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What do I do first? (When planning a wedding)

Planning a wedding can be one of the hardest and most stressful things someone has to do, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is breaking it down in bite-sized chunks that make it more manageable. The 5 things to keep in mind when planning a wedding are: budget, size, location and style, season, and time of day. They make the basic wedding checklist with just about all the details falling under one of these categories. We’re going to run through these and hopefully that will help someone get a sense of where to begin!

Budget:

How much do you want to spend? The average wedding in Austin costs $30,000 for everything. That’s a nice car. Weddings can be a financial burden if you don’t budget properly and just leave everything up to the gold card. A good way to help the budget is get a wedding planner. I know it’s the way I’m going to go when my wedding comes around. They know the business and have connections all across the board to help you stay within your means. Also, being close to lots of vendors, may mean they can get you discounts where you couldn’t on your own. You don’t have to blow your life savings- you also have the honeymoon to think about!

Some money-saving tips I give out regularly are re-think the open bar idea and overly fancy wedding invitations- both add up incredibly quickly. Beer and wine are cost-saving alcohols that most people enjoy and don’t come with that liquor price tag. Having one signature cocktail people can order, if they need that liquor fix, versus an entire bar would also help. You also don’t realize how many people you really invited until it comes to ordering invitations.

Size:

How many people are coming? Is your fourth cousin twice removed really going to come? It’s hard to whittle down the guest list. You invited this person, so you also have to invite these two other people lest someone get offended. I know how it goes. However, it’s your wedding. Your day. Size really coincides with budget. One thing I’ve seen several brides do is have a smaller ceremony, then have more people come out to the reception to dance. I’ve also seen the reverse done with success.

Location and Style:

Picking a venue ought to be about the first thing you do. They book up quickly in peak season months so I’d recommend nailing one down about a year and a half before your date. I covered some wedding venues with specific styles in an earlier blog post- it all comes down to personal preference in that case. Austin has tons of venues to choose from, it’s all about finding the right one for you.

Season:

There are peak season months and off season months. Many vendors and venues have prices set for either season. This year, April and October have turned into the most popular months ever. Spring and fall are notoriously popular in general. This relates with booking early and getting what you want pinned down. If you’re on top of it, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get what you want. If these are the months you’re looking at, consider setting your date on a more uncommon day like Sunday versus Saturday. Everyone still has the day off, but you may get a little discount and vendors are more likely not to be booked. Weather is also something to consider when picking a season. Sure, the summer is hot, but it probably won’t rain as April turning into a monsoon season this year. Also watch out when planning during big sporting events as the city can fill up with traffic making it hard to get anywhere.

Time of Day:

Is your set season in the summer? Set the time for morning or late evening lest everyone be sweating up a storm here in Texas. My cousin got married in the heat of August, but I think they did their wedding really well. Ceremony was inside their large church and afterwards everyone got to snack on baked goods and, more importantly, ice cream. Their reception was later that evening at their home with fully catered food service and a pool.

I hoped this helped some of you when starting to plan your big day. It doesn’t have to be stressful! Have fun with it and don’t sweat the small stuff. It will get done and in time.

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