Planning a wedding yourself can be hard. Because of this, many choose to hire a professional to manage the wedding day plans. However, nowadays it is becoming more common for someone to opt-out of that and plan the special festivities themselves. As someone who not to long ago planned her own budget-friendly wedding, I decided to write down some of my observations about planning that truly helped with the “wedding planning blues”.
Here are FIVE things to consider when planning your wedding:
1) BREATHE, GIRL.
Right after getting my ring I found myself immediately trying to talk dates and venues with my now-husband…. (like seriously..we were still having dinner with our family) we jumped into rushing the decision on where we initially wanted to have our wedding and even the date! I missed out on something because of this instant jump into planning. I didn’t get to soak in the moment. I had found the one who completes me. I was about to start an entirely new part of my life and as beautiful as this new journey was, all I could think about was my wedding day.
Advice: Take a moment before jumping into planning mode to look around and just enjoy that perfect someone who just made the first step towards plans of forever. This moment is special. Don’t miss it!
2) Start with a budget
You’ve seen all the wedding reality shows. We know how luxurious the event can get. Every year in the United States, there are approximately 2.5 million weddings. In 2013, it was estimated that the Wedding Industry in the USA alone was approximately worth 53.4 BILLION dollars! That’s a lot of wedding dresses! Face it, everyone wants to have their “dream” wedding. However, at one point I started to wonder if my “dream wedding” was MY dream wedding or was it the dream standard set before me?
Advice: Once you’ve spent some time spreading the news of your engagement and enjoying that special moment, sit down and set out a REALISTIC budget that suits you & your mate. Be honest and open but be prepared for a reality check when it comes to actual budgeting for your wedding day as many couples don’t realize the full scope of costs involved. Trust me though, you can have an amazing wedding on almost any budget once the two of you iron out exactly what’s important.
3) Be Organized
(My husband would laugh at this one) It wasn’t until I went full time with my wedding photography career when I realized the importance of organization in life. Everything, rather physical or not has a place. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by life around us we miss the fact that most of our anxieties could have never happened if we had a PLAN.
Advice: Organization is essential to planning your wedding; you’ll have so many balls up in the air at once and you’ll need a way to keep track of everything. You can use a wedding-budget spreadsheet or wedding planning app; just be sure to figure out what works best for you—and stick with it. Even with the most meticulous planning and organization, there are bound to be moments of chaos from time to time, so just try to not be too hard on yourself (or each other) and trust that all of the kinks will be ironed out in time for your wedding day.
4) The BIG Three
Looking back on my planning experience one of the highlights I remember is how great it felt when I had the three vitals booked and set for my special day… What are those you ask? The venue, photographer & caterer! These are the professionals who book FAR in advance. You don’t want to fall in love with someone’s work just to find out they are already busy!
Advice: After your budget is set, start shopping for professionals you connect with. Look for the practicality in choosing your venue. Look for a photographer who is just as excited as you are and who wants to make you their priority. Look for the good food (haha!) This process was SUPER fun for me and I LOVE all of my chosen vendors.
5) Last (but definitely)not least…
We started our experience making decisions based on what we thought the expectations of those around us were. I jumped into the big wedding and the big venue and I didn’t want any of that. My anxiety hit the roof. Thankfully, I am loved by a man who truly knew me. Who knew that all I needed was an open conversation, some prayer, and support.
Advice: Your wedding day is YOUR wedding day. Don’t allow influences and well-meaning expectations to shadow what will make you both happy. Make your decisions based on YOUR love and YOUR story because this is just the first chapter…