4 QUESTIONS EVERY BRIDE MUST ANSWER BEFORE SHE STARTS WEDDING PLANNING

backless wedding gown with lace sleeves wedding dress

I PLANNED MY WEDDING IN THREE WEEKS. HERE’S HOW.

I planned my wedding in three weeks. Not at typo. I planned my wedding in THREE WEEKS. Now, disclaimer: I by no means needed to plan my wedding in 3 weeks as we had a 10-month engagement, but once I had these FOUR QUESTIONS answered for my wedding, the planning and decision making was very seamless. So, if you actually happen to be in a time crunch for wedding planning and need to figure things out quickly, determining your answers to these four questions (and doing it quickly) will help you plan something in no time! While my fiancé and I  weren’t in a time crunch, it was so nice to be efficient about the planning, and honestly to just be done with it because it allowed us to enjoy the rest of our engagement without a whole lot of wedding planning tasks. So, whether you have 2 years or 2 months to plan your big day, you are in the right place.

I am well aware that planning and decisiveness comes down a little bit to personality types and how we are wired. If you’ve read my About Me, you know I’m an Enneagram 8. If you know anything about Enneagram 8s, we are very decisive, which has its obvious advantages for planning a wedding. Of course, planning, making decisions, and putting ideas into motion comes easier to some people than others. So, if you’re thinking, “I am not decisive and whatever this chick is going to say isn’t going to work for me”, I would encourage you to keep reading! These tips will help the poor planner and indecisive bride-to-be even MORE.

If you’re decisive like me, once you answer these four questions you will be off to the races, or should I say the altar? All you need to do is get the quotes back, pick the vendor, and make your choices based on their options. If you’re not a decisive person, “picking a vendor and deciding something based on their options” sounds like a 12-month task in and of itself. While personally you would probably stress me out, I’m still here for ya, girl! Either way, THIS IS A GREAT PLACE TO START.

QUESTION NUMBER ONE

WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?

Let me be the kill joy for a minute: Before you do anything, you have to make a budget (Unless you are made of money. But if you’re made of money you’re probably not reading a blog about how to plan your own wedding). I know, I get it. You immediately want to start looking at dresses, booking a venue, and requesting that photographer you’ve been following on Instagram for the last 2 years. While making the budget isn’t fun, it is absolutely 100% necessary and will save a lot of time as you embark on this planning journey. The worst thing you can do is to spend time planning a wedding you can’t afford.

First step would be to talk to your families to see if/what they will be contributing, then come up with a number you and your fiancé are comfortable with spending to get your total budget. Lastly, download a budget template online like this one HERE, and start to itemize everything and allocate a budget for each item. And when I say itemize everything, I mean everything. At this point, don’t worry about filling in the allocated costs for each item as this will evolve as you start to get quotes from your vendors.

QUESTION NUMBER TWO

WHAT ARE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES?

Stay with me as I say one more thing about budget. You’re not going to know how much everything is going to cost until you get quotes back, so it is important that you make a list of your non-negotiables – the things you absolutely must have at your wedding. Then make a list of things you’d like to have but can live without if they end up putting you over budget.

For example, a non-negotiable for my wedding was an open bar, so my fiancé and I knew knew a big chunk of our budget would be going toward that, no matter what. I also knew florals would be important to me for our “Tropical Bohemian” vibe, so that budget number was high on the list as well. On the flip-side, I was on the fence about paying for a videographer, so that was the first thing to go once we had our quotes for all the other vendors and it would take away from our budget for other items. I wasn’t heartbroken because I already had my “MUST HAVES” vs. “IT WOULD ALSO BE COOL TO HAVE THIS” spelled out. See the difference?

I have a friend who’s non-negotiable was having an In-N-Out food truck for the catering. Considering the In-N-Out food truck didn’t go south of San Clemente, this significantly narrowed down where her venue would be. You may be thinking, “well this sounds like it could limit my options”, and I would say to you, you want your options to be limited! Your head will be spinning with all the choices you will have, so making this list early on will help you navigate narrowing these options down, hence, easier decision making.  

QUESTION NUMBER THREE

WHAT IS YOUR THEME?

Now we are getting to the fun stuff! Maybe this part is easy for you and you have the vision for your wedding day locked down and you’re like “my theme is Moroccan boho chic, next question, thank yew”. But, maybe you will have to ask yourself a few questions to hone in on what you want your wedding day vibe to be. The theme should represent you, your tastes, and unique style.

Here is why this is important: Your theme will keep you focused while you plan and make decisions. There are SO MANY amazing wedding trends, venue types, and vendors that it will be easy to get distracted if you don’t stay focused on YOUR theme. The first thing this will help you do is pick your venue. If your theme is “elegant garden party”, a good place to start would be with googling “hotel garden wedding venues” or “botanical gardens” (wow, I should really charge for this kind of advice). If your theme is “desert chic”, you’re going to skip the industrial venues and start looking at ranches or trendy, boutique hotels. My theme was “Tropical Bohemian”, so I knew I wanted a lush garden feel with lots of palms, preferably with an ocean view (my theme fit my Cabo destination wedding perfectly. You can read all the pros and cons of a destination wedding HERE).

Having a theme will also make communicating with your vendors much easier AND a lot faster. This is the first thing your photographer, florist, and rental company will ask you when you request a quote. It not only helps you communicate your vision to them, it will help them turn around a quote a lot quicker and make suggestions because they know exactly what you’re looking for. I believe this is what helped me plan my wedding so quickly; I had a clear vision of what I wanted and a way to communicate it.

QUESTION NUMBER FOUR

DO YOU HAVE A PINTEREST BOARD?

This goes right along with your theme and communicating with your vendors. They won’t just ask you for your theme, they will ask you to share any inspiration photos, preferably your Pinterest board, with them. Again, this will help you communicate your vision, and speed up the quoting and selection process. Even if you are not an avid Pinterest user, I highly recommend making one for your wedding planning. And if you’re like me and have been pinning wedding ideas since college, I highly recommend cleaning it up. Something tells me having your bridesmaids wear cowgirl boots isn’t the look you’ll be going for anymore. Your boards should be organized, specific, and only include things that are true to your wedding theme. I made these 3 Pinterest boards to stay organized:

In the words of Pitbull, “One. Two. Three. Four. Uno. Dos. Tres. Cuatro.” Just like that, you are ready to get started!

I hope this post has inspired you and helped put your pretty little mind at ease as you start planning what will be the best day of your life. Do you any personal experiences or input you would like to share? Leave a comment below; I would love to meet you!

Wedding Credits: Dress – Lovely Bride; HMU – Blanc Bridal Salon Cabo; Photographer – Billi Cate Photography; Florals/Decor – Del Cabo Weddings.

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