My name is Brendon, and I am a Wedding Photographer based out of South Texas. One of the questions, that often come up when getting engaged to the love of your life is "Where do we start?!" This is completely understandable, as typically you only get married once, and you typically have not been married before when planning a wedding. So from one minute to the next you are in the wedding industry and it is a lot to take in, and can get overwhelming fairly quickly. This is actually the reason my wife and I went to Maui to go get married instead of planning a huge wedding. It became way too overwhelming for us. However, if we had someone to help us along with the planning process things may have been a bit different, and that is the point of the blog post. It is to help you get started in the planning process and hopefully make it just a little bit less overwhelming for you, because we do not want you to be stressed on your big day, and we want you to enjoy your wedding day!
In order to accurately relay information I reached out to my local wedding planners that I love working with to help me out with this article so I would quickly like to thank:
Kyra with 4stanely events
Deyzi with Bella Valle Events
Thank you for helping me with the tips I'm going to share with you today.
Establish a Guest Count
First and foremost we need to have an understanding of your guest count. Now why is this important? Because having an estimated guest count gives you an idea of how big your ceremony and reception sites need to be. For example there is no point in booking a reception site that houses 500 guest, only to invite 30 guest to your wedding. Vice versa having too many guests in a smaller venue also poses a problem. So making sure you have a guest count and a guest list prepared before searching for a church and a venue is the absolute first step in planning your wedding.
Hire a Wedding Planner
I cannot stress the importance of hiring a wedding planner! I have discussed this subject before in depth as to why you should be hiring a wedding planner here. In short trying to plan a wedding can be extremely stressful and having someone who does it for a living on your side is the best thing you can do. Wedding planners know how to work within your budget, create itineraries, get you discounts, make recommendations on vendors to work with etc. They are worth their weight in gold, and as far as photography is concerned if you are stressed out on your wedding day it is going to reflect in the photos and that is no good considering the amount of money you're spending on your wedding day.
Once you hire a wedding planner they will be able to start you out on the designing of the overall theme and vision for your wedding. Whether it is a country style wedding, black tie event, or some fun filled movie themed wedding, the wedding planner is there to make sure your vision is fulfilled, and working closely with one is the best thing you can do for your sanity. (trust me)
Now if you can't fit a wedding planner in your budget there are plenty of resources online that help give you checklist on things that need to be booked and bought in the months leading up to your wedding. If you're like me and are addicted to getting ideas from Pinterest, then I am sure you won't have any issues finding a helpful wedding checklist!
Book your Venue and/or Church
We already know who you're marrying, now the big question is where?! Venues get booked out fairly quickly and years in advanced especially some of the more popular churches in your area. So getting a date for both the church and the venue has to be a priority when it comes to planning your wedding! The venue choice will affect everything from here on out so making sure that you pick a venue that is going to suit your needs is of the essence. As far as some of my top 3 picks for wedding venues you cannot go wrong with any of these:
- Rancho Guadalupe Edinburg: This wedding venue owned by Alonso Cantu (Cantu Construction) is just absolutely gorgeous. It can accommodate a wide range of guest from smaller more intimate weddings, to larger scale 300 plus guest weddings. You are surrounded by beautiful architecture, wildlife (yes, they have zebras on the property) and it the team that does the weddings there is like no other. I have never had a bad wedding at Rancho Guadalupe and it is always my top recommendation for a wedding venue.
- Allysa's Acres Mission: This Venue is perfect if you're more budget conscious but still want to get married at a nice outdoor venue. The team here is also exceptional. I have never heard of anyone complaining about the weddings done here at allysas. The trees the lake and the bridge make it a nice place to get married. It can also accommodate indoor gatherings just in case the weather gets a little nasty!
- Bryan House Mission: The Historical nature of the venue is what draws people to here. There is almost a mystical feeling whenever you visit the Bryan house for the first time. There is just soo much history there! The Venue itself is beautiful with plenty of greenery, so if you like lush greenery for your photos than this would also be an excellent choice. The venue is also a smaller venue, that can accommodate roughly 100-125 guest however, my most favorite weddings have been shot here at the Bryan house, and I can't recommend them enough.
Decide on a Theme
So Depending on the venue you selected you want to start coming up with a theme for your wedding. That is why I said it is important to book your wedding venue first because depending on the venue certain wedding themes are not possible there. Picking a color palette can be difficult, this is where I would refer to my planner, or if you don't have one then going to Pinterest to see what color palettes have been done in the previous weddings is your next best option.
Hiring out the frequently booked vendors
Photographers, DJ's, and Videographers comes to mind when I think of vendors that need to be booked way in advanced. It is important to start contacting and reaching out to these vendors because it is very possible that some of them are already booked out up to two years in advanced sometimes.
Now if you don't know where to start looking a quick google search for "DJ's Near me", or "wedding Photographers near me" and start looking through the websites to get an idea of the vendors work that they do.
Another tip if you're on a budget is to keep an eye out on bridal shows or wedding shows. a lot of the times the vendors attending there are giving out discounts on that day of the bridal shows and it is a great way to save some money during the wedding process!
I hoped this short article helped you get started on the process for planning out your wedding. and if you or someone you know is getting married. Feel free to contact me if you're in search of a wedding photographer.