Planning Your Wedding Budget

Planning your wedding budget…sounds terrible, right?  Why, oh why, does it have to be one of the first steps of planning your big day?!  It’s probably going to be awkward, uncomfortable, and make you want to hide, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

Planning your Wedding Budget //

While setting the budget definitely has to be one of the first things you tackle when planning your wedding (so the rest of the planning process is amazing and simple!), I’m here to help you dig in and keep it manageable and less uncomfortable.

Pause for a heart check.

First things first: have a heart check moment.  When you think about your wedding day and all the pretty details you’ve been dreaming of, ask yourself a few questions. 

  • Is this detail really important to us? 
  • Will it be memorable? 
  • Will said detail enhance my guests’ experience and/or our experience as bride and groom? 
  • Would I rather have this detail or ___ amount of money to spend on a vacation, down payment, or something else that matters to us?

By thinking through why you want what you want, you can explain why it’s important to you and navigate the cost a little easier.  Who knows, maybe you’ll even trim a few of those “really important” things down when you realize you don’t actually need/want them that much!

Have the money talk.

All weddings are a celebration of a new marriage.  What makes them most beautiful is when they’re a reflection of the couple and thoughtfully designed.  Whether you and your fiance are footing the bill yourselves or your parents or grandparents are contributing, remember to approach “the money chat” with grace.

I love this from Southern Weddings: 

“No matter what, remember to go into any negotiation with a grateful heart, and without expectations or a sassy attitude.”

Remember to be articulate, listen with an open heart, and know that these people love you and want your wedding day to be as special as you do!

Do not go into debt!

I probably don’t need to include this because you’re a smart, savvy couple.  But, just in case: do NOT go into debt over your wedding!  No one day, no matter how happy, is worth starting your marriage off on the wrong foot financially.

You’re halfway through the budget slog!  Sit down to figure out what really matters to you, have a sweet conversation with your fiance and parents if you need to, and make a promise not to go into debt for your big day.  Next week, we’ll jump into prioritizing your budget and which categories to allot money to.

Tell me: what wedding day details are you most excited about?

February Goals

Well, January went quickly.  Understatement of the year, right?  And, we’ve officially passed the due date of babe #2 over here.  As I write this ahead of time, I’m not sure what life will look like this month.  But!  I promised I’d check in on my goal progress each month both to encourage you and to keep myself accountable.  With that said, let’s dig into how January went!

2018 Goals Check-in //

I won’t go into every goal I had for the month because a few of them were mundane/house-keeping-type goals.  A few of the big ones, though, I’m thrilled to say I made progress on!

Stick to our monthly money plan.  YES!  This was huge for us because, as I said at the beginning of January, hubby and I are great at coming up with plans, but horrible at sticking to them.  This might just be the year that turns around–I’m excited!  We were able to stay on budget which allowed us to put the money we wanted to in savings as well as give generously.

Date night with Darren.  Check!  We’ve teamed up with another couple to make this a priority this year.  We’re watching each other’s kiddos so each couple can go out without having to pay for a babysitter every time!  Booking it into our calendar once a month has been so helpful.

Get February and March blogged before maternity leave.  All the praise hands.  This goal was one (way back in October when I started preparing) that I wasn’t sure I’d have the grit to work through and check off.  But, it happened!  It feels like a massive weight off my chest to be able to continue to serve you with thoughtful, valuable content while I’m navigating life as a new mama of two.

Sometimes, you surprise yourself with how capable you are!

Read one book.  This goal still makes me laugh, but I actually have to consciously set time aside each day to read.  Life is inevitably busy, and I always find other things to do or feel I “should” be doing instead of reading.  But, as I’ve found in the past, immersing myself in a book helps me grow by teaching me something or by letting me escape.  Honestly?  It was surprisingly easy this month to read, and I’m grateful for that.  This month, I tackled You Are a Badass, Of Mess and Moxie, and Maybe It’s You.

Create winter/spring family bucket list.  This is one thing I’ve been looking forward to doing for a long time.  We didn’t go too crazy because we weren’t sure what life would look like heading into these seasons, but we did choose a couple of things to do to make some family memories like planting a mini garden and taking a spring family walk.

