So you got engaged... Now what?!?! This is the five things you need to think about before planning your wedding!
The transcript in case you want to read along:
All right, we're doing it episode number two, technically episode number one. But you know what? The company that I use to make these doesn't allow me to name an episode zero. So I already had episode zero. This is technically episode one, but it's labeled episode two, and I hope that doesn't get confusing for you.
What's going on? I'm Josh, professional photographer out of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Orlando. This podcast is about weddings, and you might hear some weird noises right now because I'm actually recording this one in my car and sitting in line for my daughter's school pick up line to pick her up after school, and I figured this is a great place to just do impromptu podcast recordings because I have to sit here for like 35 to 40 minutes anyway, so why not talk to you?
Lovely, amazing. and I have a doozy for you for the first one. I'm excited about this one. Now, I'm gonna let you know if you find any of this helpful, any of these suggestions, please consider hitting, subscribe or follow on whatever podcast platform you're listening to this through. So without further ado, I'm getting into this thing.
First off, you're engaged. Congratulations. I am super excited to hear that. I mean, Weddings. I can't get away from 'em. Even if I wanted to get away from 'em, I don't think I could because I just really enjoy doing them. I really enjoy everything about 'em, and I'm excited to tell you what I know about weddings.
Not only in this podcast, but in this episode. This episode is based around engagement. You're engaged. You got engaged. Maybe you got engaged around the holidays, Christmas ,new Year's, something like. Maybe you've just been engaged for a couple months and you don't know what to do. Now that it's the next phase, now that it's step two, time to, you know, really get into it and figure out what's going on in the wedding world.
Well, this is where I hope I can help you guys, where I can hel help you figure out the five things you need to discuss now that you're engaged in preparation of getting ready for your. And I'm gonna get right into it. I'm gonna go with number one right away, and that's date. You're gonna have to figure out a date.
And there is a lot of factors to go into this. Are there special times? Are there special days of the year that mean something to you? Is there something that is of of importance to you around a time of year? Another major factor into this is your location where you locate. Is it warm here round? Is it cold?
Are there random attacks of snowstorms like there is here in Wisconsin in April? Is there hurricane season if you're in the, the south and Florida area? Are there really hot times of the year? You really need to figure this out and, and really factor that. Where your wedding is gonna be. And that is actually going to be another topic that we get into, but right now you gotta figure out your date.
Another thing that factors into this information is how much time do you need to plan? How much time do you need to budget? Are you running away to Vegas to get married? By Elvis, I mean then your date could be next weekend. It could be you could leave tomorrow. Or are you throwing a wedding that is gonna cost you a half a million?
$200,000, a hundred thousand dollars and it's gonna take you some time to, to, to get that money around. Even if you are doing a wedding that's $20,000, it may take you some time to get that figured out budgeting wise. So to factor that into your date. Now, when I say date, I don't mean the exact date.
I'm just talking about the general idea of when you want your wedding. Do you want snow photos? Do you want nice warm photos? Do you want fall color? also factor in your engagement photo session when you want that. Because usually I typically say about six months prior to your wedding, you want to have your engagement photos.
So that's another thing you need to think of is when you're having those, these are all factors that need to go in to the first step, and that's figuring out your date. Once you have your date down, then you need to figure out your budget. These are the two most important things I personally feel is figuring out your.
And figuring out your budget, because those are definitely gonna figure everything out when it comes to the wedding. Budget. Are you looking to spend, do you know $20,000, $25,000 or are you looking to go all out once in a lifetime party and spend a half a million dollars on a wedding? And yes, I know a half a million dollars sounds like a lot of money for a wedding, but what if I told you.
There are some weddings that are $3 million, $4 million. There are some very expensive weddings out there. So in grand retrospect, a half a million dollars on a wedding. Isn't that too uncommon? And I'm kind of talking to you, wedding professionals out there, a little bit less the engaged couples. This is important for you to know that there are weddings out there like that.
A tip to the wedding industry. If you think you are overpricing yourself, I promise you there is somebody out there that has spent 10 times as much on you and they've got it. So just let that, just think about that, let that sink in. But I'm going back to my engaged couples. You know, think about your budget, be realistic.
I'm gonna have another podcast episode that you're gonna want to tune in for, and that is the first three things that you should book after. Decided all these steps. So make sure you hit that like button, because I am going to be talking about that next after this episode. And it's very important we're the first three things you should book, but before you can book them, you need to figure out your budget.
