Getting that ring on your finger is such an epic moment for any bride. The joy, excitement and pure rush of energy that follows is unlike anything else. You call your friends, you laugh, you cry. It’s a whirlwind and before you know it, you’re looking at a florist, caterer and being torn in half by bridesmaids with differing tastes. Far too often, we have brides come to us at Chancey Charm completely exhausted. They say, “I thought I could do it myself, but it’s taking over my life!” or “I don’t know where to go from here or how to fix the decisions I’ve made that are now causing road blocks.”
My advice, other than hiring a planner from the start :), is sticking to a process and knowing there is a method to the madness. Take a deep breath, sit down with your fiancé and family (yes, this is a marriage-building activity) and get an accurate budget and guest count before looking at a single magazine or wedding blog. Talk about expectations and realistic limitations that will impact your big day. Approaching the conversation with authenticity and openness from the start will lay the foundation for a smooth process down the road.
For example, your guest count obviously affects the venue size. Knowing how much room you need can help you narrow down your venue list and ultimately prevents you from falling in love with a location that may not be the best fit. If you’re trying to stay within a certain budget, the guest count also impacts the kind of food, flowers and linens you can afford. Establishing a budget and allocating a realistic amount of money to each vendor accordingly will help you set priorities and make each vendor selection more wisely.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gotten to the florals and the budget is blown. No bride wants to see her fluffy peony dreams go down the drain, but this often happens due to a lack of planning in the beginning. This can put a damper on the overall planning experience and leave the bride wishing she’d made choices differently from the start.
To help in this process, I’ve created a wedding budget guide to help you allocate your budget in my shop!
I’ve also included a link to a guest list example spreadsheet.
For further wedding planning guidance, check out Sarah’s Bride Bundle, which includes all the resources you need to plan a stress-free wedding.