Yes, it is still real. You are getting married!
Grab a cup of coffee and settle it, it is time for real-talk. We need to look a the big picture.
I can’t talk to you about wedding planning without talking about marriage, because marriage is so important to me. Josh and I have been married for almost 9 years. When we got married, we were babies, ya’ll. We had no idea what we would be facing together, and in so many ways we weren’t prepared. That is why I want you to plan not only for your wedding day, but also for your marriage. I want your wedding day to be amazing, but I want your marriage to be even better. Why? because your wedding day is just that – one day. Marriage is day, after day, after day, and if you don’t invest in that, it will fall apart. So while you are planning for your wedding day, plan on investing in your relationship as well. Don’t stop pursuing and getting to know one another. I said real-talk, right? So please hear me on this: Getting married won’t make your relationship problems go away. The best investment you can make for your marriage is pre-marital counseling. If you are members of a faith-community, there are spiritual leaders that can help you. If you aren’t, there are professional counselors that want to help you start your marriage off on the right foot. Find an older couple with a strong marriage to mentor your. I promise you it is worth it! Another important thing to do is to take some time to talk about other things besides the wedding day and make time just for fun. Planning can get overwhelming, and you both need time to decompress.
So what’s next?
Going along with this theme of big picture, you need to consider the big picture of your wedding day.
It is time to dream a little bit. What do you envision your wedding day to be like? If this question has you stumped, here are a few things to consider:
- When will your wedding take place? Narrow it down to at least a season.
- Where will your wedding take place? Are you getting married locally or traveling?
- How many people do you want there? Will this be a huge party or an intimate gathering?
- Will this be a formal or informal event? This will help guide many other choices you have to make.
- What is your budget? This is one of the most important questions to ask.
Are you picturing it yet? Talking through these questions will help you both get on the same page about the rest of the wedding planning process and help build your vision. There are thousands of possibilities out there, but building a vision for your wedding day will help you both create that beautiful experience you are both dreaming of and say no to all of the stuff that can get in the way. (This is also a great marriage tip that was shared with us as well, what vision do you have for your marriage?)
Now let’s get practical.
What is your wedding date? If you want to get married in 6 months, or 18 months, setting a date is going to give you a solid timeframe to work with. You may even want to pick a couple of dates around the same time so you can be a little flexible with your choice of venue.
What is your budget? You need to know how much money you have to work with. Who is contributing to this wedding fund? Whether you and your fiancé and paying for it yourself, or you have family helping, you need to sit down and have a real conversation about how you are paying for the wedding.
I have found some great worksheets on-line to help you as you plan. I really like these, put there are hundreds more out there, so chose what fits you. Don’t feel like you have to incorporate every single thing on these lists. Your wedding is about YOU, so some things may fit your vision and others will not.
- Magnet Street has a fabulous wedding planning checklist and simple budget guide that you can print out and use.
- Little Wedding Guide has a cute wedding checklist
- Botanical Paper Works has a great editable budget planner
- My personal favorite is this PDF set by Real Simple. This set includes a timeline, planning sheet, and more!
Him & Her Photography is a husband and wife photographer team that serves the greater Greensboro and Winston-Salem area, as well as the Roanoke Valley and beyond.