Wedding Series: 4 Questions to Ask Before You Start Planning

CannonWedding-15Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming task. Even planning our small wedding seemed over whelming at times as there are so many little details that go into it. So where does one even begin? Looking back on how we planned our wedding I think there are a few questions to think about before you start.

  1. What is the budget?
  2. What is the most important aspect of the wedding?
  3. How involved will your fiancé be in planning?
  4. Who will help with planning and details?

Going over these 4 questions ahead of time will save a lot of stress and difficult conversations down the road by helping you set realistic expectations of planning and the wedding itself.

Budget

This is so important to have figured out before you really start planning. Talk to your parents, your fiancé, or future in-laws or whoever is helping to pay for the wedding. Go over the budget and allocate which areas will require a bit more money and which areas you can save/cut back on.

Creating a budget doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds. You can look up sample budgets to get an idea of how to break it up. Another helpful way to keep track of the budget is by using the Knot’s wedding app. You can input all of your budget details and keep track of what you have spent so far! Another helpful way to stay on budget is to DIY as much as you can in terms of décor or even invitations/ save the dates.

Priorities/Important Aspects

For some its the venue or dress others it a bit broader and there overall focus is the ceremony or reception. Talk to your fiancé and determine what the most important aspect of the wedding is to you so you are both on the same page. This could be something as simple as the type of cake or something more specific like venue or honeymoon destination. Discussing this and determining what is top priority will also help you with your budget as you will know that those priorities are worth spending a bit more on.

Our priority was really to keep things small, simple and intimate. We are both private people so we didn’t want anything over the top and that helped us keep a specific vision in mind while planning.

  • Anna: “One of my requirements was that the venue be an historic place in Nebraska – a combination of nostalgia and my love of history! It took us a while to settle on an exact location, but after touring the Livestock Exchange building in Omaha, we were in love. Our church was also one of the first built in Nebraska – the quintessential little white chapel. It only held a maximum of 130 people which, coupled with the fact that we were paying for the wedding ourselves, made the decision to have a small and intimate affair pretty easy.”
  • Bowyn: “We prioritized what was most important to us. We wanted the day to be unique to us. For us that meant putting our whole heart into the process: picking out everything ourselves, making what we could, and having fun while doing it.”

Your Fiancé’s Involvement 

This greatly differs by couple. Some choose to plan the entire wedding together making only joint decision while some divide and conquer. Others may simply leave it up to one partner while checking in for approval with the other. Discussing this ahead of time can cut back on a lot of tension while planning. It is important to know how involved your fiancé wants to be so that you don’t have unrealistic expectations.

I knew from the beginning that it would be difficult for Andrew to be very involved since he was in his 2nd year of Medical School while we were planning. We would discuss almost everything together but after that most of the planning and coordinating I handled myself.

  • Anna: “We were both surprisingly on the same page for a lot of our wedding decisions! (Or maybe it just seems like we were because it’s been two years and I’ve simply forgotten everything I didn’t want to remember…)”
  • Courtney: “My husband was involved at a medium level. When it came to food/ drinks and the music that was most important to him. All of the décor and things like that were my mom and my decision.”

Help With Planning

Planning can be a lot to take on as one individual. When you first start consider who will be willing to help with the details and go to meetings with the florists, seamstress, venue, etc. Your fiancé may be attending some of these meetings but it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra help whether it is your mom, bridal party, soon to be in-law or a wedding coordinator. Think about this ahead of time so you can discuss with your chosen    “helper(s)” when and where you need their help.

We didn’t use a wedding coordinator while planning our wedding, but I definitely couldn’t have done it without help from friends and family. My MOH was only 17 at the time and my other bridesmaid was in Seattle so I heavily relied on my mom and Andrew’s mom during planning. Here is some input from the contributors on planning their weddings:

  • Katherine & Brandon: “We used a “day of” planner who helped make sure everything ran smoothly on the actual wedding day. I’d highly recommend this! But we did do everything on our own before that.”
  • Courtney: “Our venue included a professional wedding planner and I don’t think we could have done it without her. Our florist also really served as a wedding planner as well.”
  • Bowyn: “We did not have a professional planner/coordinator. I kept everything organized and my husband and our families helped a lot. I have no regrets taking charge because I had a blast doing it! What made it easy to do this was the people who were helping us.”
    • “Let both your mom and your new mother law participate in the process. My mom and I did so much of the planning together and I know she will cherish the last summer we shared together planning the wedding of my dreams. In addition, I got to know my mother in law more and she also cherished being a part of the wedding planning. You can let them help but be upfront about what you want and learn to say no. They want the day to be perfect just as you do!”

It may seem like a lot to tackle. Answer these questions and it will make things much easier while planning. And keep in mind that not every bride, groom, and wedding is the same. Your priorities, budget, and involvement may not look like mine or the wedding series contributors. Your wedding will be unique just like you so don’t stress about exactly what everyone else did and most importantly have fun planning!

 

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