Our Wedding: Where to Start Planning

Edited to add: Woah! This post seems to have gotten some attention over the last couple of days so I wanted to quickly say hello to introduce myself to any new readers! You can find all other posts already written about our wedding here here. Enjoy!

I still want to pop in here with a couple more posts related to our honeymoon, specifically about doing the Disney Dining Plan vs. not and some additional tips I thought I’d share, but until I get my mind wrapped around it all and find my receipts from our honeymoon (full disclosure: i still haven’t unpacked my book bag from our honeymoon. That was two months ago.), those will come a bit later.

In the meantime, I thought I’d get started on some wedding posts. We got engaged in June 2012 and I blogged about the good and the bad of planning a wedding from afar along the way, but now that it has come and gone, I have so many things I want to share!

Newly Engaged?

After we got engaged, we decided to wait a few weeks before we started hardcore planning. We truly wanted to enjoy being engaged and not get caught up in the planning process. When we were ready to start planning, one of the first things we had to do was have the budget talk. Kevin and I are pretty realistic people and we knew that we wanted to spend a modest amount of money on our wedding. Sure, it’s one of the best days of our lives, yada yada yada, but it was ONE day. Did you know that that the average wedding costs $28,000? That is literally insane to me.

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Beginning stages of planning in our crap-hole temporary apartment in Louisville with my momma in the kitchen.

We talked to our families and amongst ourselves and came up with a total number that we were comfortable spending.

After having a budget in mind, we each made a list of the top three things that mattered the most to us when it came to our wedding. I’d highly, highly, highly recommend all newly engaged couples do this. Go into separate rooms, write down the three of the things that matter the most to YOU, and share them with your fiance. If they match up? Great! If not, compromise! Here were our lists:

My list:

  • Being able to afford to have all of our family and friends there (so this meant having to keep our per person price down because cutting our guest list drastically just so we could afford a more expensive venue wasn’t something we wanted to compromise on)
  • Photography
  • Bar (open bar was a must)

Kevin’s list:

  • Being able to afford to have all of our family and friends there
  • DJ
  • Bar

We had to laugh when we shared our lists because while we knew our outlook on our wedding was similar, it was a great guiding tool for us to use when making some of the other decisions. For example, we got an outrageous quote from the first florist we visited, and because flowers were something we honestly could care less about, we shopped around and ended up getting our flowers from Schnucks for half the cost of what the original quote was. And I thought they were beautiful!

Every time we considered spending a significant amount of money on wedding-related items, we’d come back to this “master list” and remember what mattered the most to us.

As I look back at our wedding and give advice to one of my best friends who is planning her August wedding, I really think that using this as your guiding tool is the way to go – figure out what is important to each of you and go from there! At least, it worked for us.

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4 thoughts on “Our Wedding: Where to Start Planning

  1. Right on! I love what you had to say and I agree totally with you! And goodness the average wedding costs are astounding, that’s why I started mrsmaidofhonor.com so that I could help brides enjoy their engagements more and not feel the money pressure! Thanks for sharing your process- truly enjoyed reading it!

    • Just checked out your site – love it! Wish I would have known about it when I was planning my own wedding! Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. I wish I had read this 5 days ago! I just got engaged but with the holiday coming up my fiancé and I are going to take a break from planning. Really overwhelming but I will definitely be back to read your other posts! Thank you for documenting your whole wedding!

    • Congratulations on your engagement! Best of wishes planning! Try not to stress too much. It will all work out and be worth it in the end! 🙂

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