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The Big Three: Where to Start When Planning A Wedding | Bridal Guide Tips & Tricks

Wedding Planning: Where To Start and How To Do It

So my love, you've recently got engaged! Whoop, whoop! The ring is on the finger, you’ve starting sharing the news and...

NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN: Your mother-in-law-to-be wants to know what colors you’re going to use. You’re best friend is sending you pics of the bridesmaid dress she likes. The lady at the grocery store told you her life’s story starting with “oh you’re engaged? At my wedding we….”

Sound familiar? Seriously - who knew there would be SO many questions and so much unsolicited advice in all of this!

It’s true, I wont lie. Been there. Done that. Planned THAT wedding circa May 2012.

BUT -- just because there are a ton of decisions that are headed your way eventually, that doesn’t mean it has to be overwhelming or that you need to know all the answers RIGHT NOW.

So Sis, let me let you in on a little wedding planning secret that I like to call “The Big Three.” See at it's core the "Big Three" creating a base to build everything else off of. After all you can't build a skyscraper on sand... right?

Evansville couple portrait from wedding ceremony

The process starts once you've set a general idea for your OVERALL budget and then really works to strip back all the fluff and frill you can decide what you like, what you want and how to move forward.

...and YES girl - ribbon colors, floral styles and centerpieces are 100% important towards setting the mood of your big day HOWEVER before you dive into the details, you’ll stress far less by starting at the bottom and working upward. So it goes like this…

1) Secure The Wedding Venue

Although this point is a bit obvious, it’s still one of the biggest factors of wedding planning. It LITERERLY sets the scene for the day… and not just where are you getting married (in terms of style, aesthetics) but WHAT DATES are available and do they line up with your preferences and budget?

Other items to consider as you work through your venue hunt include: a) How do they handle catering? Can you use your own or do you have to use theirs?

b) Where is parking? Is there enough of it? Is it easily accessible for guests to navigate?

c) What do they NOT allow or have a ban on? (ie. Candle flames, etc).

d) How responsive is their team during correspondence?

e) Who is onsite the day of the wedding? How long are they there? Do you want/need a separate wedding planner?

2) Hire Your Photographer

So yes, I might be a bit bias on this – actually, being a photographer… but think about it. Your wedding gallery and portraits are one of the ONLY things that last after the day itself and your photographer’s style can impact the mood and look of the wedding just as much, if not more so, then your planned venue, details and the like.

A wedding photographer’s job is not only to capture what is there but to ALSO incapsulating the mood, vibe and intimacy of the day as well. A great photographer can turn a low budget wedding into a VERY emotional gallery as well as really capture all the amazing details of a big budget day.

…see what I mean?

3) Go Dress Shopping

Seriously…. need I say more? Whether you’ve been dreaming about your gown since you were a little girl OR you are just looking forward to a fun day out with your crew over mimosas – your gown will 100% be a tone setter for the wedding.

wedding dress detail photo of lace ballgown at farm wedding in fort wayne indiana

Are you whimsical & romantic at heart? Or do you prefer a sleek and modern look? Or maybe the fuller the skirt the better the look? Here’s some things to consider as you set those dress appointments:

a) What’s your body type/where are your curves?

b) What kind of undergarments are you willing to wear and dance in the day of?

c) How do you feel about Veils? Belts? Capes?

d) Do you need a dress you can really get down & dance in or is a more formal fit ok?

Look girl, every bride has her own style and what you choose to wear will 100% help set the vibe for the day. And let’s face it babe… you know you’re gonna slay!

(p.s. one of the MOST important things to remember in Step 3 as well is once you've found the dress - STOP LOOKING. Put your efforts into arena of planning. This keeps you from second-guessing yourself to a minimum and will also help preserve the $$$$ in your budget.) Remember once you make the decision - we ROLL with it.

Ok Sis – that’s it. That's "The Big Three" or the starting blocks of wedding planning: venue, photographer, your dress. In my experience they are best places to START after the general budget has been set and you're ready to dive in.

So what happens after those three you ask? Why Darling... it's then time to really start having some fun! But that story is for a later day.

Now stop second guessing yourself and go dive in! Remember: Venue, Photographer, Dress. You go this, Sis!

xo -c


Hey You... Let's Be Friends, K?!

Hey there - I'm Chelsea! A coffee worshipping Hoosier native, just trying to raise a kiddo and capture vivid memories in central IN for my families & brides. To see more of our work, make sure to FOLLOW us on Facebook and Instagram & sign up for our VIP club to get first dibs on open session date! Curious about me? Dive into my story of how I flushed my comfortable Fortune 500 Marketing Career to take on the life of a SMB owner at HashTag Memories Photography!

Or maybe the idea of photos stresses you out? Check out this blog post where I get REAL about how shooting a session of my own kiddo taught me how to help YOU mitigate Mommy Session Stress - or this one where we share basic planning tips & FAQs to help set you up for success on your next shoot.

noblesville wedding, family and newborn photographer

x0 -chels

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