1.01.2013

{wedding wednesday: first things first & a giveaway}

I know. If you read wedding blogs at all, I'm sure you're tired of all of the "things you need to do first" wedding planning posts. We're writing them because more people get engaged during the holidays than any other time of the year, and January is the top month for wedding planning. I've written on this topic before, but I wanted to share with you my number one thing that I believe you should start with. It's the first thing that I do with all of my wedding clients, before we decide on a budget or location or date. 
photo by Kimberlee Miller // coordination by A Charming Occasion
It's simple, really. And it's so obvious that it's forgettable. It's also one of the most important things you can do for your wedding, especially if you're on a budget. 
Honestly? That's it. That's all I have for you today. But I promise you that once you put your wedding priorities in order, it will all fall into place. Don't try setting your budget or coordinating vendors until you do. And don't start following some arbitrary wedding planning timeline that you find on a website until you do. Because that timeline might tell you to hire your florist before you hire your DJ, even if the music at your wedding is much more important to you than your flowers. If you start early enough, and if you create your own planning timeline, it won't be nearly as stressful as trying to follow someone else's guidelines.

And as for the budget, that gets easier to. Think of it this way. Say the most important thing to you is you're pictures. You've filled out your wedding budget, and you've allocated $4,000 for your photographer. You immediately find your dream photographer, and they're only $3,500! You've already fulfilled your number one priority, and you still have $500 that you get to use somewhere else.

Common sense. I know. But I think you'd be surprised at how many wedding planners don't plan based on their clients' priorities, and instead follow a strict schedule that that may or may not line up with the values of their clients. It's terrible. 

To make this all even easier for you, I've put together a worksheet for you to go over with your fiance, so you can come up with your wedding priorities together.

I said at the beginning of this post that a lot of other blogs have put together posts recently on where to start with your wedding planning. Here are a few of my favorites:


Beth Helmstetter Events // You're Engaged! What's Next?

Rock 'N Roll Bride // Newly Engaged? Start Here!

And now, a giveaway.

Way back in November, I announced that I was offering wedding consulting packages for those who don't need or can't afford a full service wedding planner. Consulting happens over the phone or via Skype, which means that anyone can take advantage of these packages!
To celebrate all of the newly engaged couples out there, I am offering $250 toward any of my consulting packages! This includes assistance with your budget, wedding day timeline, or even the entire planning process. A description of these packages can be found on my website. Enter for your chance to win below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here are a few discounts and specials that I'm offering to my readers for the month of January:

Take 10% off any consulting package by mentioning this blog post when contacting me.

I am available for weddings that take place from January 1, 2013 to April 30, 2013 as a Day Of Coordinator at a discounted rate (starting at $1,000 instead of $1,500). Check out my website for more information and to contact me.

Take 50% off any sponsorship opportunities on Something Charming. Contact me for my media kit, and so that I can create a special listing for you!

Take 10% off any calligraphy services by mentioning this blog post when contacting me on Etsy.

And now, last but not least...
There are no real rules for Wedding Wednesday, I just ask that your post be wedding related. It doesn’t need to be the same topic that I’m posting about. I also ask that you try to visit a few other blogs to say hi, and I would love it if you would use my button (found here). 



27 comments:

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

I know I'm really fast on the draw here, but I think the "getting started" part is really the hardest for me. There's so many options, and questions, and budgets, and guidelines and I think you could help give me a clear head (that isnt pulled by a mother of or guest or etc) and straight talk.

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

I think that just helping me figure out certain ideas or give some suggestions so I'll know how to put my idea together would be so helpful. And having someone's input as your own would be so appreciated. In need of some serious help. Thank you!!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

oh YES! this is so key. I'd also add that writing down the priorities is important - Jon and I definitely had the talk at the beginning, but sometimes one or the other of us is swayed by something the catches our eye and it's really helpful to have what we discussed on a piece of paper to help us keep focus. of course it doesn't mean we can't be flexible, but it's a good reminder about where our instincts were when we started all of this!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

I quickly learned that prioritizing was the number one thing to do after we got engaged. You are so right though, it's so obvious that you don't even think you realize you are doing it once you do. I would love to have a chance to have you work with me on my wedding! :)

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

I love this! It's so true that prioritizing is the number one thing to do. We realized that photos, indeed were our number one, but that we could care less about the DJ or wedding favors ...
My biggest challenge right now is the day of timeline :-/ I'm concerned about balancing having an enjoyable morning with my wedding party while still getting through all the 'to dos'.

