Happy Wedding Wednesday friends! I’m sure you are familiar yourself or you know of someone who, when they got engaged, did’t know where to begin when it came to wedding planning. All the little and major milestones required to plan a wedding can be very daunting – where to begin and in what order?! Luckily, we are pros at this and are here to help!
One of the first things you will want to do after you have come down for your engagement high and have shared the good news with friends and family is to:
- Gather inspiration of what you want your wedding to look and feel like and
- Determine your budget
These are major decisions and ones that need to be addressed as a couple before anything further can happen with your wedding planning. Determining the style, theme and inspiration of your wedding will guide the decisions you make for wedding colors, décor, menu items, flowers, and attire. These, in turn, will be affected by your budget. Can you afford all your dream wedding inspirations or do you need to make strategic cuts? Luckily, we will help you in determining where the best places are to make cuts to your wedding without sacrificing style, ambiance, or theme and where you shouldn’t cut when planning your wedding day.
Determining your Wedding Budget
Having the talk with your fiancé may be a hard conversation to have, but with loving understanding and realistic expectations you will find have this conversation first will save you, your future spouse, and your two’s relationship a lot of turmoil and trouble throughout the wedding planning process. Look at this talk as a precursor to how you will handle hard situations and conversations once your married – how you two tackle this could be an indicator of your success at married life!
Let’s get some advice on wedding inspiration and having the wedding budget conversation for engaged couples from our bride:
The best advice I could contribute when it comes to discussing your wedding budget with your fiancé is to be realistic but also to be understanding. This is a big decision – do both of you feel comfortable spending more money on having a beautiful wedding day or would you rather spend a little less and put the rest of the money away for a down payment on a house? Your partner may feel differently about this than you do – don’t discount their feelings nor let them discount yours. This is an exciting, first big decision for most of you engaged couples and if you can successfully navigate agreeing to your budget, you have a great start to tackling all the unforeseen obstacles that come up in every marriage. Be realistic about what you both can afford or what you can save before your date.
Also, this is a good time to discuss with family what or if they will contribute anything to your wedding budget. Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for most of a wedding with the groom’s family picking up expenses like the rehearsal dinner. However, more and more families are not able to afford to pay for a bride and/or groom’s entire wedding and therefore only contribute a small portion. Have a polite (and gracious) conversation with both your families to see what kind of funds you can expect in addition to your own savings and contributions as a couple.
Once you’ve found your number, stick to it!! A good way to help with this is to create a spreadsheet either on Excel or Google Sheets (for free by the way!) and gather all the foreseeable expenses for your wedding and what you plan on spending on each item. Usually, this is the percentages each category requires of your budget:
Of course a big contributor of your budget will be deciding whether or not to use a wedding planner. Using a wedding planner has numerous perks including easy and comprehensive wedding planning for you and your groom, access to venues and vendors you wouldn’t have access to if you planned your wedding yourself, and especially access to discounts or deals your wedding planning can gain on your behalf because of his or her insider connections in your local wedding market.
I remember this was one of the first conversations Bryan and I had before planning our wedding – it was late at night and we were driving home. Bryan asked “are we going to be happy going with a wedding planner when planning our wedding?”. I was surprised he was doubting about having a planner for he knew I worked with wedding planners. I asked “what are your apprehensions” to which he said “I’m afraid you aren’t going to be happy because you won’t have as much control over the design and details of the wedding when working with a coordinator. I’m afraid you won’t have the dream wedding you envision”. He was so sweet in his concern for whether I would be happy and showed it was important to him that we had the dream wedding I’d always imagined.
I assured him that I have complete confidence and trust in the wedding planners I work with at LeCroissant Catering & Events. In fact, I told him “I’m excited to see how they will take my ideas and inspiration and combine it with their meticulous designer’s eye and their creativity to create something so beautiful for us that even I couldn’t imagine or dream of it!”.
To me, that is the best thing about working with a wedding coordinator: you may have a pretty good idea as to what you want your wedding to look like. But a wedding planner and event designer can take your ideas and expand on them to make them even more beautiful that you thought. And they can do so working with a variety of budgets!
So that brings me to the last important thing to nail down before starting wedding planning:
Deciding your Wedding Theme and Gaining Wedding Inspiration
This is incredibly helpful when you meet with your wedding planning, or if you choose not to use a wedding planner, when you meet with the coordinators for your venue, catering, dress fitting, etc. Plant a seed of an idea inside their minds so they can envision your day the way you see it!
Pinterest is the best place for this! Follow my Pinterest board on LeCroissant’s Pinterest page to see what I am using for my wedding inspiration. Here are the points of inspiration for our wedding:
- My favorite flower: lilacs!
- Edwardian fashion and English garden tea time (think 1st season Downton Abbey!)
- Elegant, delicate and feminine
- Spring: light, airy and romantic
- Lace wedding dress is a must!
- Last, but not least, I always imagined dancing all night surrounded by candles and twinkle lights on my wedding day.
Be sure and follow the Wedding Journey Pinterest Board as I continue to post wedding inspiration. Thanks for following along, until next time!
If you are looking for a wedding coordinator or wedding planner in Utah or the Salt Lake metropolitan area, give us a call!
*Images found from Pinterest. If you own any of the photos and would like attribution, please email us or leave a copy. We are more than happy to give credit where credit is due!