So you are about to become a Mrs. You found the man of your dreams, he has popped the question, and you are about to start the journey down the aisle.
Planning is fun but and a lot of work. Before you start unleashing all the ideas you have pinned on your Pinterest, here are the 3 things you should do first before planning your wedding.
1. Set a Budget
You are now engaged and can start planning your dream wedding. Before you do anything you MUST talk about the B-Word… Budget. I know EWW money, why can’t you do all of the fun stuff first like try on dresses or eat cake. Unfortunately, weddings cost money and the amount of money spent on a wedding varies greatly. First things first decide who is paying for the wedding. Whether it’s your parents, your soon to be in-laws, you and your Fiancé or combo of all the above; budget must be discussed. Next, decide on how much you can afford. Once you have the overall amount of money that will be spent, do some research on average prices of different vendors and local venues. Create a budget based on the big categories and allocate every dollar to be used on something. Use this budget to guide EVERY decision from dress selection to cake toppers.
2. Set the Vision and Expectation
Now that you have a budget, it is time to start planning right…NOPE. You may be ready to plan your dream wedding but it is not just you getting married…it’s kind of your Fiancé’s wedding too. So talk to your betrothed about what you both want to see in the wedding. Maybe you want a black tie affair with 500 guests and they are envisioning an intimate backyard wedding.
Set the expectation and vision you both can agree on. Make a list of must-haves that you and your Fiancé will not compromise on. For us, I wanted to have an outdoor wedding ceremony, so every venue we looked at had to have an outdoor space. My husband wanted to make sure we had good music, so he was in charge of finding the DJ.
if the two of you disagree on something just remember that relationships are about compromise and so is wedding planning. Find that happy medium that makes you both happy.
3. Get Input
Sooo…not only do you have to share the spotlight with your soon to be hubby, it is also a big day for your parents and family. You are all grown up and getting married. They are just as excited as you and have stuff that they want to see in the wedding. It is up to you to decide how much input your family should have for the wedding. Talk to them about if there are any family traditions or heirlooms that they may want to see in the wedding. You should also be sure to ask them who they want to invite to the wedding. Your parents probably have family friends you would not have even thought of on your guest list that they must have at your wedding. The guest list size dictates the size of your venue and how much money the reception food will take up on the budget, so this must be talked about early. For help managing your wedding guest list check out our free guest list tool Wedding Planning Tool Kit: Guest List Manager.
It can be overwhelming to try to incorporate everything and keep your vision, especially if they are helping to fund the wedding. In the end, it is your wedding and your family may have a lot of opinions on what you SHOULD do. Just be clear on what you want and respectfully decline if you really don’t want to do something. No need to damage family relationships over a wedding day.
Now that you have all of this done, it’s time to start the fun process of planning. If you have just gotten engaged and have questions on your wedding planning, leave us a comment below with your planning questions.