Planning a wedding is kind of like a never ending homework assignment that isn’t due right away so you can put it off, but when you do put it off, getting it done just gets harder and harder.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited to be engaged and to be getting married to the most special person in my life but man, planning is A LOT! Especially while in school and finishing up classes, teaching, and my last semester on campus. When Lucas and I first got engaged, SO MANY of you wanted to see wedding related content and I am excited for this to be the first piece I put out for all of you!
I thought it would be nice to share the very first steps we took in planning our wedding. Overall, we spent about three or four hours doing all of this and have many more hours to put in. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to keep you all updated along the way! 🙂
I got us set up on WeddingWire. I looked around on several different wedding planning websites that are out there (i.e. The Knot, Zola, and so on…) but decided on Wedding Wire as our place to have an online planning portal. While the other options out there are amazing, I felt like WeddingWire was the most authentic and the most tailored to what Lucas and I needed. I love how it has an online registry, honest vendor reviews, and a way to directly connect with photographers, planners, and more! I also really like the Guest List tool where you can insert all of your guests and email them for their mailing address for save the dates and final invitations. Makes me life SO much easier!
I am excited to continue using WeddingWire as a way to track out vendors, days left, our registry, and more! It also allows you to search for any kind of vendor you would need for your wedding and has reviews from actual brides on almost all of their vendors! If you are someone who is recently engaged and looking for an online planning tool, I highly recommend WeddingWire! (*No, this is not a sponsored post by WeddingWire!*)
The next thing I did was sit down with Lucas and lay out a reasonable budget for the wedding. Remember, we are both in school and a lot of the expenses are being paid by our families. We are so thankful for this because not everyone has this option to them. All the same, he and I sat down (for a few hours to be honest) and did a lot of research on things. How much would our venue cost? What about a photographer? What do we consider a “non-negotiable”? We asked each other a lot of questions about what we wanted on our big day and how much we thought was acceptable to pay to have it.
In case you didn’t already know, weddings are ridiculously expensive. The amount of money we have budgeted for this wedding would pay for a semester at our university, they are so expensive. So, when we budgeted roughly $25,000 for this thing, I wanted to puke. That’s a heck of a lot of money! But truly, that’s how much it all costs! Nothing extravagant, nothing over the top. Now, I think we highballed on some things (which is good), but we could truly be spending that much on this wedding.
To be able to cover all these cost, he and I opened up a joint checking account to have a space where we can just put money away when we had the extra money. This May, Lucas will start his new job at Johnson & Johnson and will have a steady income which will help, but I am always for fairness. As I have the extra money, I will put it away into our wedding account. This account will be what we grow over the next year in order to pay off our vendors, venue, and added expenses along the way. We are helping to pay for this wedding, we just aren’t covering all of it.
Opening up this bank account was a really big step for us. I could tell Lucas was a little apprehensive about it because it’s a big step for a couple to do. Sharing money with someone is a MAJOR step and it’s a first for Lucas and I. We left feeling very grown up…very old. It was strange.
The last thing Lucas and I did together was set our guest list so we had numbers when we get around to reaching out to caterers. We knew that we didn’t want a massive wedding but also not a tiny one. We invited only the people we thought would come (because inviting people who won’t come seemed silly to us), and came up with just around 100 people. This includes friends and families for both sides. He and I don’t have a ton of family and like I said, tried to only invite close friends. With this number, we hope to keep the cost of alcohol and food dooooown, down, down. The bigger the guest list, the bigger the food/alcohol budget. We also decided to give each of our friends a plus one because we thought that the right thing to do. Not everyone does this, but because we are keeping our wedding small, we are able to do that for our guests.
So there it is, all the first steps Lucas and I took to plan our wedding. There is SO MUCH MORE to come but I thought it would be nice to break it all down into smaller posts instead of doing one, massive thing. Along the way I will do posts about how planning is going but I don’t want it to become this major part of my blog. You will be able to find all my wedding posts under “Lifestyle” –> “Wedding” on the menu of livingnsunshine.com!