You’re engaged! Yay! But does the prospect of planning your wedding stress you out, then read through these top 5 things to do before you plan a wedding.
1. Make a Priority List [#lifesaver]
We always recommend couples start the wedding planning process with a priority list. This is not a budget. This is a list of all of the wedding budget items that you think you want to include on the big day. Flowers, dress, candles, dj, photographer, food, etc. List the in priority of what is most important you and your fiance. When you do this with your fiance and before the budget, the budgeting process with be much easier.
Here’s an example of a priority list for a couple who loves to dance. Yours might be different.
2. Realize that Pinterest is Fake
Ok, other wedding professional might not like that we’re giving away this secret, but it’s true. A large majority of wedding Pinterest pictures are staged. Don’t get us wrong, we love pinterest; we even have our own “Wedding Planning” boards (cause why not?). But we’re also part of a network of wedding professionals that get together to stage weddings. Photographers, videographers, models, florist, bakers, decorators, rental companies – you name it – come together to stage weddings for the photos.
Therefore, when you see a gorgeous wooden table set with candles, amazing florals, chargers, stationary etc., that was all done for free! No one is calculating the cost; the vendors are all hoping to get great photos to sell their stuff.
So what’s that mean for you. It means be realistic. If necessary, bring down the bar for yourself. Don’t shoot for a Pinterest perfect wedding. Shoot for the wedding that reflects you and your fiance. That’s what makes it perfect!
3. Make a List of Helpful People
You’re going to need help!!! The planning process is a lot more fun when you include people that love you. Instead, make a list of people that are helpful and write down their strengths next to their name. Friends and family love to be included into the festivities. Have some family members that want to help, but aren’t that helpful? Been there! Write them down as well and see if you can find something for them to do like picking up mason jars for you or hunting down candles at Goodwill.
4. Make a Planning Calendar
This seems silly at first, but trust us. Our brides love this because it helps them stay focused on one piece of the wedding planning process at a time.
Download this wedding planning guide. And a blank calendar doc (Yes, this is old school, but it helps – we promise). You’ll need one copy for every month from now until the wedding day. Don’t have a day – it’s ok. Just guesstimate the month.
Add each item to the calendar. These are not due dates – these are “do on this day” dates. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed with “OMG! I just have so much to get done!!!”, you can look at your calendar and instead say, “This week I’m working on picking the table centerpieces. Next week I’ll get to the cake.”
5. Prepare Your Family For The Prices
There’s a good chance you’re parents haven’t planned a wedding in a while. Or perhaps you’re the first of your siblings to get married so you’ve never been through the wedding process yourself. If that’s the case – brace yourself – wedding are expensive (shocker – we know). Seriously though, the average American wedding is between 25-35k. Things can get out hand quickly. Prices for venues are sky-high and vendors seem to be all over the place. This is where your PRIORITY LIST (above) is clutch. You’ve identified the things at the top of the list as most important, so spend your money there.
Also, be prepared to make compromises. Unless you’re working with a $50,000+ budget, it’s likely that you won’t get everything on your Pinterest board. Again, refer to your priority list so you know where to focus the funds.