This past summer I got married! Quite honestly it was perfect and like most people, there were a few hiccups, but it ended magically… When I first became engaged after 4 years of dating I wasn’t sure if I wanted a large or small wedding. So here was my thought process and what I believe to be the most important things you should consider when planning your wedding.
1. The Budget
- This one was a bigger deal than I first imagined. According to the Knot the average wedding in the United States costs around $32,000!!!!! Now if money is not an object that’s great for you and plan and spend and enjoy =) however, for the most of us we need to think about how much we want to spend on a wedding. My wedding budget was set low on purpose; my husband would have much rather had money to spend going on a rocking awesome honeymoon/vacation than on the actual wedding. You can now even set up a “honeymoon registry” so that instead of gifts, your guest can add money toward a honeymoon fund. The point of this is that things cost money and there are a lot of things you need for a wedding. So have a number in mind ahead of time and stick to it!
- wedding license (in Montana it’s only $53 to get a license)
- officiant (we used my father-in-law so no cost)
- rings (these can be a cheap or expense as you desire)
- outfits (dresses, tuxes) (I shopped around before deciding what to wear)
- flowers (Costco actually does wedding arrangements, so we did that)
- venue (depends on the season and location; backyard wedding = no cost)
- food (you can get it catered and the prices vary by type of food and by plate)
- dj/band (My brother-in-law did the music for us, but shop around for this)
- save-the-dates and invitations (you can order them from Snapfish!)
- photographer (I would shop around and look at their work)
- decorations (if not included with your venue)
- hair and nails (this ties your whole look together -I paid $170 for everything)
- See below for the 2016 average cost of things from the Knot:
- Think about who you want to celebrate your big day with. Do you really want those friends from high school or college that you don’t talk to anymore? Is it worth it to invite your great aunt who hasn’t seen you since you were a toddler? These are real questions! I struggled with this and ultimately decided it was best to only invite people who have played an important/big role in our lives, who we talk to on a daily basis (our immediate family). I knew I was setting myself up for hearing about how I was hurting people’s feelings by not inviting them. I’ll admit, that afterwards there were a few people I wish I had invited (like a pen pal/close friend I’ve had for years now), but at the end of the day we both wanted only immediate family, it was more pragmatic so that’s what we did. There are some people who invite everyone and their mother so they can brag about how big their wedding was and lets be honest, the more people the more gifts you get. So if that is what you want, more power to ya! Also, when you have more people it can be more hectic to see everyone and you may not get to spend quality time with anyone. Ensure to keep your budget in mind when thinking of guests, you’ll need more tables, chairs, a bigger venue and more food.
3. The Season
- You probably weren’t expecting this one, but it can be a big one! Summer is “the wedding season” and therefore it is the most expensive season to get married. Since we decided to go with a small backyard wedding (outside obviously) in Montana there were few good options weather wise for us. Montana is cold and snowy 8 months out of the year, then there is the rainy month of June and the fire season starts at the end of July through September until we go back into deep dark winter in October. So with that tiny window, we got married in the middle of July. So on my wedding day they were calling for 100° F and sunshine, that didn’t sound so nice, but it ended up being 80° F and overcast. Overcast sounds like a bummer, but actually it’s better for photos! To top it off as we were going in for “the kiss” thunder rumbled and a rain shower began, it was like a positive sign from God and it gave us a reason to dance in the rain! I loved the wedding in the summer.
- However, I currently have a friend who is having a winter wonderland wedding this coming year and she has decided to go with a large venue in a beautiful resort town in Montana. If I had gotten married in the winter, a resort town would have been the place to do it. She is going to have picturesque views of snow capped mountains and beautiful photos taken surrounded by pine trees blanketed with snow. I can’t wait to attend it!
- A big thing to consider is where you live and what the weather is like. Fall weddings in the Midwest or New England regions would be gorgeous! After you figure out when to get married you can begin to plan the outfits everyone will wear and the venue you will want to use.
4. The Ceremony
- Are you religious? Do you want to get married in a church or not in a church but you want a religious officiant? Or do you want a civil/nonsecular ceremony, this can be simply done in a courthouse if you want! Then all that’s left to do is party (reception)! Either way the ceremony is important, you can grab some from the internet to get ideas, or you can go with the traditional ceremony “… until death do us part.”
- We went with a secular ceremony and I went online and looked at ton of different ceremonies and then I pieced together parts and then added some extra stuff we both wanted in it. For example we had a unification ceremony section and a section where my father-in-law provided advice for a successful marriage. So jazzed it up and make it your own, here is mine:
5. Unification ceremony
- So are you thinking of doing a unification ceremony at your wedding? There are a ton of options these day, you can mix sand, mix wine, plant a tree, paint a picture together, make a letter box, you can light a candle together; we went with a video box. So before the wedding both of us sat down and recorded a video for each other and then as a part of our wedding ceremony we took a few minutes to lock our flash drives into a little box. We will open it on our one year anniversary and watch them. Some people don’t do anything for unification, it’s up to you, but
is just one more thing to consider.
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And as alway I would love you hear from you! Leave me a comment below.
Are you getting married soon? What are you thinking of doing for your wedding?