Hello there Amanda Badgley Designs friends, my name is Allison Nance, and I am the owner and lead wedding planner of Blessed Events. I’m so excited that Amanda invited me to share some tips on planning a wedding with y’all today!
As a Houston wedding planner, I’ve seen a hundred different scenarios of brides and grooms becoming frustrated at the very beginning of wedding planning. It’s so hard for a newly engaged couple not to become swept away in the fast, furious and fabulous world of planning a wedding. In the mind of a newly engaged bride-to-be, nothing is more exciting than thinking of all the pretty details that she can jam-pack into one unforgettable day; from the wedding dress she will wear, to the beautiful flowers that will adorn the ceremony space and the reception tables, to the favors that she will bestow upon her guests at the end of the night. While all of these details are important, they are simply the icing on the “wedding planning cake,” so to speak.
This “wedding planning cake” has three basic layers that will build the foundation for a beautiful event. Just like a real wedding cake, you want each of these layers to be well made and professionally stacked on top of each other. If a wedding cake is badly made, no amount of icing, edible pearls or flowers adorning the outside of it can keep it from falling apart. In the same way, a poorly planned wedding has potential to crash and burn before ever making it to the big day. Although these next few wedding planning tips might sound tedious and really not the most fun, they are the items that I press my brides and grooms to nail down at the very start of our planning together - it makes rest of the planning process SO much more stress-free!
The Base Layer - Your Guest List
Yep! You read that correctly. Chances are that if you just got engaged, the absolute farthest thing from your mind is considering whether or not Great Aunt Judy is going to make the invite list. Believe it or not, Great Aunt Judy and other members of your family and friends will have a huge impact on your wedding planning! Not only does guest count impact your budget, it can also play a huge part in choosing your wedding venue (how large or small it will need to be to accommodate your guests) and what type of reception you will have (the difference between a swanky afternoon cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres and a six course plated dinner). When planning a wedding, determining a definitive guest list very early on is an enormous advantage when it comes to making these types of decisions later in the planning process.
The Middle Layer - Your Wedding Budget
Now that you’ve compiled your guest list, you can safely start to play with numbers! Over the years I’ve found that most of our Blessed Events brides and grooms rate the following three things as their top priorities when budgeting: a beautiful venue that reflects their personalities, delicious food and drink for their guests, and ensuring that they have an amazing photographer to capture their wedding day. Statistically, half of any wedding budget will go directly to things involving the reception. This includes food and beverages, flowers, lighting, decor, as well as your entertainment for the evening. As you can see, this is where having your guest list in mind really ties into your budget. If you are working with a smaller budget, having only 10-15 gorgeously decorated tables of happy, well-fed guests is much easier to accommodate than 20-30 tables of your nearest and dearest! In the same way, if you have your heart set on live music, a duo or solo musician would be better suited for your budget and a smaller guest list than an eight piece band. Knowing how and where to trim and most effectively use your wedding budget is so important, and will enable you to splurge a little extra on those pretty little details later on!
The Top Layer - Your Identity as a Couple
I can safely say that this is my very favorite part of being a wedding planner! The thing I love the most about this layer is that it’s all you! So many wedding trends come and go, but the thing that will always remain timeless is how you and your loved ones felt on your wedding day. I encourage my couples to really dig deep and bring their personalities to the forefront when planning their weddings. If there are colors and elements in your home that you adore, incorporate them into your wedding decor. If you really don’t like cake, then do something different for dessert like a cookies or an ice cream bar. If there’s a special place that is meaningful in your relationship such as a vacation spot or the place where you first met and fell in love, consider a destination wedding. Having already solidified your guest list and established a wedding budget as your previous layers of our “wedding planning cake” really sets this crowning “layer” firmly on top, and will allow you to run free with the rest of your planning and how your wedding will look with all of the other lovely, fun details to be explored!
Hopefully our little wedding planning layer cake will help start you off in a wonderful direction for planning your wedding. As I always say, may your every moment be blessed!
Based in Houston, Allison Nance of Blessed Events is an award-winning, certified wedding planner and coordinator who has had the privilege of planning weddings and events all around the US and internationally. When she’s not planning or creating something amazing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, and sharing adventures with her husband. To find out more about how Blessed Events can help you create the wedding of your dreams, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214.563.2209. Every moment is a blessing - so celebrate!
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