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

I've found how hard it is to plan my wedding. I am now going on 4 months and have yet to get organize and prioritize!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

My biggest concern is a budget! I'm worried I want a wedding that's more expensive than we can afford and I know the only thing that will get us there is a tight budget.

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Starting is my biggest problem! I have general ideas but want the design of my wedding to flow. Since I am planning a wedding in a different city than I live, I am worried about finding vendors in the place I want to get married (Santa Barbara, Ventura Area)

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Thanks for sharing, great tips!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Oh how I wish you lived in Houston or nearby! I would hire you as a day of coordinator in a heartbeat. My biggest concern for the day of our wedding is how everything will flow.

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

I would LOVE to work with you Kristen! And that's definitely a concern for a lot of brides, but also something that I could definitely help you with :) Have you seen my post on creating a wedding day timeline? It might help! http://bit.ly/RzJxfL

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

You're very welcome Linsley! xoxo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Starting is always the hardest part :) It can seem overwhelming, but it definitely doesn't have to be! And if you're getting married here (I am based in Ventura, but work all over the Central Coast), I would love to help you out!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Oh...the budget :) That's a big one, and definitely something that you have to be on from the beginning. Being on a small budget is definitely doable, however, and I would love to help you figure out creative ways to stay on track! xoxo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Girl, you gotta get on that! I promise it will all be so much easier once you do! xoxo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

So glad you figured out the value of prioritizing early on! And as for the wedding day timeline, have you seen my post on it? http://bit.ly/RzJxfL That's definitely something that can be a little frustrating, but I would love to help you with it!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

It really is the most important thing you can do! So glad you learned this early on...it really makes things so much easier! And try not to second guess yourself so much. I like to tell people that their wedding is a reflection of who they are that point in their lives, so don't be afraid to set things in stone! Regardless of what you decide, it will be an amazing day, filled with friends and family :) xoxo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Exactly! That's why I created the worksheet for people to use :) It's so important that you have something you can look back to throughout the planning process. Wedding planning can be a crazy process, so you definitely need a way to remember why you're doing all of this in the first place! xoxo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Good luck my dear! That is definitely something I could help you with ;) xoxo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Getting started really is the hardest part! I hope I can help you my dear ;) xoxo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Oh I'll take a look. Thank you Joelle!!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

My biggest concern is figuring out the reception and ceremony decor. I feel like I have so many ideas but can't really see how it will all look when it comes together or if all the little items here and there will add up and put me way over budget.

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Gosh... my biggest concern is figuring out how to budget for a destination wedding.

xo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Budget... but still be able to have a classy wedding!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Well I didn't just get engaged but, I could use some consultation. My wedding is in April, so not too far away! I could use help with creative ideas and a timeline for the day of!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

I would use it for a timeline of the day of! We're doing a lake wedding, so travel, transportation, etc. all must be considered..stressful!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

prioritizing is so key! i'd also probably add family priorities to your worksheet- especially if the family is contributing, but even if they are not but you still want to take them into consideration.


and maybe even categorize your priorities - things for just the couple (attire, photography, video, etc.), things that will impact the experience of the guests (food, alcohol, music, venue, transportation), things that are fun/pretty/etc.


When we first started planning everything felt like a priority - we wanted to have a great wedding! but that obv. wasn't possible so we looked at what mattered most to us long term (photography) and what would impact our guests experience (catering, music, bar) and then prioritized those over everything else. that made it a lot easier when i was stuck in the details - the table cloth i loved was 10x the cost of a normal table cloth. at the end of the day, was that going to positively impact experience? no, so we didn't use it. etc. !


ha - clearly i enjoyed planning. sorry to write a novel!