wedding planning

How to start planning your wedding

Photo by Jess Latos

Photo by Jess Latos

Talk about your wedding priorities

So you're engaged! Now what? This week we're discussing the first steps every couple should take to get started planning their wedding. First step? Talk to each other and any other family that will be involved (generally parents). It's important to set aside time to really discuss what matters most to you - your priorities and expectations when it comes to vibe, location, and the number of guests. Take notes and see what type of wedding it's shaping up to be!

Establish a wedding budget

So you know your priorities and expectations - what's the next step in getting started with planning your wedding? Budget! Everyone's favorite subject. If you don't have a planner (like us!) to help you, there are lots of sample budgets available online to help you get started. My main piece of advice is to be realistic about both what you CAN and what you WANT to spend. Budgets are also where your priorities come in handy - you may need to cut corners here or there, so decide what matters most so you know where to allocate the most funds

Create a wedding guest list

The third step in getting started with wedding planning is creating your guest list! Create a guestlist spreadsheet with your partner so you can see who you (and other family) really want to invite. You can't pick a venue before you've finalized your guest list - no one wants to find themselves in the bad situation of having to disinvite people because they won't fit, or having too few folks in a huge venue!

Wedding venue

After you've narrowed down your priorities, guest list and budget, the next step is the venue and location. Local wedding cause all family is local and you have a huge family? Destination wedding to a location that matters to you both? Your hometown? Indoor or outdoor? Consider and talk through all the possibilities and what matters to you and your family.

Hire a planner!

The final step in how to get started planning your wedding... is hire us! :) Seriously though - it doesn't have to be us, but a wedding planner is truly a wonderful resource that can help you get started - we help you navigate all the conversations (from wedding vibe, guest list and location), we help you create a budget, and we help to narrow down your options so the whole process isn't overwhelming

How The Wedding Industry Has Changed

For a variety of reasons I’ve been thinking lately about how much things have changed in the wedding industry in last 5 years or so. What has gotten better, what has stayed the same, and where it’s headed next.

I think the biggest shift is that, generally, sane vendors have infiltrated the industry. And by being in business and providing sane options, couples realize that they have choices - and those choices don’t have to be one extreme or the other.

I think back on my own wedding, and it almost felt like a teenager’s rebellious phase. It was at a moment when people were finally calling out the wedding industry, but we didn’t have other vendors to choose from. And so we rebelled. Everything had to be anti-wedding industrial complex. You couldn’t hire a florist, you had to DIY your flowers. You couldn’t go to a traditional bridal gown store. You couldn’t even have a traditional structure to your wedding - you had to mix it up somehow, make it a cocktail reception, have an alternative venue - all to give a big middle finger to the industry. Looking back on it now, it felt desperate (but, it WAS desperate - it’s awful to not have options or feel you have choices). And that rebellion was necessary. (and without it my business wouldn’t exist!).

Nowadays, it feels like couples have matured. They’ve calmed down a bit. Because cool, down-to-earth vendors exist, couples aren’t as upset at the wedding world. No big EFF YOU’s are necessary. Now, they can embrace some of the traditions that work (ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner and dancing works for a reason), and get rid of the ones they don’t. They don’t get enraged when they try to find a wedding dress that fits them or their style, when they want a planner that doesn’t tell them what they “have” to do, when they want a non-diamond engagement ring (or no ring at all). Because they take a deep breath, and low and behold, those options are visible, are available, and are attainable (thanks interwebs!). I’m constantly seeing things and thinking “goddamn it, wish I’d had that option when I got married!”

All that being said, as our friends at Catalyst Wed Co are well aware of - and as I mulled over in a post after their great (un)convention - the wedding industry still needs disrupters. We all need to keep showing those options, providing validation, and reminding people over and over and over again that they have choices. But as I see and feel the ease from the clients I work with, as I more and more notice that they’re feeling quite confident in their decisions and quite happy with their options, I’m optimistic that we’re on the right track.