How To Be Your Own Wedding Planner

If you didn’t know already by reading my last post about what’s currently happening in my life, I’ll let you in on a little (actually, it’s rather big) secret…Look below!


And I could NOT be happier, seriously. “Happy” doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings…being engaged to John is so unreal, so magical, very exciting, and I’m over the moon ❤

>> H E L L O   W E D D I N G   P L A N N I N G <<

IMG_2241After we got engaged, I knew I wanted to get three major things out of the way before we started planning anything else. And those include booking the photographer, finding the venue, and finding the dress. And guess what 😀 I FINISHED ALL OF THOSE THIS WEEK!! Can I get a #getitgirl?!

1. The Photographer
This is the most important thing bar none for me, and honestly should be for everyone planning a wedding. Being a wedding photographer myself, my wedding photos were the one thing that I didn’t mind spending some money on. Besides, they’re the one thing that will be forever remembered over anything else. That being said, I NEEDED an amazing photographer who I know will give me artistic, quality, and unique photographs, and who doesn’t charge an arm and a leg. I found Victoria Carlson on Instagram several months ago, and knew instantly I wanted her to do our photos. We booked our engagements to be done in the PNW where John and I met. I can’t wait to see how she will capture our wedding!

2. The Dress
I knew what style I wanted, knew how I wanted it to fit me, and had  couple favorite dress designers in mind before my mom took me out looking. You can check out my dress pinspiration here 🙂 I found my perfect dress on Saturday by one of my favorite dress designers after only trying on FIVE dresses!! All of which I absolutely adored. The whole process of shopping for dresses was unbelievably easy and smooth, and I’m so happy with the dress I got. I can’t wait to wear it!

3. The Venue
John and I, both loving the outdoors, the Northwest and anything nature, we knew right away we wanted to get married outside somewhere with natural elements, and a rustic/boho/garden feel. I was open to anything outdoorsy, like under some big trees or in a garden of some sort, and there are plenty of open spaces in San Diego that offer just that for pennies. Last year, I had a friend bluntly tell me–regarding my wedding dreams–while she was planning her wedding that in her opinion, “I was crazy for thinking I could do my wedding under 20k, and I’ll never be able to do it without spending thousands.” Though little did she (and many other girls planning weddings) know that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars renting a venue, for food, and on your dress. THAT is cray, my friends. There are plenty of ways to totally save on wedding costs, and luckily I’m well-versed in them thanks to having been a wedding photographer for 8 years! 😉 Stay tuned throughout the next few months to see how our budget is broken down into a cost-effective, yet gorgeous DIY wedding.

In addition to the fun wedding prep stuff I completed this last week since I couldn’t hangout with John (he works nights and sleeps days 4 days a week), I made a wedding binder. Here’s how I laid it out:

BOUGHT A YELLOW BINDER (of course, because it’s my favorite color)
^ I added a couple cute photos of John and I to make it fun 🙂 He wants me to change them to our engagement photos once we take those, but I liked these ones for now.

^ How sweet is this to-do list I found at Marshalls! It came in a huge pack, but I tore off just a few sheets to add to my binder to jot notes on. As for tabs, here’s what I labeled:

Budget (overall, and then for the little things)
Attire (dress, tux, etc.)
Legal (marriage license, name change, etc.)
Gift Log (names and a check box for thank you notes)
Hiring (vendors)
Order of the Day (table seating, programs, etc.)
Parties (reception, engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette, etc.)
New Apartment

For those of you who are also engaged or who know a bit about wedding planning, are there any other tabs you can think of that I should add? Comment below if you have any thoughts! 🙂


^I made this wedding breakdown sheet (which I wrote down things like our budget, themes we like, wedding colors, bridesmaids and groomsmen choices, time of day we want our wedding, our top 3 wedding dates, etc. just to have an overall simple breakdown of how we want our day to look), also made my own bride and groom guest lists, as well as made a list of my top picks for venues even though we already picked one.

^ I found several printables via Martha Stewart Weddings, and I love how detailed they are. I think I’ll use the budget breakdown one for overall costs, but I’m going to make another more detailed budget breakdown sheet that has categories under different sections.

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^ I made this cuuuute printable via wedding chicks to add to the back! I love their free printables and they have such sweet designs.


So that’s it for now! I already feel like this planning thing will be such a breeze, with no stress, and DEFINITELY no turning into a bridezilla. ❤

One thought on “How To Be Your Own Wedding Planner

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