Planning your wedding can be stressful and overwhelming…but it can also be fun and exciting! Even if you plan on hiring a professional, there are details of your wedding you are going to have to work out on your own. Whether you’re heading down the DIY path, or the road to a coordinator, here’s where you need to start:
Sit down with your fiance (make it a date night!) and envision your wedding together. Is it rustic? Intimate? Traditional? Romantic? What season is it? If you’re having trouble identifying your style, try taking one (or all) of the following quizzes:
I know, nobody likes to talk money – but the truth is, you have to. Rip the band-aid. Get it done. Having the difficult conversation up front is a lot more comfortable than going into debt to fund your wedding. I’m not going to go into too much detail here…but I will refer you to the amazing Dave Ramsey on this topic. (Bonus Tip: seriously consider completing Financial Peace University with your fiance as part of your pre-marital counseling! I know it probably sounds like putting the cart before the horse, but with finances being the number one cause of marital stress – trust me, it is so worth tackling this topic ahead of time)
Figure out what your top 3 priorities are – The dress? The reception venue? The food? The entertainment? You might consider me to be a tad biased…but I would definitely include photography in your top 3. From Thank You cards, to the prints and canvases on the walls in your home, and the album that will be cherished for generations to come, the images from your wedding are what lasts forever. Once you have your priorities identified, you can adjust your budget accordingly to reflect them.
This can be another difficult conversation – especially when the parents start adding on extended family members you’ve maybe met once in your life (it’s almost guaranteed to happen) – but it is so important to at least get a pretty good estimate of the size of your guest list. Make sure the size of your guest list jives with your vision – if an intimate outdoor wedding is your dream…you’re probably going to have to make some cuts.
Once you have your vision, budget, priorities, and guest list figured out – you, or your planner, can start working on the details! Knowing where you and your fiance stand on these four topics will make it so much easier for you to focus your venue search (which is the first big item on your to do list).