I was driving home one day recently and began thinking about something that happens so regularly through out the period that is wedding planning for engaged couples. While, granted there are many things that take place throughout that very long process. The biggest thing that I am referring to (granted this is just my opinion), and the one that more then likely supersedes them all is the idea of budgeting. Deciding on a budget for the wedding is something that needs to be thought of right at the very beginning. Weddings are incredibly expensive, especially if wanting to be done right.
While a budget is regularly gone over, and over-and well over again. Having a starting (and hopefully set) budget is the first thing that needs to be agreed upon. Now, when I say budgeting, I am talking about how much to spend on those important things. You know; the dress, the venue for the ceremony, the reception, and all that food that comes with the catering! Oh, and we of course cannot forget about the photography and videography (which arguably is the most important item on the “to decide on and book” list). There is so much stuff to think about in a time frame that in reality is not that long enough time to plan. A year seems a long time, but honestly not at all. Below I have some things I view as important listed.
Yes, you can hate me all you want, but I am a little biased when it comes to this. But, I think most of you will agree with me. Getting the right photographer and or videographer is incredibly important. This person, or persons (depending on how many you have covering your wedding) are going to be covering possibly the most important day of your life. Why spare the expense? You want to get a photographer and or videographer that does a style you creates a connection with you, and is going to be the easiest to work with but know you will get exactly what you want when all is said and done. Deciding on this first should be the most important thing. To many people wait till the last minute and have to substantially cut the budget for the photographs, which can really hurt the product in the end.
2) Venue for wedding and reception
Venues I feel are the second most important part of the whole equation that is the ‘wedding day.’ If you decided to get married during a very busy part of the season, finding one that will suit both your significant other, hold the amount of people you want to invite, if its good for the photography, and possibly have the day open that you two are looking to get married on. Not to mention the location of the venue, especially if it is intended to be something special like a destination wedding.
I didn’t honestly realize how important the catering was for people at their weddings until one of the first weddings that I did, I had a groom ask me (after I had sent of the image to them) if we had any pictures of the food. Fortunately enough, he wasn’t to concerned about it. It was actually the “Momzilla” that was really adamant about pictures of the food. But then after a few more weddings, I could see why. You pay a lot for this food. Nine times out of ten is food that both the bride and groom know that the guests will enjoy. But, lets be honest here, it’s ultimately up to the bride and groom what is going to be eaten, which means normally its some of the newly weds favorite foods. With that said, make sure you pick the right caterer. Go on taste tests (just like you would when doing the wedding cake) meet with them, MAKE SURE that this is the right caterer for you. You don’t want any headaches during the day and at night when the reception happens.
Ok, so this could be a very broad thing that I am referring to. It really all depends on what you are going to have at your wedding. But lets be honest, your going to have a DJ. I think everyone has a DJ. And honestly, please do! If you are one to just have a couple of speakers and an iPod, come on-really?! You have to keep the people that come to see you on your big day, entertained. I mean, come on, they will probably be drinking right? They got to have something to do!
So I have been shooting weddings for a few years now, about 5 years to be exact. I didn’t really start shooting more on a consistent basis till a few years ago honestly. So yes, not that long, I get it, but I feel like the few thins that I have shared with you all today are a few things that I honestly think need to be addressed and be addressed without the thought of budgeting. If you budget on these things, I promise you will not like your choices. There is a reason things are the way that they are when you pay the amount you do, so that that day is the BEST DAY it can be.