Your Guide to Wedding Planning: Part 1 (Setting Priorities)
Wedding planning is one of the most exciting and stressful endeavors. I remember planning my wedding oh so well…and as a wedding photographer, there are aspects of wedding planning I’ll never forget. But this may be even more true for the bride (don’t even get me started on the guest list right now!). Dan and I were engaged for fifteen months, y’all. And for fifteen months, I worked my ass off for my wedding. And knowing what I know today, going on four years later, I wish I could go back and make this significantly easier for myself, my fiancé, my friends, my family, and all my wedding guests.
So, I’ve decided to (finally!) start a blog series on wedding planning—and I want to invite each of you to follow along. Maybe you’re recently engaged and you have no idea where to start, or maybe you’re only weeks away from your wedding, or hell, maybe you’re already married. I still believe even you can benefit from this blog series—use it to help your friends who are getting hitched, or send it their way, or keep it in mind when your own children begin their wedding planning journey.
But for those of you who are just starting your wedding planning process, I’m so glad you found this post at the right time. What I’m going to share with you today is a little piece of advice I shared with my best friend when she was planning her wedding, and it helped her significantly! For me, I didn’t put this tip together for myself until some months into the planning process, but once I did, it was a game changer!
Are you ready for it?
pick the three things that are most important to you regarding your wedding
This is what I tell my friends, and the brides I work with when they are starting the wedding planning process. Pick the three things that are most important to you regarding your wedding. And write em’ down!
Is it your dress?
Maybe that your sister be there despite having to travel?
Is it the cost or staying within your budget?
Don’t worry or think about whether your top three things are noble or selfish—just be honest with yourself and write them down. This list right now is for you.
My top three things were the photography, the flowers, and the venue. My list didn't include my family, believe it or not! And it didn't include my friends, either. Of course I wanted them there, but when it came to my top three, those were the things that were most important to me. And that’s okay!
now, have your future spouse pick their three things that are most important to them regarding your wedding
Just like your list was for you, this next is for your future spouse. Don’t be with them while they write it! But, encourage them to be honest and not worry about being selfish or noble. And, don’t look at it yet!
if someone other than you and your spouse is paying for the wedding, have them pick the three things that are most important to them regarding your wedding, too.
Same rules apply here. No looking, no pressure. But, if you parents or in-laws are paying for the wedding, it’s incredibly important they participate in making a list as well. I will save you some serious heartache and help maintain some relationships!
Compare all lists privately and reflect on them seriously.
When I compared my list to my mom’s, I was shocked to see the differences. Her priorities were clearly towards the guest list and the table setting—but I didn’t care for any of that at the time. Dan on the other hand had nearly no preferences when it came to planning our wedding, yet I had all these ideas and dreams!
This exercise was, more than anything else, enlightening. All the fighting between my mom and I suddenly made sense. We valued entirely different things! And I could see it clear as day on paper!
Begin considering ways you can compromise
I knew I was in love with beautiful flowers, and my mother wanted the table settings to be perfect. So, I worked with her to create a table setting we both loved—with flowers at the center of it all. And I wouldn’t have been able to navigate this aspect of wedding planning so easily if it hadn’t of been the simple task of setting priorities and reviewing our lists ahead of time.
And here’s a photo of our table decor below!
I hope you enjoyed and benefitted from part one of this series! Subscribe to the Armoire’s email newsletter to be notified of when future posts are released!
Happy wedding planning!