Let the Wedding Planning Begin!
A snippet of advice for those on the cusp of planning a wedding.Yay for you! You’re engaged! You said yes or some one said yes to you! What a wonderful feeling, a feeling that my poor man waited a few moments too long for due to my minor blackout. But I got there in the end.
This is where I’ll be honest, I jumped in, I could finally change my very obviously wedding themed Pinterest board to one actually called ‘Wed Yeah!’ because it wasn’t weird anymore (I currently have a very obvious ‘Kids’ board but that’s a while off and I’ve stopped caring). I think I wrote our guest list two days later and looked up one venue and that was it, I’d planned it, pop the champagne! What I would soon learn is that life gets in the way, priorities reveal themselves and you start receiving quotes that are surely typos…so I bought a wedding planner from a certain divine Swedish stationary store and placed it in the cupboard for a while.
In the very early stages it is important to get stuck into a few things;
Your engagement party! I will quickly say that it’s like a mini wedding where you can afford to have things go wrong, cut costs, serve pizza if you darn well please and drink out of plastic cups. And note that people will help you! You will be shocked at their generosity of time and help but just embrace it, they are happy for you…USE IT!
Ours was absolutely fabulous due to our help and planning but it was still a big operation. Not that you even need to have one, simply sharing a bubbly and a cheeseboard with your closest is enough to celebrate this amazing new step you’re about to take…and cheaper too!
After our engagement party we went into full wedding mode…well where I did, my fiancé bless his soul would only hit full wedding mode weeks prior, suggesting some sensational ideas that would have been easily implemented six months earlier (love yooooouu). Honestly I work from home, so I was happy to take the reigns and the distraction.
Research, research, research!
I’ll say it again! Research! I don’t just mean the online kind sometimes at 2am. Talk to everyone who has ever been married, ask them where, when, what, who, how and how much. This is the best kind of research because these friends of yours dealt directly with vendors, venues and businesses and can divulge all the gritty details and sometimes price, if they’re comfortable. They’ve also eaten the food and seen their photos so hopefully they will be honest as they’ll want the best for you (remember they are happy for you!) I was lucky enough to be blessed not only with three wedding-experienced sisters but also with my married bestie to help me on my journey.
I have also gained much knowledge from my job as a wedding videographer. Going to so many weddings, I see what is worth having, what people enjoy the most and what turns out to be unnecessary. Sadly I have seen smaller details that you know took up a good chunk of the bride’s life to organise go by the wayside and it has really helped me prioritise. Note to you all; great free food and alcohol in a comfortable environment with good company and atmosphere will make anyone happy, but no one cares about your cake knife (I say after searching department stores desperately for the perfect one). The big things are important and the little details are nice, put time and money into what is important to you as a couple.
Mentioning my work leads me into another avenue of research; videos! Long before we got engaged I was watching videos as research for my business but I always took away little details of couple’s weddings that I loved! You could actually see a wedding taking place and you usually get snippets of catering and styling. I am biased towards video of course, however photography blogs and wedding directories that list and link the vendors are also super dooper helpful.
Another avenue is of course bridal expos. You might as well go and meet suppliers face to face, after all, while someone’s work is lovely, if you don’t get along and understand one another, it may cause unnece-stress in the future of your planning. Especially photographers and videographers; these guys will be with you all day so I advise you meet with them before you hire them to make sure you’re on the same wave length. Honestly, good communication with all of your suppliers is a must. You want your requests to be understood, to keep up to date with any changes along the way and you should touch base with them often. A simple email or call asking “are we still on for Feb 4th?” will suffice. I got stung by this one, I’ll admit.
You will spend a very long time finding ideas, visiting venues, meeting with suppliers, sourcing items and of course trying on dresses, but it’s important (and also annoying) to plan a budget…*shudders at the word* I’m not going to break it down too much for you, but work out what you can actually afford and where your monetary priorities are. My married bestie who manages the most amazing balance of style and frugality of anyone I know, made me want to crawl into a corner with the insane and sometimes unbelievable ways she saved money on her day. But she stuck to her priorities, stayed within her set budget and still pulled off her dream day. Our priorities were a cool venue, preferably a winery with amazing food that will have guests raving, wine, beer and lots of it and a our dream photographer. Everything else was a bonus, but still lovely and within our means thanks to plenty of research, a little compromise and a few favours here and there. More on how and where we saved to come in another post.
I learned at an internship that you should always get three quotes for everything, while this sounds like a lot I advise you get more than three for your wedding! There will always be someone who does something cheaper and someone more expensive, but research, research, research, because it is a fact you more often than not get what you pay for. Some things are cheaper for a reason, but if you persist you could be like my miraculous friend and have a stunning wedding on a shoe-string. *Note this ‘shoe-string’ is still in the thousands of dollars.
Seriously though, this stage is a mixed bag of stress and excitement and it isn’t about money, it’s about kicking off marriage together with maybe a champagne or two.
Till next time,
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