Congratulations on your engagement! While you are on the journey to, I DO, there are a few things you should remember to keep in mind.
(1 ) First Things First, Create a Budget
90% of brides, book their venue as the first step. Which normally results in already going over the budget. Do not make this same financial mistake. Take the time to outline your budget. This will allow you to know exactly what you can afford and will help you choose your venue with excitement instead of sticker shock. Knowing your budget is so important before making any financial decisions for your wedding. Budget then buy!
(2) It's your day, NOT THEIRS
It's not just a wedding. It's the first day of your marriage. Therefore, set the tone by remembering this. It's your love story being told. No one else can tell your story outside of the two of you. Family members and friends will definitely share their thoughts, opinions, experiences and suggestions, which is great. However, never feel pressured to make a decision based on their information unless you truly feel it fits your wedding vision and desires. You and your 'soon to be', are the ones who will continue to remember your wedding day. It will be a temporary memory for your guests. Therefore, make your memory the way YOU want it.
(3) Decide on your priorities
This is the best way to make sure your wedding includes your 'must haves'. Write a list of all the vendors, and items you want to include in your wedding. Then number them by highest priority. Example:
Photographer ... 1
Baker ... 6
Design / Florist ... 3
Photobooth ... 7
Planner / Coordinator ... 2
DJ ... 4
Catering ... 5
Listing choices by priority will ensure your budget is divided correctly. Splurge on the must haves and save on the nice but not necessarily needed items.
(4) Have fun! SERIOUSLY!
Don't get caught up in all the tasks and to - dos. Remember what all this is for. Planning your marriage! Take the time to take in this new level of commitment in your relationship. Getting engaged does not mean you need to immediately plan a wedding. So, continue to date, do things together, create new memories with the ring and the statement 'engaged', and enjoy your engagement! Keep your love centered! Your wedding day should be a celebration surrounding your vows. It's not just one day, it's THE day to begin new lives together. Therefore, make it special!
(5) Hire personalities, not just prices!
You want your day to be enjoyable. Therefore, it's very important to build a team of vendors all like-minded and who you can get along with. If you are a very outgoing, LIVE and bubbly couple, working with a very quiet and reserved vendor may not be the best choice. In reverse if you are a introvert, reserved and have a chill vibe, booking a loud, energetic and talkative vendor may not be for you. Choose vendors who provide the vibe you are seeking. A great price with a difficult attitude can create stress you do not need.
(6) D.I.Y means 'Do it yourself'
Don't confuse DIY to mean cheap, or less expensive. This is NOT always the case. It literally means do it yourself. If you take all factors in consideration, sometimes it costs too much to DIY. Take a look at all of these factors before deciding to DIY. This will help you decide to either book a professional or attempt to do it yourself.
How much time will the project take you? Is your time better spent on something else?
Cost of materials to make the item, store the item, transport the item, set up the item, take down the item, transport the item back, and store the item again.
How much space are these items taking up in your home? Is it frustrating or irritating moving around the items until the day of?
What is your plan for the items after the wedding? If selling, think of the time it takes to post the items online, price them, back and forth communication with prospective buyers, meeting the buyers (and hoping you don't get 'no shows'), updating and relisting items they are still available. This sometimes take days to weeks to month to realizing you still have items left over. Days following your wedding should be with your spouse! Just something to think about.
If none of these thought points above are concerning to you at all. Then GO FOR IT. DIY to your hearts content!! This just to make sure you are truly looking at the full value of time, vs just tangible cost to cost.
(7) Livestream is now AVAILABLE!
Consider livestreaming for your guests for a great way to save on your overall budget. Your guest count makes A HUGE impact on your budget. For those not so close, or those not available to travel, invite them to watch comfortably in their home. Only invite those closest and dearest to you. This will ensure no one misses the most important moment on your day, the exchange of your vows. This also gives you a way to see everyone who was able to watch your ceremony. Many streaming services have the ability to save comments for a keepsake for you.
(8) Don't be overwhelmed by traditions!
It is 2023 and there is one trend we are consistently seeing. Letting go of some 'traditions'. Gone are the days of feeling pressured to freeze the top tier of your cake, have individual wedding programs, no moments together before the ceremony (we love first touches, private prayers, and first looks), and printed save the dates (hello wedding websites). Keep the traditions that hold value to you. Get creative with others and feel free to omit whatever does not suit you! It's OK!