You just got engaged and the first thing you do is order your first bridal magazine! You see beautiful venues and dresses and find the ones that are exactly what you are looking for! Then you take a look at Pinterest and see so many ideas that you just HAVE to do! After the engagement high slowly fades, it is time to start looking for your venue. You search on Wedding Wire and see so many that you are in love with! After narrowing everything down, you found THE ONE!! Drum roll please...
The highest point in all of beautiful Malibu, California, it is a private residence overlooking the ocean and surrounding vineyards. Everything about it is just perfect! So you click on the website to see the cost...$12,000 for the venue. Okay, no problem! I have a $20,000 budget so will just need to get my dress, floral, DJ, and photographer, and we will be great! Unfortunately, that is wrong. The $12,000 includes the venue and the venue alone. No tables, no chairs, no linen, no food, no shuttle up the long driveway for guests, no overnight accommodations - just the venue.
This is just one example and if you are seeing a venue that you love in a magazine or on Pinterest, generally the cost will be even more than the example I gave you! So today we are going to be talking about
managing your expectations.
Unless you have saved up an amazing amount of money for this wedding, chances are you are in the same boat as the rest of us. You don't have $100,000 to spend on your wedding day so unfortunately, you are not going to be able to afford your "dream" wedding. And I don't mean to put you down, but the quicker you realize that you may not get EVERYTHING you want for your wedding day, the more you will be able to just enjoy the experience!
This is what I always encourage my brides to do. Sit down with your fiancé and make a list of anything and everything you want to see and happen on your wedding day, starting with the venue.
- I want a long aisle surrounded by trees leading to a staircase which we will stand at the
top of for the ceremony
- I want chandeliers throughout the 20ft high ceiling ballroom
- I want a hotel within 5 minutes of the venue that will shuttle all of my guests to and
from the event at no cost
- I want some sort of lake or pond to take photos by
- I want an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception with a separate outdoor area for cocktail hour
This is like your wish list - what would be everything you could ever imagine having at your wedding? From there, we need to start narrowing it down to your MUST-HAVE list.
If everything else were perfect, would you compromise on the 20 foot ceilings and settle for 10 feet? If the staircase was stunning but the aisle wasn't as long as you had imagined, would your wedding still be as
beautiful as you had imagined? Is there a hotel 15 minutes away that would be able to shuttle your guests with ample parking at the venue for those who wanted to drive? Can you party until midnight until 2am if you find those 20ft ceilings you wanted?
All of these questions should be asked before you start searching for your venue or else you are just going to get frustrated...I promise! So come up with a list of 3-5 must-haves for your wedding day and put them in order of importance. If you are able to get 3 of those within your budget, then I would say you are doing quite well!
If I leave you with one thing, it is this. Your wedding day will turn out beautiful and in the end, you will be marrying the love of your life. And the more you stress about finding everything on your list, the worse the experience will be for you. Even if you have $100,000 to spend, there is going to be something at every venue that may not be exactly perfect but that is okay! In the end, it will all seem perfect if you manage those expectations in the beginning!