CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT! This is such an exciting time for you! Struggling with what to do first now that you are officially a FIANCE? Want to know how to start planning a wedding? While I would LOVE to be the first vendor you book for your wedding day, there are a few things you need to have done first before you come my way.
Below are the tasks I believe you should tackle first in planning your wedding. These will help the rest of your vendor selections make sense and save you a little headache.
You’ve decided to have a wedding and not head straight to the Justice of the Peace. Now you need to sit down with your Fiancé, and anyone else that is contributing, to see what your budget is for your Wedding. Allot a realistic amount for each vendor that you are comfortable with based on what you value as most important. During this time, I suggest you take a good look at everything weddings entail and make a list of your must haves are and those things you’d like to have but doesn’t mean that much to you. This way when you allot an amount for each area, you know where you’d like to splurge a bit more and where you are OK with being fiscally conservative. Do you place a higher value on Photography & invitations over the DJ or food? Make sure your budget reflects this and know where you’d be OK with decreasing your budget to add more to a particular service.
This step is a lot more fun than the last one I just gave you! Here is where you pull out all those secret Pinterest Wedding Boards and decide on what you want your wedding to look and feel like. Do you want an elegant & romantic celebration or do you want an all-out party from start to finish? What will be your colors? Will you have a theme? I HIGHLY suggest at this time you go ahead & book a Wedding Planner AND a Wedding Designer. These professionals can help you make all those Pinterest dreams a reality and keep you sane at the same time!
This next step is vital to moving forward with any vendor. Do you want an intimate wedding or a large celebration? Based on your budget and the style of your wedding you’ve decided on, how many guests can you afford to invite while still holding true to the style of your wedding? This literally affects every vendor you will select, yes even the Photographer! Can’t pick a venue without knowing if it will hold the number of guests you plan on inviting, same with the Caterer, they need to know how many people they are going to be feeding. Even the invitations, gotta know how many of them to purchase! This step can be a hard one as well but once you’ve got your list, you are good to go!
You know know your budget, you know what your style is, you know how many people you want to celebrate with you, NOW you can find your wedding venue! Keeping in mind all the work you just did, search for venues that meet your needs within those parameters. Be prepared though…you just might fall in love with a place that will make you adjust one of the 4 decisions made above and that’s OK! If the venue you dreams of is in your budget but won’t hold your entire guest list, see what adjustments can be made. If none, keep on searching but if your great cousin-thrice removed, that you’ve never met has to see your wedding photos on your Grandmas’ Facebook page for you to have the venue you want, I think they will forgive you.
This is 99% based on number 4. If your perfect venue has an availability, I’d 100% suggest picking your date based on that. Of course there are exceptions…You want to marry on your anniversary, you need a specific time of year when family will be in town or can travel easiest, etc. If the venue you love isn’t available during the time or on the date you need, its back to the drawing board but if you search early enough, odds are likely that you will be able to secure the location you desire.
Now that you’ve got a budget, a defined wedding style, possibly a Planner or Designer on board, know your guest count, have a venue and a date, you are ready to begin the process of selecting the remainder of your wedding team! Again, based on their order of importance to you and your Fiance, begin to research and book the vendors that will make your wedding day the magical day you intend for it to be. I do HIGHLY suggest that Photography be one of the first items on this list after the Planner, Designer & venue. Like myself, most photographers book rather quickly and are often booked up for the coming year before the end of the current. You just want to make sure your pick is available for your special day! Photography is the only thing you can have for years to come. Invest in it and that investment will reward your and your family for generations to come!
Interested in having me tell your love story? Contact me and let’s get started!
@2023-2025 ASHLEY NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
ATLANTA WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
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