As a Boulder wedding photographer, I've been to my fair share of weddings and have been through the planning process myself. Once you get engaged it seems like there are hundreds of decisions that need to be made, immediately. Don't worry, they don't have to be made right that very minute. You have time to breathe, enjoy being engaged and just be together. The engagement season is so short and you deserve to enjoy it. So, let me help you navigate what decisions need to be made sooner than later!
First things first, when do you wanna seal the deal? Before anything else, think about when you want to get married. Don't worry about an exact date. I suggest picking a general date, as a specific date is more likely to already be booked for wedding venues. And there's nothing worse than finding your dream venue and it being booked. So considering a season or general date allows for more wiggle room. Also consider how long you want to save for and plan your wedding. If it is a smaller, more intimate wedding, then 6-9 months is a possibility. However, if you are planning a larger celebration then you will want to have more time to plan. There's also nothing wrong with planning an intimate elopement! Those are generally easier to plan and quicker to get to the alter (so to speak!).
Once you have an idea of when your wedding will be, start talking about your budget. How much do you already have saved, how much can you contribute each month, are your parents pitching in? These are definitely not the fun questions or fun part of planning, but totally necessary. Knowing your budget allows the rest of your planning to fall into place. Find out all the details of what is available to you, then start planning how you want to spend that money. Make a list of your must haves, and plan to spend more for those vendors that matter most to you. Creating a budget may seem limiting, but in reality this is one of the first wedding planning decisions that you can make to eliminate stress and keep you on track!
While this may seem totally obvious, the last few years of madness have changed the wedding world so let me say it anyway. Wedding venues book up quick! Many venues in the Denver area book up to 12-18 months in advance. As a result, you will want to book your wedding venue as soon as possible. Visit venues that are in your budget and see what their availability is for your general dates. Once you book your wedding venue your wedding date will be official. And then you can move on to booking other vendors. This will also be helpful as some venues will provide you with a list of recommended vendors. This doesn't mean you have to use them by any means! It's just a list of vendors familiar with the venue. Keep in mind that some vendors may require you to have your venue booked before signing with you.
Booking Your Denver Wedding Photographer
Similar to venues, wedding photographers schedules fill up about a year in advance. Making this one of the first wedding planning decisions to research and discuss as a couple. However, as an elopement photographer I do leave my books open for last minute elopements. Find a few photographers that you love for their style and then schedule a call to get to know them and their pricing. Then make a decision on how you connected with them personally as well as the quality of their packages.