You’ve probably asked yourself a million times now: where do we start?! I’ve been there- and was even preparing for the answer before we were engaged 🙈 but let’s kick this whole wedding planning thing in the butt!
Step One: Budget.
Yes, it’s a difficult conversation to have, but sit down with your partner, and both sides of the family. Figure out who is paying for what, how much each family is willing to spend, and what it looks like for you! Decide on a budget AND how much wiggle room you have on that budget. You may start looking around at vendors and find out it’s more than you were anticipating: so decide on a base budget, and how flexible that is! Even if it’s visiting dozens of websites looking for base pricing: it’s worth it to get an estimate on a good price point!
Step Two: Pick a Date and Book a Venue.
Yes, two in one. You may have a dream date, or one that runs in the family that you are sticking to, or you may have a dream venue and are open to simply a general timeframe or season of wedding you’re desiring. Either way, picking a date and venue go hand in hand! If you have the venue booked, you for SURE have a solid wedding date!!
Step Three: Book your Photographer and Videographers.
You for sure need one of the two (and obviously I’m biased on photographers 😉) When deciding on these two vendors, keep in mind a few things: if you vibe well, if you communicate well, and how helpful they are.
If you vibe well: that is so SO important! I’m with my clients the entire wedding day! If we didn’t get along well: that would be a lil awkward. An amazing way to tell if you get along is by meeting up before booking (coffee, or zoom call!) and getting to know them on a personal level!
If you communicate well: If they give you the information you need, when you ask for it, if they reply in a timely manner, and if they help you without reservation. Ask all the questions, how they best work with and for their clients, backups for if something goes wrong (both equipment and photographer), with Covid, go over if you need to move the date or change major details, etc. If they don’t give it to your straight: I’d recommend not going with that person. You want someone honest, and willingly giving you all that information.
How helpful they are: Mostly answered above, but still important. If you don’t feel like they are on your side and advocating for you, re-evaluate what you want in a vendor. Each one has different offerings, what I offer varies from some of my friends in the industry: which is 100% fine! But finding someone who has the end goal of making sure you find YOUR perfect vendor is most important- even if it isn’t them.