Wedding Planning – The 1st 5 Decisions To Make ✨
Wedding Planning is a wild adventure and it can be difficult to know where to start. There’s a million places to get advice, but for the Lumen Studios, this is were we believe you should start:
I know, I know – they are the worst. BUT I wanna talk about it anyway. When I was wedding planning, I was given the advice to “rank” my priorities. Then, get exactly what you want on the first 3, and make sacrifices for the rest. And, like, okay…that’s good enough advice I suppose. But, I think what happens when you approach a budget this way, is you start to see the list as what is most-to-least expensive………..and that just isn’t the case.
We often get emails from brides that want to spend “as little as possible” on their video. And that’s okay…but video, much like photo, is often a “you get what you pay for” situation. If you want to be truly happy with your photo + video (yah know, cuz they are the only thing that will last, and be consistently used!), it’s important to understand that just because it’s lower on your list, doesn’t mean it will be cheaper. Plus, if you’re willing to compromise on price, you’re going to have to be willing to compromise on quality + experience, too. It’s my job to literally preserve your memories. I work very hard to make sure that all of my equipment is prepared to undertake a job that often ends of being invaluable with time.
okay. the point is…when you start wedding planning and you’re making your budget, it’s important to understand that it may change, and to leave room for it to do so. Budgeting only $1000-$1500 probably won’t get you the professional quality you really want. Leave room for changes because if that seriously heartbreaking Google Superbowl Ad taught us anything, these memories won’t last a lifetime without us.
While I would personally think that’s a little high for the Midwest area, I would typically recommend setting aside between $2500-$4500 in your budget for, good, high quality video, with an amazing experience.
That is, of course, quite a price range. There’s tons of great videographers that book between $2-3k, and there are filmmakers that book much higher than that, as well. Most of our pricing choices come from our experience, equipment, and additional learning. We spend thousands, every year, to make sure we provide the best equipment, and editing services, for your film. We also spend thousands, every year, to make sure that we are continuing to learn and grow our business so that we can provide the best product AND experience, for you to have the best film possible! Keeping a wider range like this in your budget, means you’re going to get exactly what you want in your film, without sacrificing quality, or an experience!
Yeah, I put venue before date. Why, you ask? Because what if your dream venue is already booked for the date you want? When it comes to Wedding Planning, we’re all about flexibility here! I feel that booking a venue for the relative time-period you want is better than demanding a specific date and being heartbroken when it can’t happen. Talk to and tour the venues you want before you nail down a 100% date. Less heartbreak this way.
There it is! The date! Of course this is super important to Wedding Planning and there are lots of factors that go into choosing your dream date. But I do like to throw out a few considerations:
10/10/2020 was the first date we booked for 2020. And since then, I have turned down over 20 inquiries for that same date. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a super cool date BUT if it’s really important for your friends and family to be at your wedding, it might be a good idea to look for a different option. If I’ve turned down that many weddings, imagine how many I haven’t turned down. People are going to be invited to so many weddings on that date, and it will be impossible for them to attend them all. Your guests are going to have to make choices, and I can’t imagine it will be easy for them.
Following the same 10/10/2020 vein, I literally had someone tell me they would pay me double to drop my 10/10/20 wedding in lieu of theirs. They told us we were their dream videographer and they didn’t want anyone else. While I’m endlessly flattered, I have also already made a commitment to another couple, and I will always honor that.
I feel that, before you set a date in stone, it’s extremely beneficial to make sure the vendors you want, are also still available. We want your day to be perfect! Make sure it can be perfect, before you commit!
speaking of vendors….
Ya’ll both of these book up fast – SO much faster than you might think. Often times photographers + videographers will only open their books 12-18 months in advance…but they book them! I currently have a wedding booked for for 22 months away. 22 MONTHS!! That’s insane! (But also I love this bride so much and I am so excited to work with her!)
I definitely think Photo + Video should be one of your very first priorities to take care of! And while you could certainly get lucky with a last minute booking, it’s just not worth it to wait! Get these big ticket items finalized before someone else does!
and last, but certainly not least:
Your guest list can certainly be a big undertaking. But, getting a headstart is so important. Often times guest lists have far more than 1 draft, so starting early and making choices gives you a much clearer picture about what your wedding day will be like. Not to mention, it’s easier to choose caterers, finalize a budget, look at rentals, and so on, once your guest list is ready.
And that, my friends, is the top 5 decision, I feel, are the most important to couples to make first! BUT HEY! If you need a little more guidance, I’ve got that too!