Hello my lovely friends! I know I promised a lot of wedding updates on the blog and I feel like I have been lacking on wedding posts. I can’t believe it’s almost been a whole year since we got engaged in magical Paris…I seriously reminisce about it all the time. I wasn’t one of those girls who got proposed to and already had a game plan for the wedding; in fact, I didn’t have a clue about wedding planning or exactly what I was in for. I even let the engagement set in for a couple of months before I started planning, I would say I officially started planning the wedding in August of 2015 and we are getting married in August of 2016 – so a good year in advance. With only three months left until the wedding there is a lot going on. Surprisingly, I didn’t get as overwhelmed as I thought I would – or maybe I’m just being naïve and the worst is yet to come (I have a gut feeling that this is the case).
I want to take some time to talk about my experience so far to help anyone who is recently engaged or starting off planning a wedding- just some things to think about; a WEDDING FYI of sorts:
1. First things first – THE GUEST LIST
The first thing we did was sit down with our parents and created a guest list, at this point it wasn’t exact, but it was a rough estimate of the number of people we were going to have attending the events (notice I say events because it’s an Indian wedding and there are multiple events spanning over multiple days). The guest list determines a lot – it will help you to identify a budget and from there identify potential venues. The budget and guest list count kind of go hand in hand. Now, some may say that budget comes first and then the guest count, but in my case it wasn’t realistic to work it like that. Our families felt obligated to invite certain people who couldn’t really get cut, and I’m sure this is the case for many couples- so guest list first, and then come up with a realistic budget around your count. For example, if I had 200 people coming to the wedding I could then decide if I could afford to pay $40/plate at Venue A, VS. $70/plate at Venue B. The guest list count also determines what venues you can use, I was finding it hard to find venues I loved that could host more than 200 people. You also don’t want to be going and viewing dozens of venues (it’s really time consuming) knowing your guest count and budget will really help narrow down your search.
2. Use a Tiered Approach
Outside of people you and your family are obligated to invite use a tiered approach for the rest of your invites and send out our invites in waves. Prioritize the “nice to have” guests in two waves. Send off the first round of invites with a certain RSVP date and if you don’t hear back by the date, send out the remaining to the second group.
3. More on the Budget
Most wedding budgets increase as you get further along into planning from when you initially started. It is so important to keep some contingency funds for when this happens (because it will no matter how hard you try to stay on budget). I think the important thing to think about here is focusing on a few things you want to splurge on and then spending less on everything else. For example, if you really want to splurge on the venue and photography, do that, but then look for cost cuttings in other areas such as outfits, the cake, decorations, and entertainment. It’s important to figure out what’s important to both you and your fiance to see where best to allocate the wedding funds.
4. Forget About the Little Things
This one is HUGE! If you are debating on certain things to spend on that seem really important but are increasing the budget - my trick is to think about how big of an impact it will have on guests to help me make a decision. This happened to me just the other day when I was asked to choose between a $3/person plain Jane chair cover VS. a $6/person fancy chair cover and I was just so torn. It sounds silly when I write it out, but I feel like people get so caught up in these types of little decisions when planning a wedding and this is what causes budgets to go over. Remember the wedding industry is a money making industry, you could spend endless amounts of money upgrading and adding different things, but at the end of the day a wedding is about celebrating your love. Are your guests really going to remember/care about what kind of chair cover you had at the wedding? Probably not. I know it seems important at the time you are choosing them, but when this happens try to remove yourself from that instance and think about the big picture (of what is your wedding). For items that will have a minimal impact to your guests, I say, don’t think twice and always go with the cheaper option. Think about the experience as a whole for your guests instead of worrying about individual details to put things into perspective. Focus on areas that are going to really elevate the experience for them.
5. Don’t forget to….Have fun!
It’s a well-known quote- “Life isn’t a destination, it’s a journey”. Have fun with your planning, it shouldn’t just be about enjoying your wedding day itself; it should be about enjoying the whole process with your family and your fiance. Get loved ones involved and use it as an opportunity to come together and spend quality time together. I've gotten K involved with planning and we both have a lot of fun with it!
Those are some of my major thoughts around wedding planning ATM. I’ll make sure to put together another post closer to the wedding!
Lots of love and thanks for reading!