Planning a wedding is stressful. But, getting the basics taken care of can make it easier! We talked to Angela Schoening, a wedding planner based in Phoenix, Arizona to see what her most valuable wedding planning tips are to make the process easier.
1. Establish a realistic budget
Most weddings in the U.S. average 75 dollars per person when you include costs of venue, catering, rentals, bar, etc. So it’s important for people to figure out where they fall on that scale. That will give them a good idea of how many people they can afford to invite without breaking the bank.
2. Book your venue
First and foremost the one thing you have to do is find your venue. Picking out your wedding site gets your date locked in, confirms the size of your wedding, establishes a theme, and it’s fun!
3. Take time finding your gown
It takes months to make a wedding gown unless you buy it off the rack or consignment. Most people don’t realize and start shopping too late. If you have your venue, then you most likely have a good idea of what style will make you a showstopper. You wouldn’t want an ultra modern two piece dress in a barn for example.
Industry tip: Even though you may have your dream gown in mind. Make an appointment at, at least three different dress shops to get a solid idea of what’s on the market. Your first appointment shouldn’t even be about style, but more about shape. The dress shape that wow’s your body may surprise you! Be open minded, and patient. And always go with your hair and makeup done.
4. Get a wedding photographer recommendation
Good wedding photographers get booked almost a year in advance. So get recommendations from friends and family who’ve recently gotten married and scour the web for working professionals. It is so important to not skimp on photography. These are the only memories you’ll get to take away with you forever. Also, make sure you hire an actual wedding photographer. Someone who specializes in senior portraits or landscape art is not going to be the best option no matter what kind of deal they offer. Wedding photography is very specific, and there are many styles so make sure you find someone you and your fiancé are comfortable with and someone whose work reflects your personal style. For example, if you’re a sun loving boho couple you might want to steer away from someone whose style is dark and moody.
Side note: Uncle Joe or Cousin Bob may have a nice camera and love photography as a hobby. But, letting them handle your wedding photos is not recommended. A polite way of turning them down is saying, we appreciate the offer, but we’ve decided that our guests should be just that during our day of celebration, guests! No friends or family should be working on our big day.