I’m not a wedding planner… but as an Edmonton wedding photographer over the last few years (and as a past bride!), I love to share little tidbits of wedding planning advice here on my blog. If it’s your first time here, WELCOME. I’m an extrovert and am always thrilled to connect. Before I dive into the two things you MUST do before you book your wedding venue, take a deep breath and relax. I promise that it’s not as scary as it sounds, and what I want more than anything is for wedding planning to be fun. If that’s what you want too, learn more about working with me here. If you are just here for the wedding planning advice (at least for now), I have a lot of it waiting for you on the blog here.
Okay, let’s get into it.
1. Create Your Guest List
Who knew there would be politics in wedding planning? Please tell me I’m not the only one who didn’t see that coming. And while I kept my guest count fairly small (around 60 people), it’s not to say it wasn’t challenging. I quickly learned “If I invite this person, I need to give them a plus one” or “If I invite one person from that friend group I should probably invite them all”.
Let me just tell you – I hope you ignore those thoughts and do what you want.
While there are some courtesies you might want to make (if someone is in a long-term relationship and you can give them a plus one, it’s wonderful to do!), wedding planning is hard enough without adding so many extra expectations.
With that said: you need to have a pretty good guess what your final head count is going to be before you start looking at venues. Not only does your guest list have a pretty big impact on your overall wedding budget (we will get to that next!), but most wedding venues will have a minimum and maximum guest count. It’s tempting to kind of “guess” how many people you want to attend but until you start putting names on paper, a lot can change. You and your fiance should both make a list and you may want to consider asking your parents as well if they want anyone specific there. Ultimately, you should have the final say as to who is invited BUT you also don’t want to be surprised by this information later!
2. Set Your Wedding Budget
Even though wedding stats will tell you that you will probably go over your wedding budget, you still need to make one. And I’m actually the first person to tell you that you actually DON’T have to go over your budget if you are intentional from the start (I didn’t!).
Although you don’t necessarily need an itemized budget from the start, having a general idea of the number you want to spend is important before you start looking at venues. Your wedding venue and catering likely will take up a large chunk of your budget, and since you know your guest count (see step one!), when you look at venues that include catering, you can have a realistic idea of what the final number will look like (and whether the venue you are scouting really fits). Once you have your wedding venue, if you’ve overcommitted it can be extremely hard to change later. My best advice would be to set a budget before getting sweeped up in the more exciting wedding planning tasks.
There are two “types” of wedding venues. One, that includes a LOT and comes with a higher price tag. And then, one that is a lower cost but everything is extra. This might end up meaning you need a large budget for florals and rentals – if you don’t like the look of the space. It’s easy to eat up all of the “savings” you got booking a cheaper wedding venue. Learn more about the types of wedding venues I see in Edmonton here.
What other questions do you have about booking a wedding venue?
Literally – nothing else would make me happier than to share my opinion on just about anything. Okay, kidding! But when it comes to planning a wedding, I know how hard it can be. Especially with these early decisions (and if you’ve never planned a wedding before). I am HERE for you. If you ever have any questions, send me a DM over on Instagram and let’s chat. Or – if you are looking for an Edmonton wedding photographer, learn more about working together here. I would be thrilled to get my camera ready for you.
Ready to start? Here are a few of my favourite Edmonton wedding venues. Promise you did these two things first though!
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