Identifying and Working Through Your Wedding Values: Part 1

Hi Love Birds,

Photo Credit: Salt and Sky Studios

One of the first things we do with our clients is have them identify where their wedding values and priorities lie before we get started with the heavy duty planning. We know that there are some things you have dreamed about since you were young. Or maybe there are certain components of the wedding that you want to include because they are specific to your family traditions… but how exactly do you weed out the needs and the wants? That’s what we are here for! In part one of this blog series, we’re going to walk you through how we suggest you can figure out your wedding values. In part one we start with the five topics below that should be addressed first, and in part two (coming next week) we will continue with the 5 last topics. Talk through each section with your partner, deciding which items are needs, wants or “really-don’t-cares”. We suggest doing this in a low-stress manner, possibly over a bottle of wine, to help you both stay on the same page.

Photo Credit: Chloe Moore Photography


Start by conceptualizing your ideal budget. This is ideal, but depending on what you want to include and what items you do or do not consider “part of the budget”, this overall number may move up or down. If someone is helping you out financially with the costs of the wedding, be sure to get an idea of how much they are going to contribute. We know that money is a hard thing to talk about and this can be an awkward conversation, but it is better to get everyone on the same page regarding funds at the very beginning of the wedding planning process.

Photo Credit: Nick Radford


Venue is the biggest decision you’ll make in the whole wedding planning process. Be sure to discuss if you want a local celebration or a destination wedding. Go through what wedding venue elements and venue style you both want and how necessary they are.

Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

Guests List and Overall Experience

You both definitely want to create a general idea for the number of guests at your wedding and how important this is to you. The easiest way to cut down a wedding budget is to cut down your guest list. Do you want kids to come or do you need it to be adult only? Following this topic is what kind of experience you want your guests to have. We know you want everyone to have a good time, but how important is it to you that your guests feel like royalty throughout the weekend? Some couples are set on doing a wedding weekend full of activities. Some of our clients want to keep their flow super traditional while others want to go unconventional. Do you want to provide accommodations for the guests if they are all coming from out of town? Will there be transportation provided for everyone? How important is it that your guests receive have wedding favors or welcome bags? The list goes on and on, but we think you get the idea!

Photo Credit: Next Exit Photography


Now we can focus on what reception details you both prioritize. This is a great time to decide what kind of entertainment you want to have throughout the various sections of your wedding. Is it important for you to have live musicians or performers sprinkled throughout your wedding? Or maybe you are happy to go the DJ route and maybe bring in a live musician or performer for cocktail hour or the ceremony if the budget will allow.

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Overall Style and Design Direction

Additionally, you should go over the overall style of the wedding that you both want, and some design details. These could include decisions on; glassware, china, flatware, tables, chairs, and linens. Or is the reception lighting important to you? Do you absolutely need hanging lights or could you budge with a different alternative? You also should consider what furniture you want to include and whether it is lounge style or vintage rentals. Make sure you discuss what you value in the wedding style. Are there any visual motifs you want to include in your wedding? Or maybe there is a specific flower or floral direction you just love. Go through and remember to create a list of need, want, and “really-don’t-care” for each aspect.

Photo Credit: Next Exit Photography

These can definitely be difficult decisions as you and your partner might have different visions. Just remember what matters most at the end of the day – that you two get to be together forever.

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