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Engagement Guide- Plan Your Wedding Like a Pro (Part II)

K'Mich Weddings - wedding planning - here's what to plan first

What You need to do to Plan Your Wedding

First, the Money Talk - read our article on "Before using a credit card"

You can’t plan a thing until you know your bottom line, and “your starting point should be what you and your fiancé can afford, not how much all of the things you want will cost,” says Alexa von Tobel, founder of LearnVest and author of Financially Fearless. Add up the following: how much cash you have and how much of it you want to spend, what you can save before the big day, and how much your parents will contribute. (Go to brides.com/parentsandmoney for how to have that tricky conversation.) “Once you have a number, deduct 20 percent to account for unexpected extras and gratuities,” von Tobel Ahedvises. “Better to give yourself some wiggle room than to find yourself in debt down t road.”

Considering WHO to Invite: DRAW UP A GUESTLIST

Your headcount will impact everything from the venue to the favors, so figure it out ASAP. With your fiancé, create a list in Excel of everyone who must be there. Subtract that number from the total you envision for your wedding, then split the difference between his parents and yours. Build a cushion and let them pick whomever they want, advises etiquette expert Elaine Swann. If your “must” list is bigger than your goal, you’ll need to cut names (use 'the five-year/ five-minute rule') or make peace with a bigger wedding (and find the funds).

Note: If your parents are footing most of the bill, they may want to invite more guests than you’d like—and you may have to let them. Read option 2 for ways around this.

Before you make any decisions, you and your fiancé need to get on the same page. Here's, three convos to consider while you’re still in post-proposal bliss:

1. The Dream-Wedding Talk
Time to compare wedding fantasies! Set aside a weekend morning to discuss your ideal vibe, size, style, and time of year. Go crazy and don’t censor yourselves. Maybe you’re dreaming of an intimate wine- country fete in the fall or a summertime blowout with 400 friends and family on the beach. Look for common ground, and if you want different things, dig deeper, says Elana Katz, a New York City-based couples’ counselor: “Ask him to tell you more about why his ideas are so important to him.” Understanding the meaning behind them could get you on board—or at least help you find a compromise.

2. The Priorities Talk
Now that you have a vision, decide which details you value most. Is it a band that will keep your guests dancing all night? A killer menu to satisfy your foodie friends? An after-party catered by your favorite taco truck? Add drop dead wedding dress? Or a jaw-dropping venue that will make your wedding look grand? Keep these things in mind when setting a budget and picking your venue.

3. Make Sure to SET A BUDGET
Hire a planner to help with partial planning or day-of service if you plan on doing all the planning yourselves. If you need help figuring out a budget, read 28 Expenses to Think About to get you started.

Call for a FREE 30-minute phone consul!

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