How Do I Start My Wedding Planning?


I know I’m a wedding photographer. But I’ve been behind the scenes!

Yes, I know I’m the photographer and my wife Ria ( is the wedding planner. But I’ve been on the back end of many many weddings and being a married to a planner helps too. Ria and I know a thing or two about where to start with creating your wedding day. And the very first thing your should consider is…money. How much will the wedding cost?

Create a Wedding Budget

This is the fun part! No really, it is! This is where you get to get to eliminate all those unknowns of “How much does a wedding cost?” Sit down, and write out each category that you will need to spend in. Include everything from the wedding photographer to the venue to the food, to the groom’s socks!

Research Wedding Vendors

If you don’t know how much a vendor or an expense will be, do some research. The Knot and WeddingWire can help you in finding out how much venues and vendors in your area might cost.

Count Your Money

Count how much cash you have on hand. Include funds that you know you will be able to save by the wedding date as well as any contributions given to you, for example from parents.

Special note on contributions: It is common for someone to offer to pay for a specific wedding expense. For example, your mother may say that she would like to pay for your wedding photographer. We strongly advise you to respectfully ask that contributions be in dollar amounts rather than in specific expenses. This will reduce stress later on should a choice of vendor be made that you don’t like but that you also didn’t pay for.

Prioritize What’s Important to You

After counting your money, you may find that your budget is higher than your funds. Don’t panic! This is when you start adjusting both your budget and your funding so you can make the wedding you want.

Think of ways you can add more funding for your wedding. Perhaps you can works some more hours. Or maybe you can cut your own, day to day spending and have more to save for the wedding. Consider ways that you can make additional income.

Of course, you can also cut expenses in the budget. Again, prioritize what is important to you. For example, maybe your wedding photographer is your biggest priority but you wouldn’t mind having a smaller cake.

Honestly, the fastest way to cut expenses on your wedding day is to cut your guest list. On average, you could save $3000+ by cutting about 50 guests from your list. Not fun to do but it might be necessary. Again, do not use this option if you are cutting guests who are important to you and you would be crushed if they did not attend.

Enjoy Wedding Planning!

Ria knows that I am a bit of a freak because I actually enjoy budgeting. I see it as a big puzzle with numbers and dollar signs. I find it so satisfying. I know it’s weird but seriously, there is nothing sexier than a balanced budget!