Field Guide To Planning

Stacy Richardson Photography

Stacy Richardson Photography

Throughout my years of planning, the resounding question everyone wants to know is how to best prepare when planning a wedding. Today I will outline my top four tips that will leave the bride feeling prepared to start the planning!

Vision: You may not be the girl who has dreamed about your wedding since you were little, but you’re engaged now so it is time to think about what you envision! You don’t need to have all of the details planned, but you do need to think about what is most important to you and the type of wedding you want. I always ask our brides in the first consultation meeting how they envision their day. Come prepared with a starting point! Even the best planners in the world cannot tell you what you want. Talk to your family and fiancé as a team to decide what is most important. Once you have a starting point, you can turn the rest over to your planner!

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Lauren Bailey Photo

Budget: Whether you have a tight budget, or find yourself able to spend whatever it takes, every bride has a budget in mind. This is crucial to determine from the very beginning prior to hiring vendors. Everything in the wedding industry is based on a pricing scale; therefore, you should hire vendors that are not only best suited for your style, but also budget. For example, you would not want to hire a florist that is only familiar with smaller budgets if you are looking to transform a venue. That particular florist would not be equipped with the expertise needed to meet your expectations. You also would not want to spend your entire budget on a fabulous photographer who has been recognized in every bridal publication and in turn not have enough allocated to create a wedding worthy enough for him to photograph. Once a budget is determined you can begin to plan the wedding that meets your expectations and dreams.

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Paul Johnson Photography

Planner:  If you have the option of hiring a full service planner, go for it!  Having a planner involved from beginning to end ensures that no detail is overlooked and alleviates the anxiety of “What do I need to be doing now?”. On the actual wedding day your planner will seamlessly manage and execute every aspect while you and your guests enjoy the festivities. If a full service planner doesn’t fit within your budget, reach out to someone who offers partial planning. Having a professional as a sounding board throughout the process is really worth the extra money. No matter how many sorority formals you have planned, or how organized you are, you have not planned a wedding.  Trust me on this!

Paul Johnson Photography

Paul Johnson Photography

Paul Johnson Photography

Clear Head Space:  Being a bride can be hard. Emotions and anxiety can run high when planning, but remember, this is meant to be a fun time! Being a sweet appreciative bride the entire duration of planning can get tough. We are all entitled to have our moments, but it is very important to get back on track after your “moment”. Of course everyone wants everything to go as planned. However, things will pop up, changes will have to be made and unexpected circumstances may seem too big to overcome.  After 10 years of planning weddings, I can assure you it always works out! Always! We encourage our brides to enjoy the process and truly have fun during the planning. Chances are if you do, your day will turn out perfectly. Don’t zero in on the one detail that didn’t go as planned or sweat the small stuff throughout the planning process. I would suggest identifying things that give you anxiety and discuss it with the people involved with the planning process.  It is so much easier for your planner to help navigate you through the tough stuff if they know what is going through your mind.  Set time every day or every week to clear your head with an activity that doesn’t involve the wedding and just have fun!

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Spindle Photography

So whether you are newly engaged or see an engagement in the future, we hope these tips will help you feel relaxed and ready to start planning. Enjoy this time and most importantly have fun!  Happy Planning!

Expert AdviceHolly Hollon