How to plan the wedding you want (without going over budget).

So you’re here because you didn't realize how intense wedding planning actually is… no matter the size.

Planning a wedding is hard work. Between the phone calls, meetings, appointments, and budgeting, life can start to feel pretty stressful. Oh, and then there’s the actual "living real life" thing that needs to exist in that space, too.


We’ve all seen those “Wedding Budget” infographics from The Knot or Wedding Wire. Blogs or freebies filled with expenditure sheets floating all over Pinterest. Remember: you can also break the mold. Only YOU get to decide how your money will be spent. For that reason alone, it’s important not to regret any of it! So, how can you have the wedding of your dreams, without totally breaking the bank?

It’s kind of my favorite little secret, but I’m sharing it here today because I know you need it.

The answer…


It might seem simple, but  when I talk to my clients about what they envision for their day I get so many different answers. Because we are all so unique, each wedding has it’s own flavor, too.

So before you do anything-- i.e. make a  guest list, decide on a budget, or find a dress, take these steps to help you find what you value, so you can start planning the wedding you’re envisioning.

  1. Set values with your fiance. It might seem odd that I’m asking you to talk about values before you set your budget, but hear me out. If you both value family and friends, but don’t value a large, fancy venue, this will absolutely change where you look. If you value the outdoors, then you have a clearer picture of your wedding day. Outside, under tents, with lights… etc. Is it starting to make sense? If you do value a beautiful venue, but want a very intimate wedding, then maybe this will be where you splurge.

  2. Narrow down your top three. After you’ve decided on the vibe, feel, and energy you want from your wedding, and after you’ve talked about your budget, pick your top three. If you’ve always dreamed of having your wedding at the plaza (totally channeling Bride Wars here), then you know one of your top 3 values is your venue. If you’ve always dreamed of having an intimate outdoor, nature-inspired wedding then I’d say florals would be a good investment for you.

  3. Start noticing your Pinterest trends. This will help guide your decisions. If you don’t have a Pinterest, or barely use it, go on there, make a wedding board and start pinning any and everything that catches your eye. Seriously, go bananas (go, go bananas). Then, sleep on it, revisit it (maybe with your fiance and/or maid of honor). Get his opinion of what he likes too. Ask for help with the trends she sees.

  4. Check in with yourself. Did you talk with a vendor, and it didn’t feel right? Or maybe you’ve had your eye on your favorite photographer for a long time now, but she’s more expensive than you thought. Check in with yourself? Do you value the energy she gives, or do you just like her instagram feed/website (if it’s all-- make space for her!). If you love images, having your picture taken, and value intimate moments of you and your new hubs canoodling at sunset, I’d say you value your photography. And don't forget to ASK YOUR VENDORS QUESTIONS!

If this information was helpful, I have a resource to help you actually plan!

Just click that little button below, and your free Values Planning Guide will be headed straight to your inbox right after we get to know each other on a first name basis! 


Diana Coulter