January 5, 2024
So the question was popped and you’re officially engaged! What now? Where do you even begin in wedding planning? First off, let me be one of the first to say…
This marks the beginning of an incredible journey towards your wedding day. As you bask in the joy of this special time in your lives, let’s explore what I think are the top things you should do to kickstart your wedding planning adventure. Through my years of experience as a professional Mississippi Wedding Photographer, I’ll guide you as we dive into the essential steps to ensure your big day is nothing short of magical. While wedding planning and engagement is such an exciting time, it can be a little overwhelming if we are being honest, so let’s get you started on an enjoyable planning experience.
Start your wedding planning journey by celebrating this milestone with your partner. That doesn’t have to look like a gigantic engagement party it can just be sharing some time together to celebrate. Share a special date night, reminisce about your journey together and revel in the joy of your engagement. This sets the tone for the exciting adventure that lies ahead. It’s perfectly fine to sit with this news for a moment and really enjoy and bask in it before diving into all the planning. Or do like I did and just stare at your left hand with a giddy smile on your face for several days.
Selecting a wedding date is a pivotal decision. Consider factors such as season, availability of loved ones, and any special significance associated with particular dates. Once decided, your chosen date will be the cornerstone for the rest of your planning. Most vendors need a date to lock in a booking, so this is definitely a top priority. In picking dates, I definitely suggest having a couple options in mind in case your preferred venue doesn’t have a particular date open.
Begin the creative process by gathering inspiration from magazines, websites, blogs, and social media platforms. There are so many excellent resources to see what the current trends are in the wedding world, get inspiration from real life wedding, and decide what you like (or don’t like!) as you browse. Create a vision board or Pinterest board to help shape the aesthetic and theme you envision for your wedding day. Let your imagination run wild as you dream about the perfect celebration. Some great online blog and magazine resources depending on your ideal style are: Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks, Ruffled Wedding Blog, Green Wedding Shoes, and Junebug Weddings to name a few.
If you want a local print magazine, I personally think Mississippi Magazine’s wedding register is an amazing resource for local wedding professionals and inspiration. Here’s where you can purchase those!
Establishing a realistic budget is a crucial early step but probably the most dreaded. Discuss your financial expectations and set a budget that aligns with your priorities. Be open and transparent about your financial comfort zones to ensure a smooth planning process. This is not always a fun conversation to have, but it is necessary to ensure that all involved parties, whether that’s just the two of you or you and your parents, are on the same page.
Part of determining a budget is definitely identifying your wedding priorities and establish what elements of the day are absolutely non-negotiable for you. This can look different for everyone but that could be a specific venue your heart is set on, a particular style of photography, or a must-have vendor. Clarifying these essentials early on will guide your decision-making process and allow you to ensure that you’ve allocated enough in the budget to accomplish these things. What is non-negotiable for you may not be the same as what it was for your best friend or sister. That’s ok. This is YOUR wedding.
Secure the services of key vendors early in the planning process. Begin with hiring a wedding planner who can help streamline the process. Next, lock in your dream venue, followed by booking your photographer and videographer. These vendors often have limited availability, so securing them early ensures you get your top choices. I know as a wedding photographer, I typically book up a year in advance, but i’m already getting inquiries for the fall of 2025 which is wild! Your date might seem far away, but the best way to ensure you get the vendors you want is to go ahead and lock them in early in the process.
Create a comprehensive planning timeline to guide your journey. Work backward from your wedding date to set milestones for tasks such as dress fittings, vendor meetings, and other essential preparations. This timeline will act as your roadmap throughout the planning process. This is also something that a wedding planner is invaluable for as they typically do this for you and keep you on track by checking in with you as things should be done which takes a ton of stress off of you!
As you embark on the adventure of wedding planning, remember that each step is a building block towards your dream day. From celebrating your engagement with a special date to securing crucial vendors like your wedding photographer, each decision plays a vital role in shaping your wedding celebration. Enjoy the process, stay organized, and savor the anticipation of creating a day that reflects the unique love story you share with your partner. Take time to really enjoy it, enjoy each other and not get overly stressed about what other people want or think. This is YOUR day. It doesn’t have to be stressful. Take time to enjoy the process. Hint, good vendors are the top thing that make that possible!
If you find yourself newly with a stunner on your left hand, let’s talk about your wedding photography!
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