How To Plan Your Wedding…Part 2

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you got (or are about to have) some new bling on your ring finger! Everyone is showering you with congratulations and no doubt asking you a million questions about wedding planning. The only problem is, where on earth do you start? Odds are, you’ll probably need some help figuring out how to plan your wedding. That’s where I come in! 

Back in 2020, I wrote a blog titled “How To Begin Planning Your Dream Wedding.” It’s packed full of some great first steps that outline who, why, where, when and how to start planning your big day. In this blog, I’ll be sure to expound upon a few of those ideas, as well as fill you all in on what I’ve learned as a Birmingham, Alabama wedding photographer since then! 

Eleanor Stenner Photography - a Birmingham, AL wedding photographer - shares tips on how to plan your wedding.

Get those priorities in order.

Make a list of the top 5 most important aspects of your wedding. Maybe your #1 is the number of guests, or perhaps it’s your wedding gown. Either way, now you know what to splurge on, and what you don’t mind DIY-ing.

Know this: some priorities are a give-and-take. If your top priority is the number of guests in attendance, then you might quickly discover how expensive it is to feed 400 people. Choosing a cheaper meal option might mean you can send out 50 more invitations!

Eleanor Stenner Photography - a Birmingham, AL wedding photographer - shares tips on how to plan your wedding.

Create a wedding website.

This will be the go-to spot for all your guests with information about travel accommodations, registry links, parking information, and of course, a few paragraphs about your beautiful love story. It’s nice to have this info all in one place so there’s less confusion for your guests. You can even have them RSVP to the wedding through your website so there’s no chance of their RSVP card being lost in the mail!

Some of the best sources for these websites include The Knot, Minted, and Zola. They also provide amazing schedule suggestions to help you map out your engagement! Which brings me to my next point…

Establish a to-do list.

I’ve always been a fan of putting things down on paper, it’s just easier to keep track of! If you’re the same way (and if you love the planner/journal aisle of TJMaxx) then I recommend picking up a planner that you use specifically for wedding planning! It could be just the thing you need to stay on top of that to-do list amidst all the wedding craziness. Plus, it will be such a sweet reminder of your engagement season in years to come.

Side Note: If you’re still wondering what that to-do list should consist of, check out my blog that highlights 10 random details you can’t forget when planning your wedding!

Eleanor Stenner Photography - a Birmingham, AL wedding photographer - shares tips on how to plan your wedding.

Select your vendors.

If you’re just starting out, you might not even know who or what kind of vendors there are to choose from! Here’s a list of all the different people you may or may not end up having on your wedding day team.

  • Photographer (hey there!)
  • Coordinator/Planner
  • Venue
  • Videographer
  • Catering
  • Florist
  • Bakery
  • DJ/Band
  • Table/Chair/Linen Rentals
  • Bartenders
  • Valet Service
  • Getaway Vehicle
  • Hair & Makeup

You could hire a vendor from each of these categories, or just a few of them! It all depends on what you need to make your day perfect. There are a ton of amazing vendors to choose from in the Birmingham, Alabama area. My only recommendation is to make sure they are a team that you love and can count on! Find people that want your day to be just as awesome as you do.

Side Note: Picking the right date!

Sometimes you don’t have much of a choice on your wedding date due to location, work schedules, or a number of other outlying factors. But, if you do have some wiggle room, I recommend an engagement of at least 6 months. Hopefully that’s far enough out that venues and other vendors still have plenty of openings. Plus, you have more time to stretch that to-do list out and make the process as stress-free as it can be!

Eleanor Stenner Photography - a Birmingham, AL wedding photographer - shares tips on how to plan your wedding.

There are no rules!

If you’re still figuring out how to plan your wedding, please remember: the days of strictly following 100 wedding rules and traditions are over. Do a garter toss, or don’t! Cut a wedding cake, or eat cookies instead! Wear white, or bright blue! Your wedding is what you make it, and that could look like a million different things. All that matters is that you and your fiancé love it!

Enjoy it.

For many, engagement season only happens once. It’s full of excitement, love, and dreams for you and your fiancé’s future together. If you’re already freaking out about how to plan your wedding, consider this your cue to take a few deep breaths. Please don’t let this season pass by you in a blur of stress and anxiety! I always try to help my brides have a stress free (or close to it) engagement plan so that this season of life can be as amazing as it should be! I mean, you’re marrying your best friend! What could be more awesome than that?

There you have it! Five new tips on how to plan your wedding. Don’t stress – these things have a way of coming together in the end. But, if you’re still looking for more tips and wedding info, head on over to my website and check out all my Tips For Brides blogs! Happy wedding planning!