You’re getting married! You have the Prince Charming, the shiny ring, and now you’re on your way to happily ever after! But first you have to plan you’re big day….oh oh, where should you start?
There’s a lot to think about and you want everything to be perfect. Dress, venue, centrepieces, photography – these things will become part of your regular vocabulary over the months you plan your wedding. Here are some steps that will help you get started:
Dream Big: Your perfect day
What does your day look like? Is it small and intimate? Are you in a church? On a beach? Is there candle light? Are you surrounded by three hundred of your closest friends and family?
Take out bridal books and magazines from the library, search the internet. Weddingbee.com is one of my favourite places to check for inspiration, ideas, and reviews. They even have a classifieds section for people selling wedding goodies!
Go to bridal shows and get inspired. Take pictures and write down ideas that you really like, don’t worry about mixing and matching everything – just make a note of it!
You might want to put together a vision board, a wedding inspiration board or some other scrapbook/visual presentation of your dream day so you can put it all together in your head. Sometimes seeing all the separate pieces together in one place can help get the creativity flowing.
Sit down with your fiancée and brainstorm what you envision for your big day, think big (or as big as you want your day to be).
Don’t worry about things like what your family wants, what the budget is, or whether this or that venue is booked for the next two years – just dream. There will be plenty of time to work through the realities of wedding planning.
Let’s Talk Numbers: The good, the bad, the bridal
Once you have your ideal dress, decorations, location, photographer, and other details – now is the time to start talking facts and numbers. This is the part where you have to be really honest about what you can do with the people, money, and assets you have available to you. Unless your last name is Hilton or a Kardashian, you’re probably working with finite resources.
If you believe your family or friends will help financially, now is the time to get some concrete numbers. This is not the time to play guess-whose-paying and book something – once those deposits go out, you won’t be able to get them back. This can be a sensitive subject to broach with people and I can’t cover it properly here, however you know your family and friends so use your best judgment.
Money is not the only way people can help out: tap into your friends’ and families’ hobbies and talents. Maybe your best friend likes scrapbooking and you think she’d like to help you make wedding invitations. Perhaps your Aunt that makes amazing birthday cakes would enjoy baking and decorating a wedding cake as a gift. Your grandparents have a beautiful summer place on the lake and that could possibly be the perfect place for your wedding. There are so many ways people can give and often they’ll be excited to help you in such a personal way. Your imagination is really the limit.
The process of figuring out what your budget is can take a while. But, once you’re clear on what you’re budget is for your wedding, now comes the fun part! Come back next week for part deux of Planning Your Fabulous Wedding on a Frugal Budget.
*All credited images under a Creative Commons Licence
Canadian Budget Binder says
I think many couples are budgeting these days when it comes to weddings but are they being realistic? That really is up to them to decide. A wedding can cost as little as a couple wants or as much as they want. I think keeping it realistic and planning what you want and need is important. We had a small wedding which cost us under $1000 and loved it!
Lindsey D says
Good for you! The important that you loved your wedding and that everyone had a good time!
You are right that every couple is different and so is budget. I think there is a way to get what you want as long as your able to think outside the box. Many things are possible, even when you don’t think they are!
Great post! I’m asking people to help out with certain things instead of giving gifts. We don’t need anything so I’d prefer wedding stuff! 🙂
Lindsey D says
It’s a great way of doing business Michelle! It makes the gift people give you special and help you out financially too – Win and Win!
Matt Becker says
I have to say that I disagree about the order here. I think when you start with all of the things you want you’re just setting yourself up for either disappointment or spending more than you can really afford. Focus first on what you can realistically spend, then think about the parts of the wedding that really matter to you, and then feel free to dream as big as your budget allows. I understand that it’s a special day and I don’t think you have to be cheap, but I think being realistic is the best way to avoid trouble.
Lindsey D says
Hey Matt, you make a good point. But hold that thought – there is method to my dream big first madness. I’ll explain more in the second part of this post.
Great tips, and I agree about asking friends for help! Most are more than happy to as their gift, which is really the best kind of gift to have!
Lindsey D says
I couldn’t agree more, Anna. Weddings are a big events in peoples’ lives and sometimes it’s easy to forget that the professionals aren’t always the best people for the job. Thanks for stopping by!
Sunshine G says
Wedding planning is all about priorities. Figure out what’s vital to you (whether it be fabulous food, or a particular venue, or all of your high school friends being invited), and then scale back (or cut out entirely) some of your other options. If having the chicken instead of beef means you can have that live band you’re dreaming of dancing to, that’s a good choice.
Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to make a decision in advance about whether or not to have kids at the wedding. A group of people that we couldn’t have done without all had babies too small to leave at home. We rented a separate room from the venue and made it into a ‘kidzone’ with a TV and DVD player, some kids toys and a place for little ones to snooze, and apparently it made a world of difference. (And now that I have a toddler, I can see why!).
Lindsey D says
Hey Super-Shunshine! Priorities is the important thing when planning your wedding: realizing what you need to compromise on to keep what’s important is going to help anyone plan their perfect day. I never thought about the ‘kidzone’ idea for our wedding, fabulous idea!
I love the idea of dreaming big then with the reality checking. It will definitely help what are the things needed in order to achieve your dream wedding and make all the guest have a really good time!
Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility says
I find that dreaming big gives me the vision I need to build a great event/day/occasion! I never feel disappointed when I look at my limited resources – it’s a challenge!