There are so many things to budget for when planning a wedding (venue, photographer, furniture rentals, catering, and a million more things)! It can get very overwhelming VERY quickly. So after you get a venue and date secured, what should you be looking at next? If your on a tight budget for your wedding, I recommend factoring these next few things in the budget first before planning anything else.
The photos of your wedding day are the ONLY way you are going to be able to relive your memories. And you don’t want some friend of the family being in charge of those precious moments. You want a professional who is going to anticipate those moments and capture them for you. You want to photographer who is going to style all your beloved details, help you look amazing in all your portraits, sneak photos of parents crying as you say your vows, and who is going to have skill to get well-lit reception photos that really show the awesome time you are having with all your friends and family on the dance floor.
Early on in my photography career, I heard someone say that they didn’t care about their wedding photography because they would rather put their wedding budget towards wedding details and decorations so that all their guests could enjoy the day more. WHAT?!? That didn’t make any sense to me. This is YOUR wedding day. This is they day when you get to be most selfish. And how are you going to remember all those cute details and decorations if you don’t have photos of them later? Photos are so important! And having the right photographer is just as important! Don’t skimp on photography. When you are reliving all your memories looking at photos (and holding back tears of joy) you’ll thank the heavens that you didn’t skimp.
Some people don’t even think about this until just months before the wedding day, and it should really be one of the first few things you budget for. From a photography standpoint, casual hair and makeup that we people wear everyday can look very washed out in professional photos. All that money on the photographer of your dreams and you look like a ghost in every photo…. I don’t want that for you. Professional hair and makeup artists know how to make you look fabulous on and off camera (and your photographer will thank you for it). It will definitely feel like you are wearing a TON of makeup, but it helps keep your natural coloring and make your beautiful features pop out a little more without fading into the rest of your face. Professional hair and makeup artists also know how to make your look last ALL DAY LONG. No matter how many tears you shed, guests you hug, or beads of sweat you produce while dancing the night away, your hair and makeup will still look amazing.
I once had a bride get poured rain on during her ceremony and we hadn’t done any portraits previous to that. Thank goodness her hair and makeup still looked amazing after being rained on! No running mascara or flat hair because she prioritized professional hair and makeup. So take my advice and book professionals so you can look your best throughout your entire wedding day and in all your photos too!
My last recommendation if you are planning a wedding on a budget is prioritize for flowers. Flowers are likely going to be in every single portrait and detail photo on your so don’t blow it by booking the local flower shop. Book a wedding florist that is going to design a beautiful bridal bouquet and dress up your ceremony and reception in a spectacular way. The bouquet is especially important because you’re going to be holding it all day, so it’ll be in all your photos! You don’t want a Costco bouquet in all the wedding photos… Hire a professional who has a style and aesthetic that you love.
In my opinion, the hair, makeup, and flowers are all things that get photographed a ton at a wedding, so those things need to be budgeted for right after booking a photographer. It’s a triple whammy for bride’s because they get photographed a lot, so they need to look flawless (that’s where professional H&MU comes in), and they need to be complimented with some gorgeous florals that really represent the colors and vibe of the whole wedding. By prioritizing for these three things when budgeting for your wedding, you are guaranteeing being a happy bride which makes for a happy wedding day.
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A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and I know it can be overwhelming! Grab my free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day.