It's All About Planning!

June 18, 2018

Before you plan one single thing for your wedding, there are a few things you and your fiancee need to discuss FIRST! These things are the foundation that will determine what kind of wedding will best fit both of you and could possibly save you money and definitely reduce stress! After all, you can't build a home without a vision and looking through a few house plans first!


According to a survey conducted by Zola Weddings (a free online suite of wedding planning tools), seven out of eight couples said wedding planning was stressful. In addition, the survey showed that 71% of couples called wedding planning more stressful than major life events, such as buying a home or finding a job. By considering the following things before starting your plans, you will eliminate a lot of that stress and heartache!




Every part of your wedding planning depends upon what you can afford! You must ask yourself where will the money come from for the wedding and your fiancee's savings, your amount from your income, your family's contributions, or a combination of all of the above! Be sure to account for your living expenses during the planning months. Never assume your parents are able to pay for your wedding... maybe they just finished helping you through college! Sit down with your parents and have the discussion to clarify things first!


Don't go overboard planning to use credit cards...the rule of thumb is not to charge anything you can't pay off in 30 days! Or, at least, scout around for a card with zero percent purchase APR where you are able to avoid high interest if the balance is paid within a short period such as one year (and make sure you can pay it off then).


In 2017, the average wedding cost was $26,522 for about 135 guests, not including the honeymoon. On average, couples spend between $19,323 and $32,205. One in three couples goes over budget. However, 50% of couples spend less than $15,000 on DIY weddings!


According to, you should prepare a spreadsheet with three columns...estimated, modified, and actual expenses. Estimated are the local averages for venues and vendors in your area; modified are proposals you get from the actual vendors; and actual is the final amount you pay. Don't forget to budget for surprises in your estimates!


Bottom line here is to make your budget first before making a single plan! Your budget determines the size of your guest list which determines the type of venue you will need which determines the wedding date which determines...well, you see where we're going with this...




What parts of your celebration are 'must-haves' for you? Do you want a big ceremony, grand reception, destination honeymoon? It's all part of that budget you just came up with. Include the things that fit snugly into your budget...maybe its a small, private wedding and a big, inclusive reception...  


Make a list of the possible vendors you could include in your wedding...then look at the vendors that you MUST include! Your wish list should include the wedding planner, photographer, DJ or live band, caterer, florist or silk flowers, videographer, venue, wedding planner, event decor designer, baker, party rentals, bartenders, lighting specialists, and ceremony musicians.


If saving money is important to you, save by using vendors that do multiple things (well), such as DJs that provide special lighting or a photographer who offers videography services also. Selecting the best vendors for your dream team and prioritizing this list will ensure that you put your money in right places! So many couples who did not budget for a videographer, for instance, regretted the's great to look back and actually be able to relive your big day!



Who are the people that you absolutely can't imagine not having with you on your special day? Who do you want in your wedding party? When you have come up with this list you can think of functions that worked best with that group of people...outdoor functions, destination trips, dance parties, etc. This will start forming the ideas of the perfect venue for you and the type of entertainment you should hire.



What time of the year is your favorite time...December holiday season, summer beach season, Valentine's holiday perhaps? Do you envision big, small, fancy, casual, home, away, indoors, or outdoors? Determining this will help with your party theme and will represent your personality and desires the most!


You and your fiancee and anyone else helping to finance your big day should all be on the same page with your vision. Inspiration boards are miracle-workers in this area! Once you see a trend developing in the pictures you both like, you can start to envision your day. 


Once your start looking through pictures, your inspiration boards can be developed. You will begin to see color schemes and the type of venue that excites you. The color themes that you gravitate towards show you the type of feeling you can achieve for your wedding...for instance, intimate and elegant is accomplished with neutrals like whites, beige tones, rose gold, powder blue, and soft tones; timeless themes use pale hues such as peach, sage, beige, pale blues; romantic themes are captured with sky blue, teal, pale grey, garnet red, violet or shades of purple like eggplant, sangria, heather, etc.; and wild or eclectic themes would utilize bright reds, oranges, purples, etc. Magazines, social media sites, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. can all help out during this pre-planning phase.  


What's most important is to put your money and resources into the things that matter the most to both of you. Then let that decision dictate the rest! You and your fiancee must be in agreement on this to reduce and hopefully eliminate the stress level during the planning process! And don't forget, hiring a planner early in the process helps tremendously!

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