Budget is one of those words that we all know, but we all haven’t had the experience of putting into practice. But, having a wedding budget is a really important first step into marriage and I wanted to help you break down some things I’ve learned along the way being in this business!

In most situations, figuring out your budget first before everything else is ideal, but in my opinion figuring out what kind of wedding you would like to have is a good first step, along with an approximate number of guests. Determining what kind of setting, what kind of vibe – elegant, boho, desert dreamy – will help you to determine where to even start in the first place. Once you know what kind of wedding you are dreaming of and approximately how many people would be attending, you can start figuring out what kind of budget you’ll need, because a Camelback Mountain setting will have a very different budget than a desert elopement.

From there, the first two things you’ll need to plan in your budget are venue and photographer, and I’ll tell you why these two vendors should be your first choice.

First, depending on what style and location of wedding you are planning the venue will be a large portion of your budget. From there, a wedding photographer will be the second most important part of your budget. And both of these vendors will be booking, typically, somewhere between 6-18 months out depending on their established business and date popularity.

Consider that wedding venues and wedding photographers are only working with one couple per day, and while we all try to choose wedding dates that are important to us, there are several dates throughout the year that are more popular than others (for example, the upcoming 10/10/2020 wedding date, May 4th for all you Star Wars fans or 3/14 for Pi Day), wedding photographers needing days off (trust us, if we could photograph every single day without it being detrimental to our health & families, we would!), and all the other couples who are potentially looking at your date, reaching out to these vendors first secures that you will have a wedding location and the pictures to prove it!

Also, I can’t express enough how important these two vendors really are, besides the obvious of being able to have a place for your wedding and to have them captured. Having a venue location will help you find the rest of the vendors to serve you on your day. If you choose a Sedona venue, it would make the most sense to choose your florist, baker and food vendor within reasonable distance versus choosing someone from Phoenix or Tucson for example. And knowing how many people will be attending your wedding will help you determine the budget necessary for rentals, food, drinks and so much more.

One vendor that I love seeing brides utilize is a wedding coordinator. This vendor will also be an important first booking, as just like the venue & photographer, being able to serve just one couple a day means that availability can often times go quickly. A wedding coordinator typically has several opportunities to serve you as either a full wedding planner – someone who plans your day, working directly with all of your vendors once chosen, and walks you through the whole process and makes sure that your whole day runs smooth by handling everything, or a day of coordinator, who handles all of your day of needs and takes it all on so you can enjoy your day!

There are so many ways to make the day of your dreams a reality and the nice part about planning a wedding 6-18 months out is the ability to save and make payments where applicable. It gives you time to have your engagement session done, to create your wedding website and your registry, to either pick out the rentals, find a company to style your day or create your own decorations.

I hope this quick blog has been helpful for you, and I truly can’t express enough how much us vendors love serving you on the most important day of your lives, so thank you!

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