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First things first, you're engaged now!

...and if you didn’t read that title in the tune of “I’m So Fancy,” please go back and read it again.

Great, glad we got that out of the way. Second, congratulations! Being newly engaged is SO exciting. Pinterest goes from some random boards we pinned to when we were procrastinating in college to a lifeline to the hottest wedding trends-- it’s an exciting time, for sure.

You’ve probably gotten a fresh manicure, snapchatted all of your friends the new bling, and spent hours emailing your favorite wedding pros asking for their pricing. And now…. what, exactly?

Make. A. Budget. Boo.

I know, I’m upset too. But we can’t help you unless we know what we’re working with? If you’re in the south, wedding budgets are a bit wonky to try and figure out. Most typically what ends up happening, is that the bride’s parents agree to pay a set amount, the groom’s parents offer to chip in with a few key components (typically, but not always, the alcohol and band or DJ), and then the couple decides if they too, need to make a contribution to make up the difference of what they want to accomplish.

What we have ALSO seen happen however, is that grandparents, aunts, uncles, and godparents have also been known to pitch in on specific items that were going to be on the cutting room floor i.e. transportation, a photo booth, etc.-- so those are all important conversations to have sooner rather than later, so you know what money is coming from where.

Talk to your fiance.

Okay, hopefully this goes without saying and technically it should be #1, but we’re assuming that your fiance is going to say “whatever you want, dear”, and if you don’t know how much money you’re working with anyway, that information isn’t particularly helpful.

What IS helpful, is knowing what things are important to your groom on the wedding day. Because ladies, it’s his day too! Has he been planning this day since he was 5? Probably not. But this is 2020, and I am tired of hearing brides say that what their partner wants doesn’t matter, yall! That is no way to start a life together.

So sit down, pour some wine, and talk about it. It doesn’t have to be a conversation about color palettes and flowers-- moreso, ‘do you want a band or a dj?’; ‘destination wedding or local?’; ‘big wedding or small?’

Yall these seem like common sense items that you’ve probably talked about at one time or another, but trust me when I say that it matters. You simply don’t have room to get frustrated 5 months from now, when he doesn’t seem to know or care about any of the details of the wedding, when you never invited him into the conversation! So invite him in-- and then listen to what he has to say.

Rank your priorities.

We tell all of our couples to pick their top three priorities for the wedding weekend; as in three for the bride and three for the groom. If those things happen to be the same, then bonus! That just became your #1 priority for the wedding. If not, you at least have a list that can get you started.

Once you have ranked the things that are most important to you as a couple (i.e. wedding date, venue, photographer, food, etc), you can start inquiring with venues and planners, to get the ball rolling.

Venue, date, planner.

The venue is typically going to be the first thing you want to secure in terms of booking your vendors however, if you have a tight budget and want to ensure that you don’t end up spending too much money on a venue just because you love it, and then find yourself unable to spend money on anything else, I would definitely recommend reaching out to planners first.

While I cannot speak for all companies, I know that our team always asks the couple where they are hoping to get married and what their projected budget is during the consultation, and will honestly advise one way or another as to whether we believe the wedding they’re hoping to plan is attainable at that price point.

This is in no way meant to discourage you during the planning process, but to ensure that you are selecting a space that you love AND can afford. Many planners offer assistance in the vendor selection, and then will take a step back and not come back in until the month or so before the wedding, which proves a more economical option for many couples, and prevents them from selecting vendors out of budget.

Enjoy the process.

Most importantly, enjoy this process. Can it be stressful? Absolutely. But it should always be more exciting than anything-- and sometimes people forget that. We are not just here so that you have a beautiful wedding day; we want you to have a beautiful start to your life together! <3

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