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The Beginner's Guide to Wedding Planning: Step-by-Step Tips and Budget Priorities | Marion Photography


Planning a wedding can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially if you don't plan big events in your day-to-day life. From setting a budget to selecting vendors and everything in between, there are countless decisions to make along the way. But fear not! The Bigginer's Guide to Wedding Planning will help you easily navigate this amazing journey, providing step-by-step tips and insights that I have as a photographer with many years of experience, to help you allocate your budget for maximum impact.


wedding couple exploring lake chapala mexico


Step1: Set Your Budget


Before diving into the details, it's essential to establish a realistic budget that aligns with your financial situation and priorities. Determine how much you're willing to spend overall and break it down into categories such as venue, catering, attire, entertainment, photo and video, decor, invitations, and extras. An average wedding in the US goes for an average of 30,000 dollars, the average wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico goes for 13,000 dollars. depending on how many people are you willing to have


Step 2: Create your guest list


Compile a list of family members, friends, and loved ones you'd like to invite to your wedding. Keep in mind, that the size of your guest list will impact other aspects of your wedding, including the venue and catering options. You can also make 2 or 3 different lists, one with absolutely necessary guests, the ones where you can't imagine having your wedding without, and another list with not only the ones you definitely want, but the other part of your friends and family, that can be a good addition of your wedding. having more than 1 list can help you know if you are within your budget or if you need to reduce the number of guests to have your dream wedding.


Step 3: Choose your venue


Selecting the perfect venue sets the tone for your entire wedding. Consider factors, such as location, capacity, ambiance, and amenities. Choose a venue that speaks to you, that reflects your style, and that can accommodate your guests comfortably.


Step 4: Book key vendors


Secure essential vendors early in the planning process to ensure availability and peace of mind. Priority vendors include:

• Photographer and Videographer: Capturing your precious moments professionally, having a good photographer and videographer can make your wedding last forever. • Florist: Work with a florist to design stunning floral arrangements that complement your wedding theme and color palette. Selecting the kind of flowers with time is very important to make sure that they have it, most flowers are seasonal, so a good florist can have the perfect flower arrangement if you give them enough time.

• Caterer: Choose a caterer who can create delicious and memorable meals that cater to your tastes and dietary preferences. Doing this with time gives you also an opportunity to taste your food and make sure that is what you want.

• Officiant: Find an officiant who resonates with you and can create a personalized ceremony that reflects your love story. If you are doing a religious ceremony having enough time can help you get your date on the church of your preference, most weddings happen on Saturdays, so your time and day of your wedding can be allocated to someone else if you don't reserve this with time.



wedding couple having fun in secrets and dreams bahia mita


Step 5: Focus on your attire


Selecting your wedding attire is a significant milestone in the planning process. Allocate a portion of your budget for:

• Bridal Gown/Tuxedo: Invest in the attire that makes you feel confident, comfortable, and beautiful on your wedding day.

• Bridal Party Attire: Consider the attire of your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and other members of your wedding party, usually this is just selecting the color pallet, but can be also the type of attire you want, so they complement each other and you.

• Accessories: Don't forget about shoes, jewelry, veils, and other accessories to complete your wedding day look. • Extra Attire: Having extra attire for your getting ready, reception, photoshoot, or thrash the dress can help you feel more comfortable, some couples have different outfits for different parts of the wedding day, so they don't need to be expensive, for example getting ropes for the getting ready can enhance your getting ready photos, or having a cheap outfit for the thrash the dress photoshoot, can help you preserve your good attire and have more fun during this part of your photoshoot. This is optional but can be a good idea if you allocate some of your budget.


Bira and brides maids posing for the getting ready photos


Step 6:Finalize details and décor


Fine-tune the details and décor elements that will bring your wedding vision to life. Consider:

• Ceremony and Reception Décor: From centerpieces and table linens to lighting and signage, infuse your personality and style into every aspect of your wedding décor.

• Stationery: Design and send out invitations, RSVP cards, and other stationary items to inform your guests about the details of your wedding day.


Step 7: Plan for Entrateiment and Extras


Enhance the guest's experience with entertainment and additional touches that leave a lasting impression:

• Music and entertainment: Hire a DJ or a live band to keep the party going and create unforgettable moments on the dance floor

• MC: Having an MC can help you keep your reception on track, having someone who tells you when is the moment for dinner, speeches, or having fun on the dance floor, can help you have everyone having a good time, consider having the comedian of your friends or family doing this, just make sure that they know how to speak with a microphone. • Extras: Consider adding special touches such as a photo booth, dessert bar, or signature cocktails to surprise and delight your guests.


Groom dancing on his gay black wedding


Budget Hierarchy: Where to Allocate Your Funds


  1. Venue and Catering: Allocate the majority of your budget to your venue and catering, as these are the foundational elements that set the tone for your wedding day and ensure that your guests are well-fed and taken care of.

  2. Photography: Invest in high-quality photography services to capture your special day for years to come.

  3. Attire: Set aside a significant portion of your budget for wedding attire, including gown/tuxedo and accessories.

  4. Entertainment: Allocate funds for the entertainment options that keep your guests entertained and engaged throughout the celebration.

  5. Décor and Details: Dedicate a part of your budget to décor and details that enhance the ambiance, and reflect your personal style and preferences.

  6. Miscellaneous Expenses: Leave room in your budget for unexpected expenses and miscellaneous items that may arise during the planning process, depending on how much you end up using, the leftover money can help you with your honeymoon.

By following these step-by-step tips and prioritizing your budget according to the hierarchy outlined above, you can plan a beautiful and memorable wedding that reflects your unique love story and creates cherished memories for you and your guests. Remember to have fun during this process, part of the fun part of a wedding is also the planning, so try to relax and enjoy the journey.





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