I am so excited to bring you my first wedding wednesday blog post! I thought it could be fun to start sharing my experiences planning my wedding in case any of y'all are going through the same thing (or will sometime soon.) Hopefully you can refer back to these posts for guidance, inspiration, or to figure out the do's and don'ts of planning for your big day!
First and foremost, I thought I'd start off with something fun and share with you my wedding mood board I had created when Warren and I first got engaged. I had always imagined getting married outside in the fall (my favorite season) and want it it to feel whimsical and romantic.
I was not able to fly back to Austin on short notice so my mom did all the venue searching for me. She ended up finding the most perfect and magical place and I booked it without seeing it in person. A little crazy, I know. But I did end up seeing it a few months later and it's just as beautiful as the photos. But enough of that, I'll share more of my wedding details later down the line! What we really need to talk about is something that is not so fun to discuss: BUDGET. Bleh I get annoyed just writing that word.
But unfortunately weddings are not for free so one of the very first things you need to do is establish your budget. There are so many hidden costs in weddings that you may not think about or realize right away so you'll need find a great resource which will help you out along the way like the WeddingWire Cost Guide. This is honestly such a helpful tool because you can input your budget and it will automatically suggest amounts you should spend/afford for each line item. You can also enter in your own line items and keep track of what you've spent and still owe.
Once you get an idea of how much things will cost/how much you're able to put toward line items, you need figure out your "must haves" and "wish list." For me, my must haves were a beautiful outdoor venue, decor (i.e. pretty chairs, gold flatware, etc), and lots of flowers. My wish list items are videographer and photo booth. So when figuring out my budget and looking at my wish list vs must haves I decided to forego having a videographer to make room for more of my "musts." Knowing that and utilizing the helpful WeddingWire Cost Guide will definitely make budget planning a whole lot less stressful!
PRO TIP: Negotiate with vendors! Don't be shy and accept the first rate they provide. I asked each vendor if they would be able to come down at all to meet my budget and most of the vendors would give me anywhere from 10-20% off their initial rate. Doesn't hurt to ask!
Budgets are the not-so-fun part of wedding planning but at least there's tools out there that can help you along the way so you can fully enjoy the fun parts :) Stay tuned for next week as I'll share how I asked my bridesmaids!