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A CHEATSHEET FOR PLANNING YOUR OWN WEDDING!

For the record! Planning your own wedding is extremely stressful! To first, plan, then star in your wedding is a tough task! The colors, guest list, catering, decorations, venue, photographer, cake, hair, and makeup artist. Oh, and did and mention your dress!?!, It is absolutely complicated to coordinate all of that. Now throw in maintaining a job and possibly kids, and you're sure to be in over your head!


However stressful, complicated, and over your head doesn't mean IMPOSSIBLE!

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Now, by all means, I'm not saying don't hire a wedding planner! That's not where I'm going. Finding an amazing wedding coordinator that's going to bring your vision to life is God-sent! So please, snatch them up! A good wedding coordinator "does it all"! All you have to do is pick your perfect dress, relax, and walk down that aisle! Now that relaxing part is a whole different story.


This blog isn't about hiring a wedding coordinator. Or wedding coordinators in general! This is about the "what ifs"! What if you're getting married soon and can't find a coordinator for your time frame? What if you don't like any of the coordinators you meet? Or let's be honest, What if you can't afford a coordinator?


If any of the 3 apply to you then stay tuned, I'm going to try my best to walk you through this, step-by-step!


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1) Write everything down!



This should be a given and I know what you're thinking, "Yea Michael Anthony, this is common sense!". Yea, just like I thought men making decisions regarding a woman's body was "common sense"


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If you have a photographic memory that's one thing. However I'm begging you, please don't take the chance! It never works! You have to take this seriously from the very beginning!


First things first, make a checklist. Write everything you want and your "must-haves" down. Now I'm old-school y'all! Nothing beats having a binder! My binder "never accidentally deleted my entire hard drive" or never needed to be "backup to another hard drive"! But I digress, having a checklist helps you with your timeline and helps you track your progress. A checklist also helps you with keeping track of payments. The last thing you want is to get to your wedding day, just to realize you never paid your caterer! So make sure your checklist is made and up to date!




2) Venue


This is the first yet crucial step towards your wedding day! What is the theme for your wedding? Having a theme helps you narrow down venues. Everyone is different! Me personally, I've always envisioned my wedding in Colorado! Now I love the snow! Mix that with a snowy mountain background and you have my perfect wedding! Just with that in mind I know I'll have to find a venue in Colorado that has a nice hall and some amazing spots to take some priceless portraits.


The venue you pick for your wedding day should have your heart from the beginning! It's like falling in love when you see it, you know! As a photographer, my suggestion is always to think about the scenery when it comes to picking your venue for your wedding day. It can be an inconvenience to have to leave your wedding just to get some great portraits somewhere else. So if you wanna be royal, find a venue to fits that! If you want an outdoor wedding, find a beautiful place to say your "I DOs"! And for the love of God CHECK THE WEATHER! Nobody and I mean "NOBODY" wants to attend a wedding outdoors when it's 100 degrees!


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The determining factor in planning your wedding date really comes down to the dates that that particular venue is open.





3) Setting a Date


Most people would put this as the number one thing on their list. However, I find that using your venue to pick your date is always the best option. But hey, this part is totally up to you. You can literally pick any day that your heart desires (It's your day)! Should the date of your wedding be well thought out? Of course! Every detail of your wedding should be well thought out. Remember this famous line " If you do it right the first time, you'll never have to do it again"!


It's time to go to your checklist! Take a great look at your list, and check it twice. Your checklist should be the ultimate deciding factor for choosing your wedding date. By having that checklist, you get to map out the details as well as the time it takes to get all of that done. Do you want a fall wedding? Do you want a spring wedding? Check the date, does it normally rain on that day? Do you have enough time to get invitations out? Knowing these little details goes a long way when it comes to deciding your wedding day!




4) Vendors



This is where the real leg work begins! It's time to pick the vendors for your wedding. Wedding vendors break down into five major categories. The caterer, photographer, band or Dj, hair and makeup artist, and the decorator. Let's break down each vendor into individual categories:


  • Caterer