Hi y’all! Hope everyone has had an awesome week! In this post we’re going to talk about selecting your wedding basics, and then finding your wedding style. Gathering together the general basics of your plan helps you launch into the fun part with purpose: you’ll know what you’re looking for, it’ll narrow down some of the barrage of inspiration, and limit (a least a little bit) the overwhelmed feeling of too many decisions to make all at once!
Let’s start with talking about the basics. I like to think of those as my core vendors: the bigger hits on my budget, and the ones that absolutely HAVE to be there for the party to happen. You’ve selected your venue: that’s a huge accomplishment! Definitely one of your bigger ticket items, and firmly in the basics category. Next, catering and bar should be selected. This is another huge chunk of your wedding budget, and depending on the season of your wedding, caterers tend to book up quickly! You may opt to do your bar through the caterer you choose, or two separate vendors. Ellie and I opted for heavy hors d’oeuvres from the catering company we selected and the mobile bar option from a bar we have an attachment to together. (The bar was actually a really big deal for us: we just HAD to have the slushies from Jimmy’s@WB. Worth every stinking dime.) It became one of the most well-known aspects of our wedding, and the guests loved it! I think it should also be said (in my humble opinion): you will save yourself SO MUCH money and headache opting for either a buffet style or heavy hors d’oeuvres to feed your guests. The absolute last thing in the world I wanted to deal with was figuring out where to assign everyone to sit: much less the extra rentals in tables, chairs, and linens…then up the number of centerpieces needed…now we need fancy table numbers and a seating chart…it’s just a lot. Now, as I said, it’s just my humble opinion, so if that’s your cup of tea, and you want all your guests seated, you go girl. Do yo thang.
Next up on the basics list: your photographer/videographer. Another big-ticket item, but possibly one of the most important vendors in the whole thing! We were super blessed to have an amazing photographer to work with, and she totally captured our day and my bridal portraits to perfection. Picking the photographer was so important to me because I knew that, essentially, the pictures are all you have after the day is done! (Minus the insane amount of random wedding décor, you will now have to figure out what in the WORLD to do with…) We had worked with her before, and really watched her and her business grow, and it was so cool to get to work with her again for our wedding! Because we had worked together before it helped the comfort level: getting your picture taken can be kind of weird sometimes! Find you a good one: do your research, have a photo shoot done and see what the vibe is, and what the pictures look like. Ellie and I used these sessions as our engagement shoots, and it helped us become more comfortable in front of the camera when we knew who was behind it! If you can’t have a test shoot done, at least look through and make sure they have a solid portfolio and good reviews. We didn’t opt for a videographer: I knew plenty of people would have their cellphones out once the unplugged ceremony was over, and true to the hunch, I have lots of videos from friends! I do think it would have been pretty amazing to have our ceremony recorded though, and in hindsight, I would have found a way to make that happen, videographer or not!
So those are what I put under the core vendors category, or your wedding basics: the venue, caterer, bar, and photographer/videographer. The next vendors that are also essential but can be booked a little further down the line would be the florist, bakery, and party rentals. Depending on how far out you are from your wedding date (1 year, 1.5 years) booking those vendors can wait a little bit. (Unless you’re in the 6 months or less than a year range, in that case, start booking all vendors) Plus, before you start selecting THOSE little goodies, you need to figure out what your wedding style is! Which is the perfect segway into this next bit of post.
You’ve got the basics: now what’s the vision? This is the part where I see many brides get hung up. The thought of color palettes, flower choices, invitation fonts, and paper colors can get to be a little much for some! There’s so much inspiration and so many ideas out there; it can be more than a little bit overwhelming when you have a blank canvas. Oooohhhh, but this is the FUN part to me!! My go-to resource for visual inspiration is always Pinterest. I use it for ideas/inspiration on just about anything and being able to pin all the ideas into one neat location helps me compare ideas and pick out what parts speak to me the most. To select my color palette, for example, I started by searching for spring 2022 wedding color palettes…then I pulled the colors that I felt the most drawn to. I narrowed those down by small details that I knew would matter to me: for example, would one of the color choices work well for my bridesmaids? I wouldn’t want to put my red-haired best friend in blush pink: as a redhead myself, that’s just treason. Blush pink was still in our color palette, but we selected a eucalyptus green also that looked beautiful on both of my bridesmaids! Ivory and white brought spring/Southern brightness and navy blue popped beautifully on Ellie and the groomsmen. Touches of gold brought a metal element, and nicely complemented the whole color palette.
Another trick that helped me was to sit down with a piece of paper and map out some descriptions of what our vision was. What season will it be? What time of day? Brunch? Dinner? What words describe it? Some of our main adjectives were romantic, candlelight, vintage, Gatsby, elegant, evening, rustic, and Southern Garden party. Looking back, I totally think we nailed it! Putting those concepts down on paper helps to organize your thoughts and see where you need to add/take away. Once you have these concepts in place, you can begin to make actual plans and selections. So, go start that Pinterest board!
Hopefully, now you can get those basics selected, and go into the finding your style part with a plan. This really is the fun part, I promise! Make it that way, and don’t take it too seriously. Take the time to step away when it becomes too much, too many ideas are swirling and price tags are closing in. Breathe, leave it for awhile and come back with a fresh moment/fresh perspective. You’ve got this, and it’s going to be beautiful. Happy planning y’all!