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How to Plan a Wedding: Where to Begin

This is the beginning of a segment of articles offering advice for planning a wedding. I hope my experiences can help alleviate any stress you may have and give you some insightful tips on creating a beautiful event for your yourself, your daughter, or whomever you may be helping. Join me for fun stories, lots of laughs, tips, and advice as I voyaged through {and survived} planning my daughters wedding.

Sabryna + Brady on their Wedding Day. Photography by Jennefer Wilson.

Planning any wedding and reception is a huge undertaking. Planning your own daughter’s wedding is even more so. I had the wonderful opportunity to be the Event Planner for my beautiful daughters wedding. It ended up being one of the most amazing experiences for me and the day will forever be unforgettable. I was so excited to give my daughter the wedding of her dreams. The most gratifying part was on the day of her wedding, she walked into the venue and with tears in her eyes and exclaimed, “Thank you so much mom! It looks better than I ever could have imagined”. 

The following are my thoughts on what I feel I could pass on to any soon to be bride, MOB, or event planner who is preparing to take on the huge job of Wedding Event Planning. This can really be a bonding and beautiful experience for the two of you. There are also so many ways to save money on the wedding and get the same beautiful results as hiring it all out.

1. This is your daughter’s wedding. Remember this is her wedding and not yours. I know you know that, but sometimes mom needs a gentle reminder. This means that she gets to pick out the decor, the dress, the cake, the guest list {you see where I am going with this}. Being the gracious and helpful mother, you will want to make this day special for her and facilitate making her dreams come true.

2. Set up a Budget. This is so important. Talk to hubby, dad, and the soon to be in-laws. Have a meeting over dinner and talk business. Get an idea of what the groom’s parents are willing to take on to lighten your load. This isn’t the year 1900 and old rules no longer apply. Don’t move forward without a firm budget in place. Make sure you include a discretionary fund — just in case the week before things fall through and you have to pay for an unexpected bill {this happened to us}. If you don’t end up using that money you can give it to the couple to spend on their honeymoon, which gives the Bride incentive not to go over budget. We set up a separate bank account for the wedding budget. Everything that was spent on the wedding came out of this new bank account. It made for great accountability because everyone knew when the money was gone, it was gone.

3. Decide what is most important. There are so many things that need to be purchased for a wedding. Once your budget is decided and you know what the in-laws will be paying for sit down and prioritize. When that is done ask your daughter what is the most important to her. For Sabryna it was the Venue, Wedding Dress, Photography, and Flowers. These four things we felt could not be skimped on. Everything else such as the Invitations, Cake, Catering, and Decorations were things that we ultimately paid less for by doing myself and getting help from friends.

4. Start Making Decisions. This is not a time for the Bride to be indecisive. It takes 6-12 months to secure a venue and 4-6 months to order a wedding a dress. Time is literally of the essence. I’m not kidding, as I speak from experience. We almost didn’t get Sabryna’s dress here, altered, and finished in time for her Bridal shoot. Because of this our photo selection to display at her wedding was quite limited. There is always a consequence and undo stress when putting things off. Have the Bride pick photos out on Pinterest of decor to show you what she likes. Ultimately you can use these to facilitate decorating to her taste.

Read other articles in this series:
Planning Your Daughters Wedding: Where to Begin.
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Details
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Bridal Party
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Wedding Dress
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: Picking A Venue
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Bridal Shower
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: Preventing Bridezilla
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Wedding Cake
Visit the Bride’s website here.
Florals by R Love Floral.
Stunning photography by Jennefer Wilson.

The Bridal Table. Photography by Jennefer Wilson.

Please follow along as I will be posting and updating my blog with each and every area of planning for my daughter’s big day! I will be posting tutorials, money saving ideas, and tips that made this day extra special. Thanks for reading and following along!

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