Before planning my wedding, I was aware that wedding planning can be quite the undertaking. In the little research I did by searching online and by watching TLC’s Say YES to the Dress and Four Weddings and WEtv’s Bridezillas and My Fair Wedding, etc., the OBVIOUS first order of business was to create a BUDGET. You can’t even start thinking about who, what, where, when, or why if you don’t have an idea of what you want to spend! From all the advice (wanted and unwanted) you will receive, my piece of advice is to STICK TO YOUR BUDGET! No sense in going broke planning a wedding! That being said, with the things that follow, I have provided a brief list of other wedding considerations (off the top of my head and in no specific order):
- LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!! Where you will have your nuptials and reception
- Attire (wedding dress, tux, bridesmaids/groomsmen)
- Flowers & decor (wedding/reception bouquets & linens, lighting, etc.)
- Wedding stationary (save the dates/invitations)
- Photographer (VERY IMPORTANT…you don’t want to skimp here)
- Videographer (ALSO VERY IMPORTANT…you will have this footage for LIFE)
- Officiant (gotta have someone to marry you)
- Transportation (limo or otherwise…how u getting there?)
- Cake (which people sometimes don’t stay long enough for)
- Favors & gifts
- Catering (DUH, the food)
- DJ (so you can shake a tail feather)
So when you have to consider ALL of those things, how do you figure out how to tackle it all? You will need WEDDING PLANNER!!! Now…I’ll break down the two options that I’m talking about….
Wedding Planner A: A person hired to plan and organize a wedding, reception, and possibly the honeymoon in consultation with the bride and groom (dictionary.com def).
Wedding planners charge from $1,500+ fee wise. Depending on what you want, i.e., full wedding planning, DOC (day of coordination), reception only help, or vendor help, etc. In my opinion, I think a wedding planner is GREAT because then your life is fuss free and you can enjoy your engagement and the planning process. Their job is to help you save $ because in helping you save $ on different vendors they have relationships with, they are basically working to earn their paycheck!
Wedding Planner B: A book formatted to plan and organize a wedding, reception, and possibly the honeymoon in consultation with the bride and groom, aka DO IT YOURSELF (DIY)
Wedding planner BOOKS start out at around $10+ plus. And there are a PLETHORA to choose from!! Just Google “wedding planning” and you get over 372,000,000 options on how to deal with it. I was fortunate to have AWESOME friends who were in the process of finishing or have finished the process. So, one of the two books I examined was “Bridal Bargains.” This book was a great resource, almost a “wedding Bible” because it had great tips and tricks on how to save money. For instance, did you know that the SAME wedding dress you tried on at the store for $1,500, you can get offline for $700? Practically 50% in savings!
The second book I perused through was “The Brides Essential Wedding Planner.” This is supposed to be one of THE books to have when wedding planning. It has checklists, advice at a glance, space for color samples and fabric swatches, a 16-month fill in calendar, sleeves for business cards, and more.
With all that said…All I DO know is…with all that comes with wedding planning, there will only be four things people will remember…Venue (location, was it a yay or nay?); Food (was it tasty or gross, lol); Dress (did you look like a princess, or bride of Frankenstein..lol); and Experience (overall wedding tone..did they have a good time? What was the energy like?) So, as long as those areas are taken care of, I won’t worry too much about the other stuff…baby steps…