January 2, 2017
Happy New Year!! I hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend! Caleb and I can’t believe that 2016 is over and 2017 is already here! Over the past few weeks, our social media has been filled with sweet proposals and gorgeous rings! Caleb and I wanted to say a special CONGRATULATIONS to all of you who said, “yes!” over the holidays!! YAY!!
It is such a fun time of year for us because we get to connect with newly engaged brides and grooms! We know first hand how exciting it is to get engaged in the holiday season (view our proposal story here!), but we also know that wedding planning can be overwhelming! This blog post is for all of the new brides that are in the beginning stages of planning one of the biggest days of their life! Here are the first five steps that we recommend for wedding planning! Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy this amazing process!! <3
THE FIRST FIVE STEPS OF WEDDING PLANNING
1 – SET YOUR BUDGET
This is one of the most important steps in the wedding planning process! Dave Ramsey said, “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” If we are honest, this isn’t always fun, but it sets the foundation for all of your wedding purchases. Below is a list of the basic wedding expenses for most weddings.
List of wedding expenses to consider:
-Photographer and Videographer
-Decorator and decorations
-Bridal gown, veil, jewelry, shoes
-Hair and makeup
-Bridal party gifts
We highly recommend going on Pinterest and finding a good wedding budget spreadsheet. This will help you stay organized and plan accordingly! Caleb and I wanted to add a little word of encouragement to each and every bride that reads this post. We have seen weddings with budgets of $5,000 – $50,000+. The $5,000 can be just as beautiful as the $50,000 wedding. In the end, it’s not all about the decorations and details… it’s about you and your sweet fiancé promising to love and cherish each other until death parts you.
2 – SELECT YOUR WEDDING DATE & BOOK YOUR WEDDING VENUE
Selecting your wedding date can be an exciting and overwhelming process! There are many moving details throughout this decision. The first step we recommend is to select which season you want to tie the knot in. Every season has it’s pros and cons. Here in midwest, our summer seasons can be hot and humid with occasional rain storms. On the other hand, the winters can be filled with snowstorms and bitter cold temperatures. We recommend choosing what best fits your personality and schedule! Once you decide on the season, talk with your family and close friends that will be involved in the wedding. Find out if there are any other weddings or big events already on the calendar that would interfere with your date selection.
Once you have narrowed down these two important details, it’s time to begin your search for your wedding venue! There are so many great venues in the midwest! (A great tool to find a venue is here on The Knot!) Connect with the venue to set up a time to take a tour, learn about their wedding packages, and look at their wedding date openings. This is when you get to officially select your wedding date! Yay!!
3 – BOOK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER
This is personally our favorite part of the wedding planning process! 😉 Caleb and I (and every other photographer and videographer out there!) absolutely love when our inbox is full of inquiries from sweet brides and grooms! Unfortunately, we are always sad to turn away a handful of brides each year because we are already booked. We recommend contacting photographers/videographers as soon as you finalize your wedding date! For most couples this is 6-14 months out. Be sure to do your research when booking your photographer/videographer! Caleb and I know that not every couple is a couple for us and that is ok! We have a bright, clean, and colorful style while others have a dark, moody, film style. Choose what you love and adore!
Engagement sessions are important! We highly recommend booking your engagement session with the photographer that you hire. Caleb and I personally include this in our wedding experience because we believe in it so much! This is the time that we build a relationship with each couple and get to know them on a personal level. We teach them how to interact naturally in front of the camera so on the wedding day they don’t have to be nervous for portraits!
4 – BOOK OTHER IMPORTANT VENDORS
Just like photographers and videographers, other vendors book up wedding dates quickly! Below is a list of vendors to book as soon as you are ready.
-DJ or Live Band
-Stationery (Save the dates, invitations, etc.)
-Hair and Makeup Artist
5 – RELAX AND ENJOY THE PROCESS!
From this point forward, the big decisions are over (picking venues and vendors)! It’s now time to relax and start on the little details… select your bridal party, pick out colors and decorations, go dress and suit shopping, taste testings, etc.! Be sure to take a deep breath and enjoy this process! At the end of the wedding day, you get to be married to the love of your life! <3