From planning my own wedding a year and a half ago, to spending half of my Saturdays every year photographing weddings, I’ve learned so much about weddings. I have personally experienced the stress and joy of planning a wedding, and served brides as they walked through the process themselves. As a wedding photographer, my top priority is serving my couples and making their day as easy as possible. That’s why I’m sharing below 5 wedding planning tips from a wedding photographer!
The key to planning is having realistic deadlines and checklists. Wedding websites like The Knot will give you a full list based on your wedding date of tasks to accomplish and dates to finish them by. If you hire a wedding planner, another popular resource is Aisle Planner. It works the same way, but allows your planner to have access to your tasks and gives them the ability to create specific tasks for you! Breaking down what can feel like a monstrous task into smaller, more digestible chunks will keep you sane throughout the process of wedding planning.
I know what you’re thinking…is it really worth allocating possibly 10% of your budget to a coordinator? My answer is simple: YES.
Hiring a wedding planner or coordinator will relieve so much stress on the day of the wedding! Full planners walk you through the entire process from booking vendors, to choosing napkin colors, to executing set up and tear down on the day of the wedding. Day of coordinators take your vision into their hands on the day of the wedding and bring it to life. They become the point person for any problems on the wedding day, rather than you!
If you need any suggestions, we would love to point you in the right whether you’re searching for a day of coordinator or full planning and design.
Typically, the largest portions of a wedding budget are going to go to venue, food, photographer, and planner. Each wedding is unique and different, so there’s no perfect one-size-fits-all budget breakdown. However, you can always look at the average numbers and adjust where needed based on your wedding! Check out this article on Brides.com for a detailed breakdown of a wedding budget.
Whether it’s renovating a house on HGTV, or ordering a tent 3 days before your wedding due to rain like I did, personally, I think it’s important to set aside an extra 10% on top of your originally planned budget for unforeseen expenses that may come up, or emergency situations. Then, if you don’t use it, add it to the honeymoon fund!
David and I don’t drink. It’s just a personal choice we have made in our lives. We knew our guests would expect there to be alcohol at our wedding because that’s the case at most weddings. We knew we were picking an unpopular option, but David and I didn’t want to pay for something that we weren’t going to take part in ourselves. So instead, we decided to serve something we love: coffee and ice cream! It ended up being a hit, and I don’t think people even cared that there wasn’t a bar. Moral of the story: Don’t do something simply because “it’s a wedding tradition,” or “everyone is expecting us to.” Do what fits you two as a couple!
It is so important to take periods of rest when it comes to wedding planning. If you keep going nonstop, you’re going to go crazy. While wedding planning is a huge part of being engaged, it is not the ONLY part! Take time to enjoy this season and enjoy each other. After the wedding is over, you’re not going to care what color of napkins you ended up picking so don’t stress too much about the little things. When you start to feel overwhelmed and overworked, plan a date night with your fiance where wedding planning conversations are forbidden! Take a weekend to relax and do something you enjoy or plan a getaway. After you’ve had some time off, you will be excited to dive back in to planning!