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The Top 5 Priorities When Wedding Planning

Bridesmaids group photo during Jacobson Park Engagement Photos.

Since I am a wedding photographer based in Lexington, KY who has photographed over 200+ weddings, I've seen it all! Of course, every wedding I photograph is unique in its own way, however there are certain aspects of wedding planning that I think are important for everyone.

Prioritizing these key elements can make all the difference in making sure you have a memorable and enjoyable wedding day experience!


1. Setting a budget

Before you begin wedding planning, set a budget and stick to it.

Without a clear understanding of how much money you have to work with, it can be difficult to make informed decisions about any other aspect of your wedding. And of course, you’ll want to set realistic visions for your wedding day based on your budget. There are a lot of options of online resources that can help you decide how to allocate your spending. Here is a good example of how a wedding day budget can be broken down. However, make sure you adjust your allocated expenses based on your own priorities.

wedding budget chart

2. Prioritizing the guest list

Creating a guest list can be a tricky task, but don’t forget when wedding planning to prioritize the people who matter most to you.

By looking at your budget, you can decide how big or small you want the list to be. Once the guest list is finalized, you will have a better understanding of the size of wedding you are having, which influences all the other decisions, including the size of your venue and budget of your catering.

3. Choosing the right venue

The wedding venue sets the tone for the entire event, so it's important to choose a location that reflects the vibe you are looking for when wedding planning. Don't only focus on location or cost, make sure the venue is in line with your wedding day vision.

From rustic barns to modern ballrooms, there are a variety of Kentucky wedding venues to choose from. I suggest keeping in mind the theme, colors and general feel you’d like for your wedding, then comparing those to the venues you check out. Does your wedding theme work with or against a venue? It’s important that everything flows visually once the venue is decorated.

Also keep in mind that venues are priced differently, and some include more extras and add ons than others. While a lower upfront price might be appealing, factor in any vendors you will have to pay for separately when considering overall cost. Some venues include decor, tables and chairs and even catering. A larger upfront cost may seem scary, but it could save you in the long run if the venue is all inclusive.

Here are some venues I recommend

  • The Kentucky Castle: Located in Versailles, the Kentucky Castle is a stunning venue that has classic elegance. With breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, it's the perfect choice for a unique fairytale wedding. This is a popular destination wedding location.
  • The Apiary: This historic venue in downtown Lexington features a charming courtyard and a restored mansion that provides a picturesque setting for a wedding. With its classic southern charm, The Apiary is a popular choice for couples looking for a unique and romantic venue. And their catering is the best in the state.
  • The Barn at Cedar Grove: If you're looking for a rustic, country-inspired venue, The Barn at Cedar Grove in Greensburg is a great option. With its photogenic barn, sprawling fields, and beautiful pond, it's the perfect choice for a laid-back wedding.

4. Selecting the right vendors

From florists to caterers to entertainment, choosing the right vendors is essential to making sure your wedding day goes as planned.

When wedding planning, it's important to select vendors who relate to and understand your vibe for the wedding day and can execute it flawlessly. Look at online reviews, ask around for recommendations and talk to the vendors before you hire them. Wedding days can be complicated and challenging, even for the seasoned wedding vendor, so find businesses who have plenty of experience and are knowledgeable and confident about their part of the day.

For those who will have a personal hand in your wedding day, like photographers and videographers, I suggest you meet with them in person to ensure you like their personality, as they will be with you all day at your wedding.

Here are some vendors I recommend

  • Florist: Carol Lynn Events is a Lexington-based florist, which was established in 1945, creates stunning and unique arrangements using exemplary flowers for every event . They can work with you to create a customized floral plan that fits your vision and budget.
  • Caterer: Bayou Bluegrass Catering is a locally-owned catering company that specializes in creating delicious and memorable meals for weddings. From classic southern cuisine to international flavors, they can create a menu that reflects your tastes and preferences.
  • DJ Entertainment: For the party atmosphere that adds a fun touch to your wedding day, check out Riptide Productions. This energetic and talented DJ, Matt, can play a wide range of genres and will keep your guests dancing all night long.

5. Planning for the unexpected

Despite meticulous wedding planning, unexpected situations can arise on the wedding day.

Whether it's inclement weather or unexpected changes in the guest list, it's important to have contingency plans in place to ensure that the day runs smoothly. Make a list of problems you think could arise and make sure to discuss those potential snags with your vendors. An experienced vendor should be able to guide you and help calm any wedding day worries you might have.

Bonus tip- have fun!

Trust me, I know planning a wedding can be a stressful and overwhelming process, but by prioritizing certain aspects of the wedding planning process and incorporating personal style and preferences, you can create a truly memorable and unique wedding day. 

Remember to have fun with the wedding planning process, and don't be afraid to get creative and think outside the box. At the end of the day, your wedding day should reflect you and your love story, so focus on having fun while creating the perfect day for you and your partner!

Interested in having me photograph your wedding? Let's chat about your special day! Schedule a meeting with Bourbon & Brides.

Contact me now for more information

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