Wedding season is upon us! Today I will be starting a new wedding series. Wether you’re newly engaged, or in the midst of planning that big day, planning an event of this size and magnitude can be stressful. I will be sharing a few tips and tricks on different parts of the planning process that have really helped ease the stress and made this an exciting process for us!
- First things, first. The budget. I had no idea what “reasonable” was for anything, and I didn’t know where to start with allocating funds towards each category. WeddingWire provides a “planning tools” tab that hosts a “budget” option from the drop down menu. Here you can enter what your total budget is, and the site automatically disperses it into each category for you. This was a dream! I finally felt like I had some sort of idea on how much we should be spending on each vendor. The site breaks down the budget into 4 categories: estimated cost, actual cost, amount paid, and amount due. This helps me keep track of wether we are over or under budget, and how much we still owe after our initial deposits. I also knew my grandmother was paying for my dress, so I took that category out of our budget and it automatically redispersed those planned expenditures into the other remaining categories.
- After we got engaged, we couldn’t wait to check out venues. We knew we wanted to get married in Charleston, but were clueless on the available options. This is where WeddingWire really became helpful. WW has a “venues” tab that allows you to find vendors in your preferred location. I love this feature because it provided real reviews on the venue, and ranked each venue out of 5 stars based off the reviews. It also allowed me to see pictures of each venue, and message the vendor directly for pricing information, questions and scheduling tours.
- After finalizing our venue and date, we started researching other vendors. Next on my list was photography. Just like the “venue” tab on WW, the “vendor” tab allows you to select photography and your desired location from a drop down menu, complete with ratings and reviews from hundreds of photographers in the area. We opted to pick a photographer outside of our venue location, and were able to search that too.
- What’s next? I had my venue and my photographer, the obvious to do’s. But, I wasn’t sure what to work on next. Halppp! I went back to the “planning tools” drop down tab, and saw a “check list” option. Hallelujah! This gave me a check list complete with timeline by month and exact day within that month. As time goes by, you can check off what you have completed and what you have left to do, and it even tells you if you’re overdue. Preciate the accountability, WW!
- Now that some of the major details were ironed out, it was time to create our wedding website. This is a great resource for guests to refer too. They have tons of wesbite themes by different designers to choose from, and even an option for matching invitations!
- Tips: If you’re like me, and always on the go, WeddingWire also has an app you can download, that will help you keep track of things when you’re not at a desktop. If you’re not quite sure what kind of dress you want, or what color scheme you like, theres a category for that too! I love that everything is sourced from real experts, engaged couples, married couples, and weddings! There’s a category for everything, so make sure to spend some time perusing the site!
I feel like this is stating the obvious, but if you have room in your budget – I highly reccommend a wedding planner. When we first got engaged, I actually asked my readers for advice on planning a wedding and the number one piece of advice I got back, was booking a planner. Our venue actually required at minimum, a part time planner, so we decided to choose Candice Lorraine from Ooh! Events. You can also use WeddingWire to locate a planner! See the “Wedding Planning” tab for a list of options – including Ooh!. I cannot rave about Candice enough, ya’ll! Talk about a serious planning resource. Candice manages the team of planners at Ooh! and has quite a few years of planning experience under her belt. What I love most about her, is that she truly loves her job and it’s noticeable. Talk about a breath of fresh air! A planner can help you budget, provide reccommendations for vendors they have had good and bad experiences with, schedule meetings for you, help with seating charts and ideas, give you floral inspiration, provide rentals etc. The resources are endless! Most planners will also provide the option for full service, partial service, or day of coordination. So if you are like me, and actually enjoy the creative side to planning an event, hiring a partial planner is perfect for bringing your vision together and executing it!
This post is in partnership with WeddingWire. All thoughts, writing, and opinions are my own.