Weddings & Life with Taylor Nicole, a podcast by Denver Wedding Photographer,
Taylor Nicole Photography
Okay so there are unlimited options out there when it comes to your wedding and what you can include, spend money on, what you can emphasize and what you can ignore. Thanks to Pinterest, wedding magazines, and social media where you can not only see pictures from your friends weddings, but also weddings of your friends of friends of friends weddings too, there is basically an unlimited source of “inspiration” and fairy tale examples of the highlights of everyone’s wedding days. But what are your top wedding planning priorities? Here is my episode about setting your own priorities for your wedding.
So we are diving right in to setting priorities.
1. Start with a budget-
- I’d say this can be a general or overall budget because categories within the budget will most likely ebb and flow as you shop. But having an overall goal will help you search for the vendors that reasonably fit in your price range. Example, if your overall budget is 20k you probably can’t consider a venue that is 15k leaving scraps for the rest of your day. Unless that venue includes most of everything else haha.
- A side note writing this made me curious about what the average cost of weddings are. So in 2019 the average cost of a US wedding was 28k, and in Colorado the average wedding was 30k. I hope over the last several episodes you know that I am not trying to push any certain budget on you. This isn’t to say that an above or below average wedding budget is good or bad, but just interesting to learn!
2. Next Determine Your Must Haves, or Non-negotiables
- This looks different for everyone, and yes it might be a source of disagreement between you and your fiancé or family members during your wedding planning process
- So a must have is going to be something that you cannot give up or sacrifice on. Doesn’t mean you can’t try to get these must haves in a good budget range or at a discount, but overall things you will not skip or would regret.
- A few examples of this I’ve seen commonly are brides who value their dress and photography first. Others I’ve seen are most concerned with the quality of food they provide for their guests and entertainment such as a live band during their reception.
- So here are some must have categories to consider- Also side note, this doesn’t have to be ALL about material items or vendors. I will include must have concept ideas too.
- Wedding attire
- a certain style or brand of dress. Also the suit, custom suits are a thing and they photograph SO well!
- Florals- do you dream of a floral installation at your ceremony/reception
- Photography- whether you have a dream photographer picked out already or you just know that a certain photography quality is a must (I obviously agree with this one) Also videography goes in this category too!
- Food- so you don’t want to just serve any old BBQ on your wedding day, I’ve seen high end catering that truly changes the atmosphere of an event.
- Entertainment- live bands live bands live bands. With the cost I truly see why this isn’t on everyone’s must have list but having photographed quite a few events who choose to have live bands I can attest that this changes the DNA of your reception and is truly a source of a unique party! I have seen a correlation of live bands being incorporated in smaller wedding celebrations, until 100 guests ect. Which maybe this could fit in your plans well too.
- Venue- whether this is a specific venue or just a concept of I must have an outdoor mountain wedding because I love nature, or I must get married at this specific venue downtown because the aesthetic and vibe is exactly what I want for my day.
- Bridal party- shout out to all of you cool and popular people who have 11 bridesmaids and 11 groomsmen who all HAVE to be in your wedding party. While I don’t have that many friends I love photographing groups like this. So the size of your bridal party and who you want to include in this could be a top priority
- Guest centric values such as saving the maximum amount of time possible to spend with your wedding guests, or this could look like having a yoga class together with your bridesmaids and friends the morning of your wedding to have that time and experience with your closest friends
- Couple centric values- you might value a 30 minute car ride alone with your new spouse right after your ceremony, or this might mean setting aside time to share your personal vows to eachother alone instead of during your ceremony in front of family and friends
- I think another must have could be hiring a wedding planner to help you throughout the process and keep your stress level down!
- Lastly I’ve also seen the honeymoon clumped into this list too. Totally depends on if you consider the honeymoon to be a part of the wedding planning and budget or not. Lately with covid it has been more popular to plan a honeymoon later vs right after your wedding day.
- Wedding attire
Once you have your must haves, or priorities listed out in order that will help you know where to put more of your budget and what to secure first so you can fill in the gaps with the rest.
3. Continue Planning and remember your why
- hopefully the list of priorities/must haves will help you determine what to look for or involve for your wedding day
- Remember to ask for help along the way as you plan, whether that is from family members, friends or getting information from your vendors too. You don’t have to do it alone.
- And when you feel overwhelmed remember this-
- At the end of the day you will be married to your best friend
- That’s what this is all for. Talk about motivation, even if your carnations are bright pink instead of blush or your mother in law wears white to your own wedding, you are married to your best friend and it all works out in the end.