Meal plan.  This was one of my weekly goals and was a success!  It definitely helped to have a ready-made list of meals we enjoy eating and a rough outline of a monthly meal plan that I made in December.  Finalizing the meal plan each weekend for the week following made grocery shopping and cooking dinner a breeze.  And, because I meal planned, I was able to meet my daily goal of “eat one green thing” happen. 🙂

February goals

February is one big unknown span for me.  I have no idea what it’s going to look like since things will be changing (babies have a way of doing that to you).  With that in mind, I’m keeping my February goals very simple.

Read Chasing Slow I feel like this book will be the perfect book to finally read considering the new busy that I’ll be meeting. 🙂

Print photos of the new baby.  The tag-along goal for this is to scrapbook (yay Project Life!) and Chatbooks the photos right away because it’s way too easy to get behind…and then overwhelmed.  I’ve got a blog post coming up in March outlining how we document our family memories, so, if you’re curious, stay tuned for that! 

Choose client galleries for the new website.  There’s a hint for you…a new look for SSE is coming in a few months!  I knew I wanted at least one “work goal” for the month, but it had to be something that was feasible.  If I accomplish more (which may happen–it did when Dominic was a newborn!), that’s icing on the cake!

Let yourself rest.

Rest and refocus.  Yep, I made myself a reminder to take it easy and give myself the time and grace to figure it all out.  Sometimes, I need the obvious in black and white.

Be open.  My mantra for February is “Be open to it being way better than you imagined.”  My 15-steps-ahead brain has been focusing on dealing with the worst-case scenarios “just in case”, and I easily let myself fall into Negative Nelly territory.  So!  I’m focusing on being open to what’s actually happening and know that it’ll probably be one of the best chapters of my life.

As abstract, present and slow as I’ve made February’s goals, I’m excited about them!  It’s going to be a little weird for me to take it easy because I’m always in a hustle-it’s-naptime mindset, BUT, I’m so very grateful I did the hard work preparing for this leave so I can take it slow if I need to!

I’d love to hear how January went for you and what you’re excited about for February.  Drop a comment below, so I can happy-dance with you!  Seriously, I love being able to share in your joy.

Real Wedding: Cleo + Michael

September weddings are always beautiful, and this wedding was no different!  Cleo and Mike are so poised and sweet, and it was an absolute treat to get to work with them.  They planned their Flamborough Hills wedding from across the country with the help of her mom (who was just the sweetest to work with).

Real Autumn Wedding Ontario //

I never take it for granted when my clients hand over the reins on the wedding day so they’re able to savor every moment.  Many of my brides are Type-A so I know exactly how challenging it is for them to step back.  But, by trusting me, they’re able to focus on other things and, ultimately, enjoy their big day even more.  It’s a large responsibility, but one I take seriously and gratefully because I love helping couples celebrate the beginning of their forever.

Related: Core Value: Celebrate Marriage 

Luxury Garden Wedding //

It’s always fun when clients infuse a bit of their story into their wedding day. These two dentists did just that with their guestbook.  They used the Dr. Seuss Tooth Book!  I love that they added a bit of whimsy to their elegant soiree because personal details are always so special.

Wait until you see the gorgeous images captured by Shawn VanDaele and the floral designs by Kelly from Ooh La La Designs (working with her was as incredible as I knew it’d be!).  The full dream team is at the bottom–so many incredible people I’m blessed to call friends!  Okay, enough talking: let’s get to the photos!

Bride Getting Ready Photo // Wedding Handkerchief // and White Bridal Portrait // Wedding // Exchange Wedding //

How stunning is this church?!  This shot is definitely one of my favorites.  So classic and beautiful.

Cathedral Wedding Kiss // Wedding Photography // Wedding // Garden Wedding // and Blush Bouquet // Classic Groom // Wedding Details // Bridal Photography // Bridal Photo // Wedding Centerpiece // Tooth Book Guest book wedding // Wine Blush Wedding reception // Whimsical Sweetheart Table // Wedding Reception // Elegant Blush Wedding Table // Dance Floor Decal // Dark Wedding Photography //

What a perfect end-of-September wedding!  It was a brisk day, but the sunshine was gorgeous, the couple incredibly lovely, and the celebration one of the best!

Planning + Design: Spunky Sapphire Events // Photography: VanDaele + Russell Weddings // Floral Design: Ooh La La Designs // Venue: Flamborough Hills Golf Club // Linen + Chair Rentals: Simply Beautiful Decor // Dance Floor Decal: Finer Events // Videography: SDE Weddings // Hair + Makeup: Jen Evoy Makeup Studio