Real Wedding Planning: The Beginning
One Bride's Point of View
Going from, "Oh my god, we're engaged!" to… "Oh my god, we have to plan a wedding."
I admit—I was feeling pretty confident. I've thrown big parties before. I know a lot about the wedding industry. I read practically every wedding blog in the world and work on one of the best wedding sites out there. I figured…wedding planning, that'll be easy. It'll be like throwing a giant birthday party but a little more complicated.
Oh darling…you don't know what you don't know.
Reading and writing about weddings, looking at pretty pictures and interviewing experts when you're not planning your own wedding is one thing, but the minute it's really about you, the decisions you have to make all of a sudden start to feel very crucial and you start second-guessing yourself every step of the way.
Let's get this straight. Reading and writing about weddings, looking at pretty pictures and interviewing experts when you're not planning your own wedding is one thing, but the minute it's really about you, the decisions you have to make all of a sudden start to feel very crucial and you start second-guessing yourself every step of the way. "Wait, do I really want that rustic-chic barn wedding I've always imagined?" Or, "Maybe, that elegant garden wedding would be more my cup of tea?" And then... "Oh crap, who am I and WHAT DO I WANT?"
And then, while you're freaking out about who you are and what you want, the dreaded reality of the budget sinks in. Yes, every wedding planning article out there talks about the importance of sitting down with your fiancé and discussing how much you'd like to spend. That sounds easy, right? But what if how much you'd like to spend ends up not being anywhere near how much the things you want actually cost?
Weddings are expensive. Everyone says it. Everyone sees it when they go to other weddings and think, "Wow, this 20-course dinner must have cost a ton of money," but, oh you don't feel how much weddings actually cost until you start breaking down every tiny little expense.
I always knew I would probably spend the majority of my budget on the venue and food. Ambiance and sustenance are important to me. But I also want to have a beautiful dress and a great photographer, and oh yeah, a DJ. Common wisdom and practically every wedding planning article you read says this: prioritize.
I get that, I do, but in the beginning everything seems like a priority. I'm sure six months from now, I'll be singing a totally different tune, and post-wedding I'll probably be speaking a totally different language, but right now, where I sit, one month into planning my own wedding, I'm declaring: choosing your priorities is hard.
There's only so much of our wedding budget that exists, but I haven't lived with all the ideas I want for my wedding long enough to let go of any of them yet. I know there is no magic wedding money tree and that eventually (like, tomorrow) I'll just have to make every dollar and cent stretch as much as possible, but for now, can't I just keep pinning things to my Pinterest boards and totally ignoring the fact that that one beautiful centerpiece probably cost $300?
Next time we speak, we'll talk about the joy of finding a venue. Or a caterer. Or both? Which comes first? (Good question!)