Say ‘I Do’ to success: Our top tips for kickstarting your wedding planning journey
Helllllllo lovers! Thank you for jumping on our blog as we lay out our top tips to act as your ultimate guide as you begin wedding planning.
1. Set your Priorities
Ask yourself the following questions: ‘What is most important to incorporate into our celebration?’, ‘What can we not live without?’.
It’s just as important to identify what you don’t want as it is to identify what are must-haves.
A helpful tip that I like to share with our clients is to list all of your wedding vendor categories (planner, photographer, venue, florist, caterer, etc.) and order them by importance to you. This will be the best way to inform your priorities and therefore where your budget allocations should go.
2. Set your approximate budget
Most couples identify setting the wedding budget as the most stressful part of wedding planning for the simple fact that this is likely the only time in your life that you will spend a large investment on a celebration and let's be real... spending money is stressful. The good news is that by getting a head start early on and hiring a professional to help guide you, it can be well managed.
This is also a good time to connect with your family members to see if there is anyone who is contributing financially to your wedding celebration. This conversation doesn’t have to be awkward! Simply letting them know that you are in the process of creating the budget for your wedding and are wondering if they are planning to contribute anything (financially or otherwise) to the wedding.
Once you know your approximate budget and outside contributions, the next step to setting your wedding budget is to figure out if it is strict, flexible or open. A strict budget means that your budget is set and has no wiggle room, a flexible budget means you may splurge if you find something you really want, and an open budget is when it is open-ended and you can afford to have multiple splurges.
3. Approximate Guest Count
Having an idea of your guest count will help inform your budget and your venue search! I am sure if you have been looking at other online wedding planning tips, then you have likely already heard that the best way to save money for your wedding is to lower your guest count. Every guest (yes, even the kiddos and plus ones) means additional costs in nearly every single wedding category (more florals, bigger venue, rentals, food, beverage, décor, etc.).
When you are calculating your approximate numbers, be sure to include yourselves, your wedding party, and your vendors so that way you have a more accurate estimate as you search for a venue. I recommend starting your draft guest list with the people in your lives that you can’t imagine having your wedding day without (immediate family and friends), and then build on your guest count from there depending on budget/priorities/venue.
4. Gather your Inspiration and Ideas
Whether it be from a celebration that you previously attended, a favorite celebrity wedding, or late night google searches - it is important to gather your inspiration and ideas, no matter where it comes from.
Our most popular form of inspiration recently has been Pinterest. It is user friendly and has so many great ideas and photos from all over the world. However, proceed with caution! I always say, Pinterest for inspiration not replication. Many of the beautiful photos that you will see are from editorials, styled shoots, and high budget weddings that may not be accessible for your celebration. Instead, try to focus on what gained your attention from the picture to begin with. Is it the light and airy feel? The florals? The mixed textures? The more you focus your ideas, the better your design and concept for your wedding celebration will come together!
It’s important to have these foundational aspects of wedding planning decided on prior to beginning your planning journey. It’s okay if some of those ideas change or evolve as your planning progresses, but we all need to start somewhere! It is necessary to have your foundation set prior to doing anything (including hiring a wedding planner!)
My role as a wedding planner is to help inspire, advise, and turn my client’s ideas into plans. In order to begin our planning journey together, I need to know what those ideas are. Having at least a starting idea will help direct you (and your wedding planner) as you begin your planning journey! Ready to jump in!? Let's chat!