Today’s post is geared toward the newly engaged! Please obviously feel free to read along regardless of where you are in life, but if you know someone who is newly engaged, please do me a huge favor and send them this link! Also please buy a copy of this book and send it to them, I promise they will thank you :-D
First, YAY!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness congratulations! I am so excited for you and your partner. This time is so exciting! Before you do anything else…just revel in it. Pop a bottle or ten of bubble and celebrate :-D And please feel free to stay in this step for as long as you’d like. Do not let your partner, family, or dearest friends rush you out until you are good and ready.
Next, dream! Be completely unfettered in your thinking about the type of wedding you’d like to have. Do not yet concern yourself with budgets, or guest lists. Just focus on the ideas you have about the wedding! What you want it to look like. What kind of experience you want for yourself and your guests.
Once you have a pretty good idea about this, the next step is a little bit less fun, but necessary. It’s time to talk about money. Sit down with your partner first and talk about what you have saved (FOR THE WEDDING, please do not spend your life’s savings on this one day) and how much you think you could save to use for the wedding between now and whenever it is you think you might like to get married. See what their financial stake is also. Then talk to both of your sets of parents. Try to have as few expectations as possible coming into this conversation. I know this part is hard, but I promise it’s necessary.
With financial conversations often come contraints on the type of wedding you want to have. Please note I said often. They don’t have to. And maybe you don’t want anything fancy, you’d rather spend your money towards a house or something else reasonable that has significan impact on your life beyond the day of your nuptials. I won’t judge you if this is the path you take. There is a reason Wil and I went to Galveston, rented a beach house with our immediately family, chopped lots of vegetables for an amazing dinner, made a cake, got married, and drank lots of delicious champagne! Weddings of any shape or size are not for the faint of heart.
From here I suggest that you prioritize your vendor and venue decisions on a few things :-)
One, how important is this thing or place to you and/or your partner. Remember, this day is about celebrating YOUR LOVE. If neither of you would notice amazing detailed flower arrangements every three steps (or even atop each table) maybe don’t blow the bank at the florists. If you know exactly THE DRESS you must have but it’s a quarter of your budget, trust me when I say this, you will find a way to make it work.
Two, how well does it/do they fit into your ideal (or more realistic version of your ideal) day? Be that in aesthetic, feel, or general being. Renting a bouncy house for a Park Hyatt ballroom wedding downtown…ehhh….probably not the best idea. But DO WHAT YOU (and your partner of course) WANT and do not be swayed by anyone else’s ideas about your wedding.
Three, and please oh please, hear me clearly that this should NOT be the first thing you point to when evaluating each vendor/venue, is cost. I may be of a minority opinion here, and I know you’ll do what you want regardless of what I say, but please figure out what is important to you, and what you want for your wedding, before you eliminate potential vendors based on a difference only of cost. It’s okay to ask for a discount. It’s cool to DIY (bearing in mind that this will take you lots more time and almost as much money most of the time). But please don’t go with the cheaper option JUST because they’re cheaper. Unless, of course, this is a category that doesn’t matter very much to either you or your partner, in which case also consider eliminating the thing altogether because sometimes it’s better to not have something at all than to have a cheap version of it.
Okay this is a good start for today! Please comment and let me know what you think! Please also email me at hi @ emiliajanephoto.com (without the spaces) with absolutely any questions. Consider hiring me for your wedding photography if you think we’d be a good fit (you can see my website, and the rest of the blog here) If you don’t think we would, by all means, go forth and be happy hiring someone else! :-D