7 Tips from a Colorado Wedding Photographer: Stress-Free wedding planning!

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When you close your eyes and start imagining the wedding of your dreams, I’m certain you don’t see yourself losing your marbles over a guest bringing a plus one you didn’t invite, right? But as chill and down to earth as you might be as a couple once you start planning your wedding, those details can easily get you and turn your experience into an unpleasant moment. 

Finding a wedding venue, caterer, music, bar service, decor, and even a wedding photographer can be sound really stressful! But there are always ways to lower the difficulties and have a smooth wedding planning process. My experience as a Colorado wedding photographer has taught me a thing or two that I will gladly share with you!

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Start early!

Many of the stress built around weddings have to do with wedding planning requiring time, and couples don’t know how the wedding industry works. You see, wedding planning should ideally start 12 to 14 months before the set date. So, if you are trying to find a wedding venue a couple of months before your big day, chances are you will get stressed out because everything is booked. (Luckily there are quite a few places in Colorado where you can have a small ceremony without a permit and I am happy to help plan that)

But now you know, to find the best venues and vendors for your wedding, you need to have plenty of time. When you get engaged, the time starts running and it’s good to set a date as soon as possible! It doesn’t hurt to research your wedding vendors early on as well. When you have at least a year to plan your wedding, you will have larger options to talk with vendors, meet them, and find one that suits your budget and vision!

Set a Budget!

I cannot say this enough to my couples, and if you don’t set a limit, you might easily get drowned on wedding bills and it wouldn’t be fun to start your marriage off with wedding debt. Before you head to meet photographers, planners, other vendors, and even tour wedding venues, you need to know what you can afford. Set a budget that makes you feel comfortable and have some room for extras too, money is usually one of the most stressful topics when you plan a wedding. 

Always keep in mind your wedding doesn’t have to look a certain way to be right. Your budget will lead the way into the type of wedding you should have, and regardless of the number, it can be as dreamy as you envision. For example, you can organize an elopement with only your dearest friends and family, or you can plan a big wedding focusing on great music, drinks, and food. The idea of having a clear budget is that you are aware of your limits and plan accordingly. 

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Find a way to stay organized!

The organization is so very helpful when planning a wedding! There are a lot of wedding websites and apps that can help plan every step of the way. Get a cute journal or planner so it makes it feel official! Hiring a wedding planner helps a lot with this step but if it’s not in the budget, don’t worry! My biggest piece of advice for you is to make a wedding email! It’ll be nice and easy to keep all the wedding emails in one place so you and your partner can easily access them without getting buried in personal and work emails.

Establish priorities!

When you don’t prioritize, you can soon find yourself choosing expensive fabrics to personalize each cloth napkin for your guests instead of focusing on having the most incredible wedding and party that you always dreamed about. That is why you need to have priorities and stick to them throughout the entire process. 

My advice is that you list the main elements weddings have, and you list them in order of importance individually. Then you can compare and agree to make a joint list. Here are a couple of ideas to list: wedding venue, awesome views, photo-ready spaces, experiences, entertainment, wedding photography, wedding attire, food and drinks, ceremony, decorations, wedding videography. 


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Ask for Help!

Unless you are a professional wedding planner, your wedding might be the first large event you have ever planned, and when you see the amount of work behind such a memorable moment in life, you could feel overwhelmed. But there is no need to walk down this path alone; you can always rely on your family and friends to help you out! That’s what they are there for!

Some of the things you can delegate to them are searching for wedding venues and vendors within your budget, picking up wedding-related items, making online orders, gathering your belongings once the ceremony ends, mailing invitations, keeping track of wedding gifts, and even taking care of DIY projects. Don’t feel bad about asking for help!


Hire wedding proffessionals!

As tempting as it could be to say yes to your cousin, an amateur photographer, you need to know weddings are different from your day-to-day events. A professional wedding photographer knows where to be at the right moment to catch that first kiss or your triumphal entrance to the reception, which are moments that cannot be recreated. The same goes for your catering and even decorations. It is not the same to cook for a family as cooking for 100 guests. I can help point you in the right direction of some of my favorite vendors who will make your day magical if you need a little help!


Take time off and have fun!

Finally, while you plan your Colorado wedding, you need to set some wedding free time for yourselves because your wedding day should be an amazing moment in life and not a constant task that eats all your free time. Have a deadline to end with the wedding plans and take time to enjoy your engagement and some time as a couple before starting your married life. I am certain that if you follow these tips, you will plan the most memorable wedding. With me by your side as your photographer, you will have everlasting memories beautifully captured for generations to come and a lot of laughs along the way!

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