CONGRATULATIONS! You’re engaged!
Where do you start your wedding planning?
Many brides start wedding planning with a Pinterest board (be honest….. you’ve already started a board, right?). Bride magazines, sites and bridal shows are great places to get ideas. Blogs, like the Blue Skies Wedding Blog, are good places to start too!
I like to start my brides thinking about the big picture, of their wedding and reception, and then narrow down to the wedding planning details. Below are some discussion starters and unlike tests in school, there are no wrong answers. Use this as an opportunity to open the discussion with your fiancé, your parents and your future in-laws. It’s good to know early if you are dreaming of a rustic barn wedding and your fiancé always thought you’d have a destination wedding in Hawaii. Being on the same page with your parents is important, especially, if they are paying the bill for the wedding.
- Wedding Size – How many guests? You don’t need to be exact, but begin with a range. 100 – 125 or about 200 guests.
- Ceremony – Will you have a religious ceremony? Catholic mass or simple church ceremony? Maybe you’re thinking of having the ceremony at the same place as the reception. Outdoors with an officiant? Again, these are discussion starters. But it is good to know if your parents believe you want a full Catholic mass and you and your fiancé want a short non-denominational ceremony in a park.
- Reception – Do you want a black-tie affair at an art museum or botanical garden? Maybe you’re thinking of a Halloween theme for the reception. Do you want a tent with yard games and a great DJ so everyone can have fun?
- Budget – I know… the dreaded “B” word. We would all like to have a “Sky is the Limit” budget, but most of us don’t. So, have this conversation early. Your budget will help you make other decisions. Talk to your parent’s and your fiancé’s parents about their financial expectations. Determine if you and your fiancé are going to pay for part of the wedding. Is there anyone else who has offered to help out? My daughter’s grandmother offered to pay for her wedding dress and veil, up to $2,000.
Sharing your wedding vision early can save misunderstandings and disappointment down the road. Don’t make assumptions around what your parents or your fiancé’s parents can afford. These can be difficult conversations but to keep everyone sane, it’s important to communicate and set expectations. This could mean adjusting the vision around how many guests you will invite or the location of the reception. Beginning the wedding planning process with a vision and clear expectations will help make your planning more enjoyable.
There is a sweet spot where the size of your wedding, the vision for your ceremony and reception and your budget all come together to create your perfect wedding! This is the exact wedding that is right for you and your fiancé!
I’d love to hear about your wedding planning experience, so leave a comment.