And I always tell my couples to be really loose with your budget. And I don't mean loose, like spend willy-nilly, but try not to set like, okay, I want to spend $5,000 on a venue and I'm not spending any more than. I want to spend $5,000 on a photographer, and I'm not gonna spend any more of that. Because if you can have a little bit of leeway, if you can give yourself a little cushion in your budget, it's gonna take a lot of that stress out and trying to find the perfect person at a perfect price instead of just finding the perfect person or the perfect venue, or the perfect dj.
So think about that when you're thinking about your budget is, yes, I know the world revolves around. Everything revolves around money, but if you can and you are able to try not to let it persuade your decisions when it comes to your wedding, because I promise it'll make everything so much easier if you don't allow that.
The third thing we're gonna talk about, it's another important one, and it's something that I touched on location now. Location I don't. your exact venue. I don't care about your exact venue. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about your location. Are you gonna have it near home somewhere local?
Are you gonna have it in a neutral location, common ground where family members from all around can come? Or are you thinking maybe a vacation? Destination, wedding. These are all things that you're gonna have to think about. I mean, there is, there is importance in all of them. There are reasons why you would want to do all of them.
Some you want to consider. I mean, are you looking to have something in the backyard where you can customize your wedding and make it perfect? Or are you thinking venue? Or are you just thinking, let's do something small and let's go get married on the beach or in the desert or in the middle of the woods?
I don't know. Something, you know, like these are all things that need to be figured out and factored in when you're trying to figure out your location. This also goes back to the date because you want to figure out your location. Based around weather, based around, you know, general conditions, based around time of year where you want your photography style.
So your location is gonna be very important. Are you gonna get married in the middle of nowhere and have to travel somewhere to take additional photos? Or are you gonna be able to take photos on your wedding venue location? These are questions that you're gonna want to ask yourself, that you're gonna want to write 'em down and weigh these pros and.
This is not none of these five, five subjects. Five things are something that you need to make quickly. These are all questions that you need to sit down with your significant other and try to figure out what common ground you both have on these thoughts. Number four, your guest list. This is important.
Are you gonna have close family and friends and that's it, or are you going to. every single person you've known since third grade math class, cuz you're, and this is something that's gonna have to factor into your budget if you think about it that way, you know, a wedding of 30 people is gonna cost you way less for dinner.
It's gonna cost you way less for drinks if you're buying the drinks. It's gonna cost you way less as far as venue or are you throwing an all out extravaganza with 400, 500 people invited dinner for everybody. The big giant venue, the big giant dj. Are you going all out? This is something that you're gonna have to figure out.
Are you gonna just invite extended family or immediate. or are you gonna invite immediate family, an extended family? Or like I said, are you inviting everybody and their mama? These are important things to think about with your significant other. You gotta really sit down and figure these out cuz these are really, really important.
This is what's gonna make or break your wedding as far as an event. Your wedding is gonna be amazing and beautiful no matter what. Just make it custom, make it about you, about your special. It'll be fine. But these are questions that are really gonna factor the the overall, I guess you could say, business side of the event of the wedding day.
The, the coordination. And speaking of coordination, a little tip. I highly suggest every wedding couple listening to this to hire a wedding planner, hire a wedding coo. They will save you so much stress, I promise you. I promise you, I promise you. Time and time again, a wedding with an organizer, with a coordinator, with a wedding planner, they go so much smoother when you can just tell somebody what you want, tell 'em the budget, and then they just sit down and say, okay, here's this option, this option, this option.
What do you want to do? It makes it so much easier. It makes it so much easier for wedding professionals as. Me as a photographer, I would much rather ask all the little, the nothing questions. If you wanna call 'em that to your wedding planner, instead of bugging you as a wedding couple about random questions that they can answer, that the wedding coordinator can answer, that the wedding you know, the, the event planner can answer.
So think about that when you're thinking about your wedding. And the last thing. What is the most important to you as a couple for your wedding day? Is it the photos? I highly suggest it be the photos. . I'm kidding. Only a little. Is it getting together with family and friends? Is it, are you gonna try to spend as much time with your family as you can?
