The Wedding Planning Hotspot: From Fiancés to Forever!

So…you’re engaged, congrats! The doves are chirping, you & your soon-to-be hubby are swooning , and you can almost hear the wedding bells in the distance. But where do you even start? How do you budget for the most important day of your life? Why does planning a wedding seem like such a daunting & time-consuming task? While a lot of the nitty-gritty wedding planning details seem like a chore, it’ll all be worth it in the end when you have your picture-perfect day. Let’s start off by breaking down your wedding timeline.

Venue hunting, dress fittings, cake tastings, OH MY! There are seemingly a million details to take into account when planning your wedding, but I’m not here to overwhelm you (plus you’re the superwoman of details, anyways). Let’s take it one step at a time. You first want to envision the “big picture”, by visualizing how you want your dream day to look and feel. Hop on Pinterest for some inspiration, and make your wedding vision board! (Check out mine here: https://www.pinterest.com/jessgabriel/wedding-inspo/). Next, sit down with your fiancé and draw up a budget. If you feel completely in the dark about how to budget your wedding, don’t worry…there will be more on budgeting later! Thirdly, choose your wedding party. It’s important that you and your boo are on the same page about the wedding party. Are we only having family as our bridesmaids & groomsmen? Will friends be included? Most importantly, do we have the same amount of bridesmaids as we do groomsmen, or is this not important to us? After that’s out of the way, explore your dress, venue, catering, and entertainment options, and then decide what you’re going to book. We’re getting closer now! Check out the infographic below for a more detailed checklist of your wedding planning timeline. 

infographic 1

While this checklist isn’t exhaustive, it serves as a perfect guideline to get you started on your wedding planning journey. Feeling overwhelmed & don’t want to worry about all the planning…? Hire a wedding planner to take the stress off your shoulders! (aka, hire me in 4 years when I have my own business!)

Every wedding (and couple) is different & unique in their own way. When planning your wedding, you’ll soon realize where your priorities lie, and how to properly budget around them. According to Business Insider (2018), the average cost of an American wedding is around $33,400. However, don’t let that number discourage you. Not everyone takes into account small details, such as the floral arrangements, band, photography, etc., that drive up the wedding budget. It’s all about setting up an attainable budgetfiguring out you & your fiance’s priorities, and sticking to it. Deciding on a wedding budget upfront helps couples to spend within their comfort range (Business Insider, 2018). According to the Rock My Wedding Podcast (2019), about 50% of your budget should be spent on the venue. “I loved the entire process of planning my wedding from start to finish. While so much has changed since then, I think one part that still rings true is how much of a dent the venue puts in your budget”, said Aimee Albin, married woman of fourteen years. The next biggest wedding expense that consumes around 10-15% of your budget is the clothing & beauty expense (RMW Pod, 2019). This accounts for your dress, the tuxedo, bridesmaids’ dresses, groomsmen’s tuxedos, and so on. To see a better percentage breakdown of where & how you should be spending within your budget, take the chart below into account. 

infographic 2

The donut chart above doesn’t serve as an “end all be all” for where you should be spending, but rather, shows average percentages of how most Americans divvy up their wedding expenses, according to Business Insider and RMW Pod. To reiterate, have a conversation with your fiancé to decide where & how your budget will be allocated. 

Everyone has heard the infamous saying “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue.” But where does that saying even come from, and why is it an important staple to weddings? According to The Knot (n.d.), the Old English rhyme that names four objects for good luck is incorporated into the bride’s ensemble on her wedding day. Most ingredients in the rhyme are meant to ward off the “Evil Eye”, which is a curse passed on through a mean glare that supposedly makes a bride infertile. While this is obviously an old folktale, it’s still fun to learn about the history of this popular wedding tradition (The Knot, n.d.). “Something Old” in today’s time represents continuity, and gives brides (and/or grooms) to have the chance to pay homage to their relatives by wearing a sentimental piece of clothing or jewelry from a previous generation. “Something New” offers optimism for the future and marks a new chapter in the newlyweds’ lives. “Something Borrowed” brings the couple good luck & fortune through something of sentimental value from a loved one. “Something Blue” is meant to deflect the Evil Eye, and the color blue it meant to bring love, purity, & fidelity into this new chapter.“For my ‘something blue’, I had my nails & toes painted a baby blue color, which was the perfect, subtle touch without going overboard”, said Allison Michini, recent newlywed. This witty rhyme serves as a clever & meaningful tradition to add your own spunk on your wedding day. Have a look at the infographic below for Something Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue ideas!

infographic 3

Clearly, there is so much that goes into the wedding planning process. The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to enjoy the planning process, but more importantly, enjoy your time as a newlywed & don’t rush it! I hope that these infographics aided in your learning about the wedding timeline, budgeting, and more. If you can’t tell by now, I have a passion for wedding planning so if you have any questions, please feel free to email me with your thoughts (jessicaellengabriel@gmail.com). I wish you and your fiancé the best happily ever after!

Resources:

Albin, A. (2020, May 7). Personal interview, quote 1.

Michini, A. (2020, May 7). Personal interview, quote 2.

https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/planning-basics–t1

https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-traditions-the-meaning-of-something-old

https://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/podcast/

https://www.businessinsider.com/wedding-budget-spending-from-engagement-ring-to-wedding-dress-2018-4

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