Happy New Year & New Beginnings!

NYE Client gifts - Judith Rae PhotographyPhoto credit: Judith Rae Photography

Happy New Year!!! A new year brings new beginnings and newly engaged couples! Congratulations to all you fabulous couples that got engaged during the holiday season!

You’re engaged, now what do you do??? Becoming engaged ranks high up there as one of THE most exciting times in your life.. So it’s important to take your time and make smart decisions. After you’ve told all your friends and families and posted beautiful pictures of your new sparkly on Instagram, take a moment, and breathe it all in. You are getting married! Yay!!

I_0725 - CopyPhoto credit: The Studio Photographers

Once you’re ready to get started, the first step is to set a realistic budget for the whole thing. I find often times that people are always shocked by what a wedding costs. It’s one thing to ask friends and families what they may or may not have spent, but remember this, your taste and style may not be similar to your friends taste and style, so your weddings may not cost the same. Set a realistic budget for yourself and then decide what is most important to you & your fiance. Do you have to have the best photographer? Give them a higher percentage of that wedding budget pie. Food? Entertainment? Decor? Think about all aspects of the wedding, and then decide what you want to spend.

Remember when determining your budget, you should include venue, invitations and other paper goods, caterer, photographer, cinematography, floral designer, rental/decor items, hair & make-up stylist, baker, entertainment and any other creatives you may want on your special day.

After you’ve done this, my BEST advice is to higher a planner, of course I am bias here. But, a good planner will be your BEST investment! They will help you make the best decisions based on your budget, style and needs. Hiring a planner means more time for you to do the fun things that come with being engaged, especially enjoying the moment.Your planner will then help you pick the best creative team that fits your style & budget. They will be your creative team’s main contact with questions or concerns and any issue that may arise.

Of course, if you can’t hire a planner, the next best thing to do is take your time, and make the best decisions for you. The biggest mistake couples make when planning a wedding is rushing thru the process so that they can get things “checked off” a list. Research, review and prioritize THEN gets things done! But, I still recommend hiring someone for the month-of, so that you can transfer all the responsibilities to them, relax and have a little fun!

Of course, whatever you do, make sure it s 100% YOU. Don’t plan your wedding based on “rules” or “guidelines”, make it a day about you, created by you, for you!

Happy Planning!