Are you gonna try to spend as much time on the dance floor as you can? Are you gonna spend as much time drinking as you. These are all things that you really need to think about. What's important for you on your wedding day? Are you going to, what are you gonna focus on on your wedding day? Because trust me, I've done hundreds of weddings, and your wedding day is going to go so fast and be over so quick before you even notice it.
You're in bed passed out just from being so tired, from being pulled every witch direction. So if you can go into your wedding day with a game plan on what's important to you that day and where you wanna focus your a. , it'll make your life a lot easier because if you, if you don't want to spend a lot of time mingling with family and you just want to kind of make your rounds and be able to party or focus on photography, then maybe you're officiant.
You can let your officiant know to make an announcement that you will be around to chat with everyone, but you would like to also have your time with each other. So that's something to think about as well, is where do you want your attention to? These are five steps, five things, five stuffs that you need to sit down and think about with your, with your significant other.
Where do you want your attention to be when it comes to wedding day? Do you want it to be quick, easy? Where do you want it to be? You know, very intimate and this is all things, so you want to focus on your date. Reiterating, what time of year do you want? What kind of weather? What kind of weather situations do you need to think about, about your wedding?
August in Wisconsin is like 90 degrees with just humidity as gross as can be. Florida, same light. So these are things you need to think about, especially when you are thinking about your date and your outfits. So if it's August and it's probably gonna be 90 degrees, you don't want to go with a big heavy wool.
or a big heavy, you know, dress with tons of layers. So this is important to think about with your date. It's not only the date itself, but what is coordinating with that date? Where is the general correlation? Where is your budget sitting? This is another thing. Your budget, your location, and not just general like what venue, but your general location where you want it to be.
Do you want it to be local? Do you want it to be in a neutral ground where everybody has to. Do you want it to be a destination where literally everybody travels? These are things that need, you need to think about and your guest list. Are you doing a big wedding? You doing a small wedding? This is gonna factor into your budget, so you need to figure that out.
And lastly, what is most important to you in your wedding day? This is very important. This is the key one. What's most important to you? It's your wedding. It's your wedding. You get to decide that everybody else just has to listen to you. I want to congratulate all of you. I hope this little 15 minute podcast helps you get some ideas on what you need to sit down with your significant other and talk about.
Like I said, these are important. This is stuff that you need to cover before you even really start planning a wedding. And if you figure these out, if you write these tips down, if you write these answers to the tips, It's gonna make your wedding go so much smoother, it's gonna be so much easier on you.
And once again, hire that event planner if you need help. I know a ton of event planners that I can have you reach out to that I would highly suggest. I wouldn't say a ton that I would highly suggest, but I know a ton and there are some that I would highly suggest. So whether it be in the area or you need me to do some research, I'm more than happy to do that.
I appreciate you guys listening to me today as I sit here in this. Waiting on my daughter to get outta school. I hope this helped. Hope this helped you and you newly engaged couples. Once you have all this stuff figured out, and I don't expect you to like iron clad, have it written down and perfect, and there's gonna be hiccups, there's gonna be issues with the wedding.
The main thing is to think about it and not let it upset you, not let it worry your wet or ruin your wedding. Just go on with it. Have a great day. Have a great. Remember all the good times in it. And remember, your photographer is there to capture these two, so that's important. I'm gonna leave you a little tip.
Hire the more expensive photographer. Well, I shouldn't say that. Hire the one that is perfect for you. Maybe it's not the more expensive one. The only reason I say it's the more expensive one is because most of the reason that they're more expensive is because they have the. And the skill to make sure that your wedding is photographed to tell your story.
And I know that might sound cliche and overused and stuff, but it really is true. There's a reason for that price jump. There's a reason for that. Higher price. And then not even with with photographers. And videographers. Florist. DJs. DJs is a huge one. Spend more money on that. But I will get into. Later, don't worry.
Another podcast. The next podcast, actually, the next podcast is going to be the three things that you need to spend more money on at your wedding day. Thanks again for listening. I hope you enjoyed this. I hope it kind of helped you with your very first stages of wedding planning. And if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know.
I am all over social media. You just have to look up the lasting love or Josh Russell weddings and you'll be able to find. Once again, thanks for listening to the Lasting Love podcast. My name is Josh. If you found this helpful, please hit that subscribe or that follow, or the sub RSS feeds subscription on whatever podcast platform you're listening to, and I will see you guys.
I'll talk to you guys and I'll listen to y'all in the next one. Let's get married.