the pictures and ideas. And then you realized that there’s a lot involved in planning a wedding. And where on earth do you start?!
Here are 3 Must-do’s before planning a wedding:
1. Talk Money – Have a chat with whoever is paying for the wedding. Figure out what your wedding budget is. Whether you and your fiancé(e) are financing the entire thing, or you’ll be getting some help from your parents, or if your parents are paying for the entire thing, you’ll need to talk money. How much can you spend? How much do you want to spend? (These are two very different questions.) Is your budget limited or unlimited? Also, it’s good to find out the average wedding cost for your city, so that you have a ballpark amount to estimate from.
2. Talk Priorities – Where and how do you want to spend your budget? What is most important to you on your wedding day? Is it the photographer? Is it the videographer? Is it the food? Is it the design? Is it the paper goods? Is it the music? By setting priorities, you can choose where to spend the larger chunks of your budget, and redistribute appropriately.
3. Talk Guests – Do you want a large wedding of 200+ guests? Or perhaps a small affair of 30? Who gets invited? Everyone you’ve ever known growing up, or family and friends you know and still keep in regular contact with. Is everyone invited to both the ceremony and reception, or will you have a private ceremony and larger reception following? What works best with your budget?
There are no right or wrong answers, but the answers must be honest and tailored to you. You have to do what works best for you. Once you have these items squared away, you can start talking nitty gritty planning, such as wedding colors and favors.
One of the benefits of hiring a wedding planner is that they can take your budget, priorities, and guests, and tailor a perfect wedding just for you. They can tell you if a 300 guest wedding in Dallas with a $10,000 budget is realistic if you want a three-course meal and a band (it’s not, FYI). And they can help you figure out how to throw a lavish affair if you have no limit on your budget, and how to source the very best vendors.
But as in all things that involve money and a serious sit-down conversation, be sure to talk budget (no matter how big or small) so that everyone is on the same page.
A new series I’m participating in: Thursday Tips! Check out these posts for photography advice and be sure to visit Lauren at Every Last Detail, Jenna & Elizabeth at Little Bit Heart, Becky at Bowties and Bliss, Lauren at Love Milk and Honey, Mel at The Oceanside Bride, Colleen at Soundtrack To I Do, Shay Cochrane Photography, and Stremel Photography for more great wedding planning tips + more.
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