Congratulations, Fiancé! First and foremost, enjoy this time! The next few months will be a whirlwind, and before you know it, the wedding is over. Seriously, it goes by SO fast.
1. Wedding Planner, or not? This is a big decision. One that I'm too controlling for. However, I wish I would have had one. I had a vision, and a planner would have been there to help me see and bring together that vision even better. They have experience and have seen lots of different weddings. I can almost guarantee they will have ideas you'd never think of! Additionally, they'll help eliminate that stress the day of to ensure a perfect execution of your plan. If you are unsure about hiring a wedding planner, make an appointment with one or give them a call to see if they'd be a good fit (financially and psychologically <- that's where I needed one). If a wedding planner isn't in your budget, I understand! Even if it is more of a coordinator for the day of, hire or designate someone. Someone you trust and someone who is going to get the job done, and treat you like the royalty you are!
2. Determine your budget. If you have won the Mega Millions lately, skip to 3. If you're like me, start your planning. Figure out if your parents are going to help pay, and a maximum of what all of you want to spend. This is a big one. I kept everything planned out in a spreadsheet like the rest of my life. I attached the one I made for my wedding at the bottom of this article :) Feel free to use it! Either way, make a big list of all the possible things you may have to spend money on. That way, if you have to spend a little more on something, or you're like me get carried away on your wedding dress (#noregrets), you can easily see some optional places for saving money.
3. Visit some venues! This is a HUGE one, because depending on the desired length of your engagement you will want to see what venues have availability during the time frame that you are looking for. After you’ve seen the availability of your potential venues, it is wise to talk with your immediate family about your plans to ensure there are no other major events that could conflict with your date. Not that you have to accommodate everyone else but it will save you so much stress in the long run to take care of this early on.
4. Contact me to chat! Choosing a wedding photographer is a very personal decision. Tastes are different and I know that I am not the perfect choice for every couple. Each wedding is a collaboration between me and the bride & groom, so it is important that what you envision for your wedding photographs matches my style. Now that I am a full time photographer, I am able to focus all my energy and attention on providing a top-notch service to my clients. I love capturing weddings, which is a major benefit to you as well. I believe this shows in both my attitude on your big day as well as in your wedding photographs.
5. Relax and stare at that new bling! Your wedding day will be perfect! I swear I don't even remember what food we had on my wedding day, yet I insisted on having it (whatever it was). My DJ played MY song...MY Pachelbel's Canon In D that I had forever waited to walk down the aisle to...for my bridesmaids AND me. Yep, I walked down the aisle to the same song as my bridesmaids. I would have flipped if you told me this before my wedding day. Oh, and I asked my mom to put some table cloths on stools for my flower arrangements, and being caught up in the chaos, she did just that. (Well, it could have been the stress of that night's WVU homecoming football game that she was missing for the first time in like 20 years) But she did what I asked. She put the FOLDED UP table cloths on the stools, and the flower arrangements in front of them. You could probably imagine the thoughts in my mind when I began to walk down the aisle. Yet, I really don't care now (still love you, Mom). In that moment, all I could think about what who was at the other end. It is something memorable to laugh at now, and my wedding day was still perfect to me. Yours will be, too!
Above Left: See tablecloth on stool behind my handsome, nervous husband. Put right on it. As I asked. Tip: Use the word "drape", not "put". Duly noted.
Above Right: Us toasting to not a care in the world, except that delicious champagne I had a little too much of.
Photography by Sydney Morgan Photography
Click this link for the Wedding Organizer I made...