Where to start with wedding planning
When we got engaged, we had no idea where to start with wedding planning. We were instantly overwhelmed and panicked about all the things we needed to do.
And then it hit me, that’s not how I wanted to plan the celebration of our marriage – we wanted to plan our wedding with intention so that we could create the most authentic experience for us and our guests. So I wanted to help you get rid of overwhelm and plan a wedding only you could have.
1. Plan your Wedding with Intention & Purpose
Priya Parker has written a book all about ‘The Art of Gathering’, and in it she talks about determining the intention and the purpose for your event. I recommend that you sit down with your partner and have a conversation about what the intention and purpose of your wedding is. Remember anyone can go to court and get married, so take some time to think about why it’s important to you to celebrate publicly.
For example, for us the purpose of our wedding is to publicly declare our love with those that mean the most to us.
Our intention for our wedding is that everyone feel insanely welcome and comfortable.
Your purpose might be weighted more to celebrating (hire a DJ!), or to giving everyone a break from life (destination wedding!), and your intention might be for the focus to not be on you (quick ceremony), or to focus on the spiritual aspect (church wedding!), or on treating everyone (3 course, plated meal!).
This is a good start to help you figure out what you want your wedding to be. Remember, it can be anything you want!
2. Think about how you want your wedding to feel, not look like
First you get engaged, then come all the questions from everyone (where, how, when, can I come?), and inevitably you dive head first into Pinterest and overwhelm ensues. It’s hard to know where to start with wedding planning. I’ve been there. But what we did the first time we sat down to plan our wedding, is really focus on what we wanted it to feel like and less on what we wanted it to look like.
And I’m not just talking about saying you want it to feel ‘special’, welcoming, fun’. Really think about it, and draw on inspiration from TV & movies too!
This is what we came up with;
- a lazy Christmas dinner
- a long delicious brunch
- the end of year feasts at Hogwarts
- the wedding in About Time
- and Stars Hollow events from the Gilmore Girls.
Instantly we knew a few key things; we wanted to host it so we started looking for relaxed, homey venues close to home. We wanted the food to be simple, plenty of it & magically appearing – so we started looking at caterers that served burgers or family style.
We knew we wanted everyone involved and playing a part, so instead of looking at florists, cake makers & public officiants – we looked at our friends and family and started thinking about what they could bring to our day.
And because we knew we weren’t focusing on what it looked like, we needed a photographer who could capture what it felt like.
Wondering What Documentary Wedding Photographers do all day?
3. While wedding planning – pick your top priorities together
What are your top 5 priorities? Is it to get married ASAP and not to go into debt? Then do it now!
Is it giving people the best meal of their lives? Find the tastiest restaurant! Is it inviting everyone? Then prioritise your guest list over a destination wedding.
Dylan and I each wrote down our top 5 separately first, then shared back and came to a consensus. For example, we have people we love across three continents and we wanted to spend quality time with all of them – so we decided to have three small weddings in three places instead of one big one.
You might decide that your dream venue is your priority – amazing! But that might limit you to numbers, or to how much you can spend on other items.
By deciding your priorities before you get carried away with all the possibilities you can come back to what is most important to you and your partner and plan your wedding intentionally.
I’ve created an entire IGTV series on this very topic – so if you’d rather watch me talk about this – click here.