Wedding Wednesdays: How to Start Planning

Photos by La Musa de las Flores, kasadelika, Sweet Root Village             

Congrats on the Engagement!

Preparing for a wedding comes with a mix of emotions. You think you have the perfect idea of what your wedding will look like, and cannot wait to get engaged. Then reality hits and you have to start putting action (and money!) behind your vision. To preface, I am not a wedding planning expert. I have actually been lucky to work under an amazing wedding planner out of Austin, shoutout to 3 of Cups, and I learned a lot of tips and tricks along the way. Even if you have decided to use a wedding planner, this initial solo planning will help ease the process.

Budget

This in my opinion is the most important aspect to pin down. We all have high expectations for our special day, and rightly so, but most of us do not have an expendable bank account. Questions you need to address in how the wedding will be paid for; Will you and the groom foot the entire bill? Are parents or in-laws stepping in? Once you know your budget, you can start researching and breaking down an itemized list of costs.

It is important to understand what matters most to you. My top 3 were photography, dress and tux, and venue. Not to say I spent the most on those items, but those were the things I was most willing to be flexible on in the budget. In my next wedding post, I will delve into how an all-inclusive venue made the most sense for our budget.

Learning to compromise is essential! Whether it be with the type of flowers you want or the timeline you have to the big day, be honest with what you can afford. I don’t believe you should go into debt for a wedding, but I also understand that people have huge families or even traditions that may be costly. If you are paying for the majority of the wedding, do not feel bad for narrowing the guest list down-and don’t feel guilty if you can’t invite every person from your high school class. This is your wedding and your budget, so respectfully decline outside advice if it is putting you in a bind. There is also no shame in having a longer engagement if you do want a more extravagant wedding, that you need to save for. At the end of the day, a wedding shouldn’t be unnecessarily stressful.

Inspiration

Okay, the good stuff! We all have our wedding Pinterest boards that have us daydreaming about our fairytale day. These are a great place to get started. Some of us have distinct tastes, but if you are like me, my pins can be a little all over the place. Out of all the color schemes and dress designs, I decided that I definitely leaned towards classic and romantic.

What I did to help clarify my vision, was take my absolute favorite pins and move them to MY wedding board. I made sub-boards for flowers and design, dress, venue, and cake. I finally had something cohesive I could then use to approach vendors.

Here is where a wedding planner could help immensely, if you decide to go that route. They have all the contacts narrowed down by what they strive at. So if you want a modern minimalist chic wedding, I can promise you that your planner has vendors she uses just for those tastes. In my case, I started searching through Austin wedding hashtags on Instagram. I also went and picked up a Brides of Austin magazine. I then created a top 3 list for each type of vendor, taking into account…you guessed it! My budget!

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