You’re Engaged! Now What…? Here is the 7-Step Process to Planning an Iconic Wedding Without the Stress!
Congratulations, lovebirds! You’ve taken that magical step, said “yes” to forever, and now it’s time to embark on the exhilarating journey of planning your dream wedding. Take a deep breath, lower your shoulders, and remember to enjoy these moments with the love of your life. This blog will guide you through the 10-step process to begin your wedding planning journey without the stress.
Step 1: Celebrate the Love! First things first, let’s kick off the planning process with a bang! Gather your loved ones, pop the champagne, and raise your glasses high. Celebrate this incredible milestone and the exciting adventure that awaits you. Let the love and joy surrounding your engagement be the fuel that propels you through the wedding planning journey.
Step 2: Envision Your Dream Wedding: It might sound woo woo but close your eyes and let your imagination soar. Make a moodboard, and journal about it… Really visualize your dream wedding in vivid detail. Embody the feelings, details, and all the pieces coming together. Picture the breathtaking venue, the meaningful decor, and the joy of your love & those who love you two filling the air. Take the time to create a clear vision of what you want your wedding to look and feel like. This vision will be your guiding light throughout the planning process and is so important to share with your vendor team so they can serve you best and help support planning your wedding sans stress.
Step 3: Set a Budget range – a necessary part of planning any wedding. The truth is, you probably haven’t done this before so discovering the investment for wedding vendors might feel foreign. Remember to keep an open mind and really take the time to get to know the team you’re hiring for your wedding day. I know I might be biased, but hiring a team you really love and trust is the number one way to have a seamless, fun, and stunning wedding with photographs that you’ll hold close to your heart forever. The photographs and your love are the only things that are left after the dancing is done and the cake is eaten. If the vendors you’re reaching out to don’t care to get to know you, it probably isn’t the right fit and they might not be worth the investment. You’ll be spending lots of time with these individuals so you want to ensure that you connect well with them and resonate with their brand philosophy. The most efficient way to budget for your iconic day is with a range rather than a strict number. This allows space for changes to be made without any unmet expectations or disappointment. Prioritize what matters most to you and allocate accordingly.
Step 4: Assemble Your Dream Team & discover your perfect venue! Planning a wedding is like conducting a symphony, and you need the best musicians. Build your dream team of talented professionals who will bring your vision to life. Seek out a skilled wedding planner or coordinator, a wedding designer, an exceptional caterer, a visionary florist, and of course, a thoughtful photographer (that’s me!) who will capture every magical moment. If I have the honor of being your photographer, I will share all of my favorite vendor recommendations, too. As I mentioned above, really take the time to vet your vendors to make sure it’s a perfect fit for style, values, investment & personality – don’t forget, you’ll be spending a lot of time with these individuals! Once you’ve chosen your vendors, trust in their expertise and let them handle the details while you enjoy the journey.
The venue hunt can feel stressful, but it doesn’t have to. Before scrambling to find a venue that has your date open, sit down and write out what kind of place would match who you two are as individuals and represent your relationship best. What is most important to you two as a couple? Think about the space you’ll be using and how many guests you’ll need to accommodate. Don’t rule out venues outside of your city, sometimes a destination experience can fit your needs best! Venue shopping is kind of like dress shopping, sometimes the one on the hanger isn’t the one that fits best. So don’t just go off of their Instagram and website, talk to the owners, see the space first if you can! Explore castles, vineyards, libraries, or city landmarks. Visit potential venues, soak in the atmosphere, and imagine your wedding unfolding in each location. When you find that one magical place that resonates with your love story, you’ll know it’s the perfect canvas for your dream wedding. Most top-tier vendors prefer for you to have a venue chosen prior to booking them, however – if you’re still on the fence you can always ask any member of your vendor team for their personal recommendations. You can check out my Top 5 Luxury Wedding Venue post here for inspiration in NYC.
Step 5: The next step for Wedding Planning Without the Stress is Managing the Guest List: Ah, the guest list puzzle! Managing it can be a bit tricky, but fear not. Be considerate, think about the people who truly matter to you, and invite those who will celebrate your love wholeheartedly. Don’t do the whole “they invited me so I need to invite them” song and dance. Remember, this is YOUR day, and surrounding yourself with just your inner circle will make it all the more meaningful. If it gets overwhelming, seek guidance from your wedding planner or trusted friends and family.
Step 6. Decide on Pre or post-wedding celebrations. If loved ones are coming in from out of town, does a party-style rehearsal dinner feel right? Do you want your disco bachelorette party captured? Maybe you’re planning a destination wedding and you need to plan a post-wedding excursion or brunch with your favorite people. This is your wedding experience and you can make it so beautifully unique. Try not to focus on what’s been done before and really embrace how you want your entire wedding experience to feel.
Step 7: Self-Care. I mean it! You have to take care of yourselves throughout the planning process. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of wedding preparations, but remember to prioritize self-care. I truly believe the right vendors & couples find each other so try to take a breath and trust the process. Take breaks, indulge in date nights, and enjoy the journey with your partner to embrace the excitement of planning your iconic “I do” day!
Now that you have the roadmap, couples, it’s time to embark on this incredible adventure of Wedding Planning without the Stress… Trust in the process, keep your hearts open and let the love guide you every step of the way. Your dream celebration awaits, and I’ll be right here, ready to document every meaningful moment & capture your legacy.
“My Fiancé and I were both nervous but Leandra instantly put us at ease and we had the best time shooting with her. Honestly we forgot we were taking pictures! She is so kind and thoughtful in everything she does and made us feel so special every step of the way. We felt like we had a 10/10 experience before we even saw any pictures.” – Dara Potts