If you’re an avid reader of my blog, than you probably know I got a new addition to my hand two months ago, but if you’re just one of those people who skims through (I see you. I know who you are), than you might’ve missed it in our Bonding Bee Review!
The news is out all over my socials, but if you’re a skimmer who’s also been under a rock for 60 days… KYLE PUT A RING ON IT! I’m officially his #FEYONCÈ…
As much as I love to be totally transparent on socials & my blog, I feel like there’s still a line of keeping things private that allows them to stay special for me (I learned around the time I graduated college that it’s okay to be selfish sometimes), so I wasn’t sure how much I would talk about our wedding planning process. We’ve had so much fun already though, and officially announced that we locked in our date (and our adorable flower girls & ring bearer – if you haven’t seen the posts on my Instagram you’re missing out), so it seemed like a good time to see if anyone would be interested in wedding posts on here.
100% of people that voted in my first Instagram story poll to gain interested said they wanted to see more wedding planning posts on my blog. 64% said they’d prefer a post on planning hacks over budget tips… so here we are!
I will update this as we go through the planning process because things are bound to change, rearrange and anything else that rhymes… but for now, here’s a few tips and tricks that should keep you on budget, on point, and generally just help make the planning process ten times easier… (haha… you’ll get it in a minute) —
- Make a joint email: making a joint email that you can both have on your phone is a saving grace! Use that email to schedule everything from your venue tours, to your cake taste testings, that way you both are in the loop on what’s going on and all of your important wedding info doesn’t get mixed into your daily shuffle.
- Talk to each other and both sides of the family to come to an agreement on a budget: this was probably the best thing we did from the start. I’ve heard so many horror stories about families arguing over budget and who pays for what. See item 3 to realize how this can work so well.
- Make a joint checking account: based on the above budget, anything our families can contribute (as they can contribute it), they put directly into our joint bank account. This also allows us to allot a portion of our monthly check from work into the joint account. Hopefully we’ll have money leftover at the end to start our married life together on a less hectic foot!
- Make a budget spreadsheet: once the total budget is decided on, that will go in the bottom of a budget spreadsheet. You can create a formula in each category’s cell that will change your total at the bottom to see if you’re hitting, under, or (hopefully not) above the budget you set for yourself.
- Decide on an early guest list: create three tabs in your guest list; brides family & friends, groom’s family & friends, bride & groom’s couple/ work friends. Sit down and fill in as many names as you can think of. That’s your A list. Share the spreadsheet with your families (Google Spreadsheet is easiest) and have them fill in any one you’re missing/ all of the addresses for family members or family friends they have. As you go throughout the touring process, you can create a new B tab. When you start to realize who from the A’s can’t come, you can cycle B’s in. Sounds a little rigid, but hey, unless you’re a billionaire, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do!
- Schedule venue tours: don’t be afraid to schedule tours for venues out of your “norm.” Truth is, you don’t know what you’ve want because you’ve probably never done this before… schedule a lot of venue tours for a lot of different styles. You may surprise yourself, and it will really help you see what you can afford! (pro-tip: take pictures so you can reference them once you’re home and sorting through things!)
- Reach out to your community: social media can be your best friend in this planning process. Instagram polls on which ideas people like better can be a great way of gauging general consensus if you’re torn. Also posting a status on Facebook to see who of your friends might be photographers, bakers, etc. is a great way to see how you can rely on your people! You support them and they support you. It’s a win/win.
- Get a glue stick: starting from bridal party proposals, you’ve probably got a lot of envelope licking to do. Glue sticks will SAVE YOUR LIFE. Just a dab on both sides of the fold and you’re golden.
- Use books & lists (always): I have always been SUCH a list girl, but this time more than ever, I’m obsessed with tracking the journey. My book of choice is the Little White Book from She Said Yes, mostly because it was the best experience ordering it and it’s so cute, but I also have become obsessed with all of the folder pockets and design notes in the Knot Wedding Planning binder. I could do an entirely separate post on this tip, so please let me know in the comments if that would be helpful!
- Non-inclusive is a LIE: you will hear a million times when you first start planning that non inclusive is the best way to go if you’re on a budget. People are lying to you and I’m sorry. Almost any couple you talk to who went that route so they wound up going at least $5K over budget when all was said and done. It’s a way for multiple different venues to change their pricing, add on fees, etc. If you can find an all-inclusive within your budget TAKE IT! Usually the main things to just request would be that you can supply your own alcohol, cake & photographer (because chances are you can find more for cheaper than they’re offering..
BONUS TIP: don’t be afraid to make changes to your contracts you’re sent throughout the planning process. This is a binding document for the venue AND YOU. So you want to feel comfortable with everything before you give your autograph.
There is a lot to remember and stay on track with, but you only do it once and it should be one of the best times of your life… enjoy it!
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