Madison & Zach’s
Summer Romance Wedding
Dress – Mori Lee from Lulu’s Bridal, Bridesmaid Dresses – David’s Bridal, Photographers – Mat & KyAnn Molina, Videographer – Sabrina Moore, Golden Arrow Productions, Hair & Makeup – EyeDo Weddings– Artist: April K,
Engagement Pictures – by Parker Ann Photography
1. Find your Budget! (and stick to it!)
As tempting as it is to just start planning, establishing a budget is an absolute must. Get everything out in the open with what you can spend and if your parents or future in-laws will contribute. If you aren’t happy with your budget, maybe that means a longer engagement. But just remember that there is an AMAZING wedding for every budget.
2. Know what you want to splurge on.
With that being said, know the elements that you can’t live without & those you can get rid of to help stretch your budget. For example, I wanted an awesome photographer, a great videographer, delicious food, & an open bar. I knew I could cut down on costs by doing online RSVPs, not having ceremony programs, using a family friend for our cake, mixing fake flowers with real ones, etc.
Another big thing that helped me spend more on what I wanted was finding a venue that allowed me to bring in my own vendors, but also gave me a good portion of things I didn’t want to rent (tables, chairs, tablecloths, chargers, centerpieces, etc). Don’t be afraid to ask for things when touring venues! The worst they can say is “no”.
3. Once your big day is over, don’t forget to give credit to those who made your day special.
I made sure to go back through my list of vendors and get started writing reviews to show my appreciation. I financially couldn’t afford to tip everyone, therefore I helped add to their publicity and hopefully add to their clientele.
4. Have Fun!
This day is all about you and your closest family and friends celebrating the start of the next chapter of your life. No matter what happens, at the end of the day you’re married!! And that’s the most important thing.
5. Dress Shopping
This was the part of my wedding planning I loved the most! Obviously, what girl doesn’t dream of finding her perfect wedding dress?? Looking back, I’m very glad that I only brought 3 people with me (my mom, sister, & fiancé’s mom). You don’t want too many opinions in the room because you just end up feeling overwhelmed. Also, because I didn’t do a “first look” with my fiancé we did one with my bridesmaids and it’s actually one of my favorite photos!
Don’t go crazy with appointments! I only made 2 appointments for my first day of dress shopping. You don’t need to try on tens of dresses, it’s about quality over quantity. Of course, if you’re trying to decide on a silhouette then it’ll take a few more dresses, but overall I’m very glad I didn’t drag my family to appointment after appointment.
Make sure to leave room in your dress budget for alterations and a veil! Let your consultant know your TOTAL budget for everything so you aren’t surprised when they hand you the final bill.
You’re either super excited, dreading it, or don’t need one. I personally needed a registry since my fiancé and I hadn’t lived together before the wedding, but an awesome idea I’ve seen for brides who already have their household items is to create a honeymoon fund!
For those who will need or just want a registry, deciding where you want to register is the first step! I used Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s. Looking back, I would’ve loved to also use The Container Store but I’m also glad I didn’t start registries at too many places.
Don’t try to tackle your list all in one day. You’ll just end up exhausted and frustrated. I took it room by room (bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, miscellaneous, etc). Most places will give you a list of popular items, but I also checked out Pinterest to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything important.
Take advantage of the coupons after your big day! Bed bath & Beyond gave us unlimited 20% off our purchase coupons for 6 months after the wedding for any items still on our registry. Macy’s also had some decent discounts for us. This was perfect for getting those last minute items that we still needed.
Lastly, save yourself some trouble and download the store apps on your phone for places you’re registered. I only met with the customer service departments for my initial time creating my registry. With the apps, you’re able to walk into the store and scan any items you’d like to add to your list! Super convenient!
7. Unexpected Costs
Even though you have your budget, leave a little wiggle room for your last month to cover unexpected costs. For example, waxing, tanning, hair appts, jewelry, undergarments, food for the wedding party while getting ready, transportation between church & venue or venue & hotel, TIPS, etc.
I even had to end up paying more for my florist because I added arrangements! Being prepared for those last minute expenses will really help your stress level.
8. I’m sure it seems overwhelming, but try to relax!
This day is all about you and your new husband! Take some time to step away and soak in the moment, eat some cake, dance with your guests! Everything important will work out. Have fun! Happy planning!!