Hello, couples!

First of all, congratulations on your brand new engagement!  This must be such an exciting (and maybe a little bit overwhelming) time for you and your partner!  Look, it’s always super hard to know where to start with this crazy planning process, but that’s why I am here to give you a few tips to get you moving in the right direction.

Well, it’s sort of like what my journalism teacher (shout out to Mr, Bolyard!) taught me back in high school: who, what, when, why, where, and how.  I think you already know the why, but maybe the other five are a bit more foggy.  So, let’s just dive right in then!

First thing’s first, what type of wedding are you going to plan? A church wedding?  A farm wedding?  A backyard barbecue wedding?  An elopement?  A commitment ceremony? Oh, man, there are so many types of weddings and ways to do this whole commitment thing!  People are even doing full, long weekends now, so try to get down to what type of wedding you and your partner want to do. Whatever you choose is great, but know that it has a whole lot of implications for the rest of the planning process as does your budget.

So, what is your budget for the event?  It can be a hard thing to sort out this big piece of the puzzle, but it is going to guide a lot of your decisions.  According to the Washington Post, the cost of an average wedding in the US in 2016 was a whopping $35,329 which is an increase of 8% since 2015, so we can only assume that it increased about that much for last year’s wedding season, too.  That is not a small chunk of change, and, we, as wedding vendors, know that.  However, we also have our own business costs to contend with so as much as we might want to be flexible on our prices most of the time we can’t be. So, try to budget a realistic amount of money for your party.

Also, there is no shame in not being able to afford ALL the things for your wedding day, it just means you need to be truly thoughtful about how and what you are going to spend your money on.  And, though DIY weddings are super fun and beautiful, just be careful about the level of commitment you get yourself into.  No matter how pretty the crafts that you want to do are, it is never worth stressing yourself out right before your big day.  Keep in mind that the goal isn’t to have the prettiest wedding, it’s to have the happiest the couple!

Okay, so let’s be real, you may end up splurging a bit more than you had originally intended (oopsie!), but it is good to have an idea where you want to fall in your budget.  Look, I really hate to say it, but you likely will not be able to afford all the pretty things you want–I’m sorry, girl–so, you and your partner need to sort out what the most important pieces are to make your day extra, super incredibly special.  Is it a live band, the most gorgeous bouquets ever, incredible food and drinks, that you have all 250 guests on your guest list, or an absolutely drool-worthy venue?  Whatever your list of priorities are, it is possible (and maybe even probable) that you are your partner may not have the exact same list, so talk through it and come up with compromises.  It’s totally fine to give a little–please remember that you are planning a marriage and not a wedding, so you really are going to be compromising, giving and taking for the rest of your lives–make his or her priorities yours, too!  There may be something you just HAD to have that you realize you really don’t.  Props to you for being able to give a little!

Check out Part Two HERE.  And three more each day through the end of the week.

And, to check out more photos from this gorgeous vineyard wedding click right  HERE!

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