Once all of the excitement surrounding your engagement starts to die down, it is time to get down to the fun part: planning your wedding.
In my opinion, there are three huge decisions you have to make: your dress, your venue, and, of course, your wedding photographer. With so many options available to you, it can seem overwhelming and even exhausting. If you are having trouble choosing a venue, here are some tips:
1. Make a budget and STICK TO IT: Yes, you are going to come across venues that absolutely blow your mind, both for their beauty and their prices. You will make excuses and convince yourself that you can squeeze even more out of your budget than before. However, it will only stress you out later on when you have everything else to pay for and you realize that your venue took up a huge chunk of cash that simply wasn’t there. That is why it is important to create a budget for each portion of your wedding, and then set a maximum amount for each one. Just think: with any money left at the end, if there is any, you will be able to put it towards your honeymoon!
2. Location: While you are the star of the show, it is important to think about where all of your guests will be traveling from and to take their needs into consideration. If you want everyone to come to your wedding, including your cousins twice removed, then you definitely need to keep it within your country, and probably within your state, even city. If you are anticipating a smaller wedding where your guests might want to travel, make sure your passport is ready to go! The world is your oyster and you can find endless places to exchange your vows.
3. Photo Opportunities: While you will be spending most of your time indoors during the reception, your photographer is likely to choose your venue as the spot to take wedding party pictures. When you are scoping out different venues, take a moment to look outside the venue to see if there are any picturesque areas that might appeal to your wedding photographer. Unsure of what would qualify? Talk to him/her before booking your venue, or look for reviews of the venue to see other wedding’s pictures. Last weekend I shot a wedding for Brittany Bekas Photography at the Glen Club in Orland Park, IL. Together we shot Ashley and Matt on the grounds of the golf course where we happened upon this amazing wooded path. Seriously, I couldn’t believe just how gorgeous the shots turned out.