Wedding Essentials Checklist


Wedding Essentials Checklist - Omaha, NE Wedding Photographer

You said yes. Now What?

I am so glad to have you here today. If you are here on purpose that must mean that you want to plan your wedding in a way that leaves ample time for you to enjoy the engagement. Most people don’t get to enjoy this time in their lives because they are too stressed to do so.  If you are ready to cut stress from the equation, get to work, and hopefully have a little fun while doing it, then keep reading. 

The  biggest season for proposals is December through February. Within those months many of us join the bride and groom-to-be ranks. But, after all of the initial joy and excitement of being asked fades, what are you left with? Many people find that planning big weddings leave them fried and stressed but honestly, at the beginning there is probably still a lot of excitement. Any tried and true wedding professional will have advice for you on how to avoid as much of the stress as possible. This is mine. I’ve been a professional wedding photographer for 5 years and have learned a few things along the way. Now that I live and work in Omaha, NE I have decided to share a few of those tricks with the couples in my new home. I hope you take these essential wedding tips and turn them into a check list for yourself as you go through you planning journey. Or better yet, sign up for my newsletter and get a wedding essentials checklist sent straight to your inbox!

What is the first step you must take to begin planning your wedding? 

Before you pick up one single magazine, or venture into any bridal show, you  must do one thing first. This step will make or break your wedding planning career and will most certainly lead to more stress if you skip it, yet so many do. 


It sounds like a weird thing to put first. Why wouldn’t you just jump right in with a budget and figure out the rest along those lines? It’s true that a lot of people will decide on a budget and them attempt to make every wedding detail fit within that budget. That leaves couples scrambling at the end to finish their wedding essentials checklist and not go over budget. It also creates a Hughe strain when you inevitably go over tat budget, I promise you, you will go over budget. If you take the time to prioritize each essential wedding task , vendor and element, THEN creating a budget to fit the things that are most important to you, you will save yourself a lot of tears and stomach ulcers.

Let me explain.

Disclaimer: I am no wedding planner. I am only offering my opinion based on my experiences as a professional wedding photographer in Omaha. 

” I expect every couple to be realistic with what they can afford in the beginning and prioritize correctly so that they get the wedding of their dreams no matter how big or small their budget may be.”
— Katie - Velvet Sage Photography

Wedding Planning Essentials

The First Step

You’ve been proposed to. You are over the moon. You are so excited you are about to completely combust. You are having such a hard time containing yourself that you make you’re soon-to-be spouse stop at Barnes & Noble on the way home so you can load up on magazines of the bridal variety. By morning you have chosen the perfect cake, the most lavish flowers, and the most extravagant dress. By morning you have planned a $100,000 wedding.  By morning you have given your fiancé heart attack.

I seriously cannot stress enough how important it is to not even think about taking up a wedding magazine or google ANYTHING wedding related until you have had a proper sit down with your fiancé and gone over realistic goals. Nothing hurts my heart and more than to see a bride and/or groom hire an amateur simply because they didn’t account for professional in the beginning. Too many times (several times a day in fact) I see a Facebook post from a bride frantically searching for a last minute wedding vendor  {generally videography, photography or a DJ}. Not only are they searching for these important components last minute, they are doing it with barely a budget at all because they have already spent the majority of their budget and did not prioritize {there is that word again}  their wants needs before creating a budget.

Weddings are expensive there is no doubt about that, there is also no doubt about the fact that there are people who can afford more or less than others. I don’t sit here and expect every couple too be able to afford a $100,000 wedding and get the best of everything. I do however, expect every couple to be realistic with what they can afford in the beginning and prioritize correctly so that they get the wedding of their dreams no matter how big or small their budget may be. So what DO I want you to do? I want to to organize your priorities BEFORE you begin planning your wedding. You may be surprised what turns out to be more important to you.

How do we do this?

Once you have taken a while to soak in what it means to be engaged {that means go out and CELEBRATE!!!}, sit down with your fiancé and write separate lists that contain the biggest priorities you have for your wedding, then compare, then combine. Try not to take it too seriously though and get into an argument about what is more important. This can be the first of many sit down conversations, you don’t have to have your wedding planned in a day. In fact you don’t even have to start planning it for a year if you don’t want to. For now, here are a few simple steps to prioritizing your wedding before you begin planning.

Follow the steps below to get started on your road to wedding planning freedom!

  1. Organize

    Get out some pen and paper, a notebook.  You must both have a place to make a separate list. Talk about what you are going to do, and let each other know that it’s ok to be honest about what wedding essential items you hold most dear.

  2. Write it out

    Start a timer and take 10-15 minutes to EACH write out what you feel is most important to YOU on your wedding day. It is important that you are both fully invested and present for this. DIG DEEP to help decide the importance level of different wedding day components.

  3. Compare

    Do not get your hopes up, your feelings hurt or your pride bruised with this exercise. This is not the time to begin attacking each others ideas or priorities. {aka – don’t laugh if the first thing she wrote down was her makeup, and don’t slap him in the head if his number one priority was the bachelor party.} Take this time to look over each other lists and think about why your fiancé may have written it that way. This is a great way to get to know your fiancé a little better and maybe learn something new. Is there anything that ranks the same on both lists? Does anything come close?

  4. Regroup

    Once you understand your partner’s list you can begin to write a list together and come up with an incredible plan for building your budget. You will both be on the same page and ready to tackle the next marital challenge.

  5. Revisit

    Chances are you didn’t get it all right the first time around. THAT’S OKAY! Perhaps you had an argument over the importance of an acrobat over a fire breather, it happens. Take some chill time and come back to it until you DO get it right. Marriage is a constant compromise and there is no better time to learn it than right now.

  1. Tip: revisit your priority list often and HINT if  “Getting to spend the rest of my life with the person I adore most in this world” isn’t the very first damn item on that priority list you might as well start over.

If this post was helpful and you would like to learn more about working with me I would love to hear from you! Just fill out the form below and I will be in touch!

What is the number one thing that excites you about planning your wedding? What is the thing that scares you the most. Please tell us in the comments below then stop by our social media pages to give me a follow and stay up to date! 

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