GO BACK
        TO MENU

        I asked a heck of a lotta brides (45+) to tell me what they wish they knew before, or when, they started to plan for their wedding. Who they wished they would have hired or didn’t hire. If they had tips they wish they had received. And guess what? They had a lot to say, and many said the same 10 things so I wanted to write all their advice here for you. Here are the 10 things to know before wedding planning!

        Read it and weep. Just kidding, don’t weep. I hope this helps you!!

        1. You can’t please everyone.

        This is big and super simple, but for some reason is very complicated. Everyone has their opinions, and they will all tell you what they are. Put yourself first, and prioritize your needs and wants. This will make the day that much more special and meaningful to you and your partner… it’ll also make things a lot less stressful in the end. I know this is kinda obvious but it’s a very important thing to know before wedding planning because you initially start with creating boundaries.

        It’s not selfish to want your day to be your day. You want to look back and love the moments you shared, you don’t want to say “I wish I would’ve ignored them, I wish I would’ve did what we actually wanted.” Just do it!! You will not regret it.

        Do what you want! When your goal changes to please others, you will stop enjoying it! Try and be in the moment, the little details do not matter and it’s okay if some stuff doesn’t go as planned.

        Pfeiffer Beach Elopement in Big Sur Image by Fatima Elreda Photo

        2. Research quotes before forming your budget.

        It’s easier to say “I want to keep this wedding under $6K” before you actually realize how much quality things cost. So, hop on google and do some research first! Then, based on what you see, what you like, and what you think you can DIY, form a realistic budget, and add some cushion for the just-in-case stuff!

        For me it was a huge eye opener after receiving quotes and getting a feel for the prices of each individual vendors talents that we quickly realized our budget was smaller then what we thought was pretty average per google. I’m now finding myself changing my overall vision to fit our budget which to me as a planner is stressful after already having an idea of what I wanted in my head for my wedding. If I was to start all over and had more time to plan then I do, I wish I would’ve gotten real quotes before we sat down and did our itemized budget. That away I could’ve been more realistic with myself with my overall vision. We aren’t even considered what my photographer friend calls a “budget bride” but it’s crazy how everything adds up so quickly.


        Not realizing all the hidden costs and fees for things. You plan your budget, but then there are so many unexpected costs that were not laid out from the beginning. Definitely cushion budget. I would’ve cut costs elsewhere if I knew these unbudgeted items were going to occur.

        Big Morongo Canyon Preserve Bride and Groom Portrait with their details, image by Fatima Elreda Photo

        3. Determine early on what your top priorities are!

        For us it was food, party atmosphere/booze, and photography. It helped put into perspective what was important to us and where we should focus our budget on.


        Be realistic about your budget and stick to it, pick the three things that are super important to you and find vendors for those first, don’t let people tell you what you should find important, be creative if budget is super tight I.e. weekday or brunch wedding can free up lots of vendors and be much cheaper, remember that ultimately at the end of the day this is just one day in what is hopefully a long and happy marriage so don’t sweat the small stuff


        Obviously do only what you can budget wise but keep in mind the places to spend money and do those things big. Photographer because they capture all the memories and moments. Your dress, because it’s going to make your FEEL beautiful and it’s in all of the pics! Bridal bouquet, because these are in a ton of pictures as well. Hair and makeup, get someone good. Your pictures and memories will be what lasts forever so look and feel good in them 😂 everything else goes away pretty quickly!


        A thing that I think should be added to this list of things to know before wedding planning; make a Plan A and a Plan B list because some of your favorite people might be booked way ahead of time. Plan for that!

        10 Things to Know Before Wedding Planning, image by Fatima Elreda Photo

        4. Book the venue in advance!

        Wedding venues get booked a year, sometimes two, in advance! If you know your dream venue, then book it first! This helps set your date and your expected max number of guests, leading you into the rest of your wedding planning!

        Especially if you have a specific date in mind. My solstice wedding on June 22, 2019 (also my birthday) never had a chance when I started planning in October 2018.


