Hey, hey, heyyyyy! My name is Jessica (aka Wayfaring Wanderer) and I am a free-spirited photographer who loves working with couples, individuals, and families who are committed to travel, adventure, and laid-back lifestyles. I've lived in the Boone, NC area since 2005 and I'm known for capturing the spirit of the folks I photograph—the expressions, gestures, and details that are outward expressions of our innermost selves. While I'm primarily a wedding + elopement photographer, I also love working w/ individuals/couples/families that are traveling to the High Country area to getaway to the mountains. I absolutely love what I do and am so grateful to work with some of the most amazing people in one of the most beautiful places EVAR. Let’s go on an adventure!
February 18, 2016
I don’t know about you, but my Facebook feed has been blowing up with engagement announcements! I’m a sucker for all of the excitement couples feel during this time because I vividly remember the moment I got engaged myself! Once the reality of how to start planning your wedding sets in, though, the excitement quickly wears off. You have no clue about how to begin the process of planning a wedding so stress starts creeping in. Maybe you’ve been to a few weddings or know someone that got married but it’s different when you’re the one getting married! If you have no idea what to plan first for a wedding here are 5 steps to help get you started!
The information in this series is taken from my 6-Day Wedding Planning Email Course that I offer to subscribers for FREE! This is a condensed version of the course, so if you would like the full details for each step, please sign up for the FREE Wedding Planning Jumpstart Course here. During the 6-day email course, you’ll go through each of the steps below + I offer tips for choosing wedding vendors that will fit your needs. You’ll also have access to FREE printable wedding planning worksheets in each email lesson to help you get started!
Some might disagree about this being your first step but figuring out a budget isn’t the only important part of wedding planning. Making a decision about who you’ll invite is just as crucial as the financial aspect.
This first step might seem like a daunting task, but if you and your partner take the time to complete this to-do you’ll be better equipped to make the next few major decisions in the wedding planning process. It’s also an easier win compared to jumping right into planning your budget. You need something like this to ease you into the process. Trust me!
Make a preliminary guest list so you have an idea as to who you want to share your special day with. The people you choose to invite to your wedding day is pretty important! Not only is the fun-ness of your wedding at stake, but a lot of decisions are based on this number such as venue size, catering costs, etc.
This is probably the most overwhelming part of the wedding planning process. Before you spend a single penny, a budget should be set. Wedding budgets come in all shapes and ranges, so be warned that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
It will come down to what’s most important to you and your partner, as well as the financial resources that are available. If you can believe it, my wedding for 75+ people was planned for less than $1,000 and we did it in 3-weeks!
RELATED LINK: Focusing on the Marriage and Not the Wedding
Mind you, I had to get really creative when it came to finding ways to save money. With that being said, the average wedding costs are in the $20-$25,000 range according to certain magazines and websites in the wedding industry.
As you can imagine, there is a vast difference between a $1,000 and a $20,000 wedding budget, so it will all come down to what resources are available to you and your partner.
After a few of the big wedding planning tasks are behind you, it’s time for the fun stuff! What’s next is determining when and where you’ll get married. Your date and venue are one of the first big decisions you make to get things moving!
There is no right or wrong way to go about this, but what you’ll want to do first is narrow down the time of year and the location you want to get married so you can start looking for venues that will fit your needs.
Do you want to get married in your hometown, or are you dreaming of a destination wedding in the mountains or the Caribbean? Those are some of the things that you want to think about when narrowing this down. You’ll also want to consider the type of wedding venue you envision getting married at. Do you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding ceremony or do you want something more traditional that takes place in a church?
When choosing a venue there are a lot of different factors to keep in mind and think about so clarify your wants and needs and have a list of questions ready to ask when you contact venues to schedule a site visit.
Another important course of action will be to decide whether or not you’d like to hire a professional wedding planner. It’s true that you can do it on your own, but you don’t necessarily have to! The alternative is to ask a friend or family member that is highly organized to assist with certain aspects of the planning process, especially coordinating the day-of events. The last thing you want to do is worry about all the logistics on your wedding day. That will most certainly cause stress that you don’t need!
Having a professional on your team that has experience planning weddings is worth its weight in gold. They can help guide you through the process so that it’s a lot less overwhelming because they have systems in place to manage multiple events. Planners are also helpful in keeping you within budget because they are familiar with the cost of services.
Wedding planners can also assist you with choosing the best vendors to accomplish what you envision. They have built relationships with other wedding vendors so they know who is reliable and offers great service! A friend or family member will likely not have the same connections.
While it is entirely possible to plan your own wedding, you’ll still want to pinpoint a day-of coordinator that you can count on. Let them take care of the details to ensure your wedding day runs smoothly so you don’t have to worry about a thing!
The road to I DO can be a joyful journey if you and your partner work together. This may be one of the biggest tests your relationship will take before you get married. Planning your wedding day, no matter how big or small, will take communication, patience, and understanding. Not to mention all of the other compromises you may have to make moving forward.This is a time that you should be enjoying, so please don’t allow wedding planning to take over your lives. The process should be fun and remind you of all the reasons why you’re getting married in the first place.
This is a time that you should be enjoying, so please don’t allow wedding planning to take over your lives. The process should be fun and remind you of all the reasons why you’re getting married in the first place. Try to keep that in mind when you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. The further along you get into this process, the easier it will become, especially if you take wedding planning timeouts!
Take the time to be a couple and enjoy each other’s company without letting wedding planning get in the way. Having weekly date nights with no wedding talk is one way to keep planning from taking over. Alternatively, you can set aside certain days to talk about wedding planning (and not talk about it) as well.
The team you choose to work with to make your wedding dreams come true will make all the difference. In the next “How To Start Your Wedding Planning” post, I will be sharing 5 tips for choosing wedding vendors that will suit you best!
The information in this series is pulled from my 6-Day Wedding Planning Email Course that I offer for FREE! This is only a brief overview of the course, so if you would like the full details for each step, please sign up for the FREE Wedding Planning Jumpstart Course here or below. During the 6-day email course, you’ll go through each of the steps in this post + I offer tips for choosing wedding vendors that will fit your needs. You’ll also have receive FREE printable wedding planning worksheets in each email to help you get organized!
It’s a free gift when you sign up for weekly emails from me (your adventurous ally). Once you become part of the tribe and are subscribed to the Weekly Wander, you will automatically receive a download link in a welcome email! Click the image above to sign up!
My name is Jessica and I’m a wedding, engagement and lifestyle photographer based in Boone, NC. I’m known for capturing the spirit of the folks I photograph–the expressions, gestures, and details that are outward expressions of our innermost selves. I love working with couples, individuals and families who are committed to travel, adventure, and laid-back lifestyles. If you think we might be kindreds, I invite you to connect with me!
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Thank you so much for taking the time to contact me. I'm truly grateful to do what I love and I appreciate your time and consideration in advance! My response time is 24-hours for all wedding, engagement, and family photography inquiries. I look forward to connecting with you soon! In the meantime, let's be friends on Instagram. I love sharing a behind-the-scenes look at life in Boone, NC as a wedding photographer!
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call or text 828.773.8764