Having worked in the wedding industry for the last three years I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks that I extend to my couples to help them with their wedding planning. This year I find myself engaged and planning a wedding of my own. And while I love every moment of it, I have picked up on one thing- It’s so much more different than I had expected! For the next year, I will be writing a small series on the blog recording my own experience with wedding planning. I’ll offer up advice and talk about my own wedding planning experience. I hope you all find this helpful as you are planning your own weddings!
Let me start with a little catchup- my boyfriend Taylor and I have been engaged for four months now. Our wedding date is June 14, 2020. I know how expensive weddings can be, and since we are on a tight budget ourselves I decided to start planning early.
I always tell my couples that three of the biggest (and hardest) decisions to make when wedding planning are: choosing a venue, finding a wedding photographer that you love, and discovering your dream dress. We began searching for a wedding venue before we even set a date. We knew that we wanted to keep our wedding venue local(so our guests do not have to drive too far), small (estimate guest count is 150), and fun (I wanted a venue with a little character). I think that the venue sets the mood of your entire wedding day. We wanted somewhere relaxed and welcoming. As a wedding photographer I have been honored to work at and with some amazing venues. We searched for two solid months before finding our venue, a small local tree farm. I’d like to share a few tips when you are searching for your own wedding venue:
- Define your budget and rough guest count before reaching out to venues.
- If you can keep your date flexible it will help availability when it comes to booking.
- Consider a weekday or Sunday wedding-some venues offer discounted rates for these days.
- Be honest with the venue about your budget and expectations, do not make assumptions.
- Keep in mind your guests. Just because the venue can seat up to 200 guests doesn’t mean it will be a comfortable arrangement. Consider the table spacing-you do not want to cram everyone uncomfortably into the room just to have them there.
Once we had our venue booked it meant we also had our wedding date and it all felt that much more official. The next priorities on my list were our wedding photographer and videographer. I started looking for these two professionals before even our venue. Being a wedding photographer, and knowing how many talented individuals there are in this field, I knew this would be a hard choice for me. We ended up falling in love with the work of two very talented ladies that I can not wait to have capture our wedding day.
From here wedding planning has all been a bit chaotic. Like I said, we are on a tight budget. I’ve spent hours already online looking for sales and the best deals. I’ve spent too much time on Marketplace seeing what other brides are selling from their own weddings. And yes- I’ve fallen into the Pinterest trap. Some of you may think I’m a little crazy for planning so early, but I’m a planner. I’m constantly making to do lists and always need a plan to feel less stressed. One great app that is helping me stay organized during wedding planning is The Knot’s wedding app. It is so easy to use and let’s you set budgets, keep your vendors organized, and even allows for helpful planning tips. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to keep things digital as they plan their own wedding.
So what’s next in the process? Me, I’m going to take a little break from planning things. I’ve got time and I want to enjoy it as much as possible.
Studio 1534 offers wedding photography to Indiana and beyond. Ready to book your wedding? Contact me today.