        5. Your wedding will not be exactly how you imagined it to be. Hire a Day of Coordinator.

        Things will go wrong! But it’s all going to be okay. Keep your focus on the things that matter most — the fact you’re marrying your best friend!! The little things will not be remembered, they will not matter! So, don’t stress about it. Let things go and let it all fall into place, because it inevitably will.

        I think one of the most important things to know about your wedding day is that it will NOT be exactly how you imagined it to be and some things WILL go wrong and thats OK because your guests won’t notice and neither will you because you will be too busy happily enjoying and celebrating the special moment with your husband and loved ones. The vendors I feel are most important is photographer, videographer, catering, and DOC. In fact, the value of having a really good, professional, detailed, and capable DOC will make or break the flow of your day. Most DOCs prepare a timeline beforehand which is sent out to all the other vendors enforcing them to stay on track.

        Joshua Tree Bridals, image by Fatima Elreda Photo

        6. Regarding the payment of the wedding by family or friends…

        Communication is key! This can be added into your budget to help increase it a little bit. Also, I suggest you have them give you the money directly because most vendors will want payments directly from you! Also, important to note and a thing to know before wedding planning: my contract says although I will accept payment from family/friends as a gift for the couple, my sole contact and communication will remain with the couple. I will not answer to complaints from those who are gifting.

        If you are getting help from parents/family with paying for the wedding, have an up front conversation about how much they are gifting and when they can give you the money. That way you can budget with that in mind.


        7. Stress as little as possible about the details.

        I think the most important thing to do is to remember what it’s like being a guest. What do you actually notice or care about? For me, good food and a cake that’s pretty and tasty, and a fun atmosphere are key. Otherwise, as long as YOU love your dress, YOU are happy with your overall “look” – just have fun! Stress as little as possible about the details. It’s a celebration of love. That’s something that shouldn’t be lost in the details.

        Evanelle Vineyards Wedding Bride and Groom Portraits, by Fatima Elreda Photo (393 of 590)

        8. It goes way faster than you think it will.

        Be in the moment. Enjoy your loved ones, and really just forget about everything else. Your photographer will treasure those moments you’re going to take part in.

        It’s hard but really try to savour the moment. I felt I made the most of my day but it’s all such a blur!!


        9. Don’t put off the little things.

        Don’t put off little things like signage and calligraphy and guest books till the end! Also, bring safety pins, extra Bobby pins and blotting paper! Also bring a tide pen incase of spills!


        10. Read all vendor reviews!!

        And to wrap it up, the last thing to know before wedding planning is what past customers have said after working with you prospective vendor. People will go into detail if they have loved working with them, look for and read the reviews! ALSO, to piggyback this idea, if your vendor don’t suggest it first, ask them to hop on the phone with you. It’s important to click with them to ensure a smooth connection, regardless of what reviews say.

        So what’d you think? Did this list of the 10 things to know before your wedding planning help you? If you have any questions or want to inquire about your wedding with me, please reach out and let’s talk!!

        Things to Know Before Wedding Planning, continued.

        Click here for some more tips on how to plan a wedding written by Wedding Wire! I think it could be helpful, they have a list too!

        And of course! To find more blogs of mine that could help you during this time, click here!

        Fatima Elreda Photo

        Thank You for Stopping By!

        I am a professional wedding photographer based in Southern California. And I’ll go everywhere your love story takes you, whether your wedding is in Scotland, your backyard, or a venue down the street, it’s all worthwhile to me.

        Connection is Important

        Knowing who you are, and truly whole-heartedly liking YOU is so important to me! I love all my couples and can’t imagine approaching photography in any other way. This tremendously helps me photograph your love and personality more honestly.

        I Am Your Storyteller

        I will provide you with an unforgettable experience and top notch quality images that will last a life time, long after every moment has passed. My intention is to take you back to the feelings in your images even years after you’ve forgotten the details. Trust me to photograph the moments you’re going to tell for generations to come.

        Ready? Inquire Here!

        Picking your photographer is a big decision and I am honored that you are considering me for your big day! Fill out the form below and I will contact you in less than 24 hours.