For a newly-engaged couple, planning a wedding can be super overwhelming (much like going to a buffet). You might have a starting budget in mind, but you could just as soon be standing at the base of Dollar Bill Mountain without your climbing gear. With what seems like endless options when it comes to venues, vendors, inspiration, guest lists, and more, being at the beginning of the wedding planning process can really ruin the excitement of that newly-engaged feeling. Hopefully these steps will at least send you in the right direction.
Find a legit photography company. Make sure they have a business license, reviews, a portfolio to show you with multiple weddings in different lighting scenarios. Once you've done your homework and you've found “The One,” figure out what days they're available during the month or season you're interested in having your wedding.
Find your venue. Book your venue based on the those available dates that your photographer mentioned. I would also recommend that you contact the photographer again the day you plan to book the venue just in case the photographer had someone else steal your spot before you could book your venue.
3. Work with your photographer to solidify a timeline based on lighting for your specific coverage time/day of the year. Use your timeline as a basis for organizing the flow of your day. Consider what highlighted events you want to happen (i.e. ceremony, dinner, first dances, speeches, sparklers, etc.) If you hire us, we send you our planning guide and also create custom timeline options for you based on what you're looking to achieve.
4. Discover your vibe. The easiest way to narrow down your hunt for other vendors is to choose the style you're going for on your wedding day. Do you want a look that is more rustic, industrial chic, timeless and romantic, traditional, or something completely out of the box? Once you decide the mood you're trying to achieve, look for vendors in those categories. If you can't see anything in their portfolios (flowers, cake, hair/makeup) that matches what you're looking to achieve, they probably don't specialize in that, but I will guarantee you'll find someone else who does.
5.Ask for recommendations for other vendors. Both your photographer and venue probably have lists of vendors they love working with. Whether or not a couple books us, we love sharing the companies that help create beautiful weddings while also providing amazing customer service.
6. Find your dress! Altering takes a while. Enough said.
7. Send out your save the dates (whether you've chosen photos with your photographer or not).
8. Book your other vendors (florist, baker, hair and makeup artist, DJ, décor rentals).
9. Relax and enjoy this time of your engagement! You will never again have this special in-between time of girlfriend/boyfriend and wife/husband. Enjoy it. You've worked hard to get to this point in your relationship and you're about to embark on an incredible journey together.
After photographing weddings for years now, I can honestly say that the two most important features of any wedding are your venue and your photographer. Most of the people who attend your wedding will forget the details of the day a week later, but the professional photos you have will be timeless reminders.