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How to Make a wedding plan Roadmap

Photo by Lenin & Becca Photography

Written by Leslee Layton

Leslee is a wedding filmmaker and owner of Leslee Layton Films. She and her husband Chasen Shaw are the founders of Let’s Revel.

let’s start by saying an experienced professional wedding planner is worth their weight in gold.

Anytime we’re asked whether or not to invest in a professional planner, we will always say, “Absolutely, yes!” A quality wedding planner will lead you through every step of the planning process. This article is the perfect way to prepare for your meeting with your planner, because we’re talking about getting on the same page with your fiancé before you start making plans. If you want your fiancé to have a say in this whole thing, don’t skip this step. He may say he doesn’t care, but maybe he just hasn’t been presented with options that make it easy for him to share his thoughts. That’s what this article is all about. Get yourself a roadmap by setting priorities together.

Why do you need a roadmap?  

When you make a plan with your fiance’ and stick to it, wedding planning becomes easier.

  • You can stay within budget.

  • You can still get exactly what you want without compromising on what matters to you.

  • You can have a polite way of saying “no” to anyone pushing their unwanted ideas on you.

  • You can resist the temptation to overspend on things that don’t matter that much to you.

  • You can avoid arguments with your fiance’.

  • You can be excited about the wedding day and not worn out from planning.

  • You can delight your guests and yourselves with how stress-free you feel.

  • You can ultimately have a better overall wedding experience that you’ll want to relive and remember forever.

Tip #1: Don’t start making plans without a plan.

The newly engaged buzz is the best feeling.  The quickest way to squelch your joy, unfortunately, is to start making plans without a plan.  What does that even mean, you ask? Allow me share a story about what happened to me when I almost completely blew my wedding budget.  It all started with a little forest of candlesticks and twigs on Pinterest.

Chasen and I were quite certain we knew our venue location, a 1920s mansion. The idea took me way down the Pinterest rabbit hole, where I found myself bewildered before I’d even begun.  There were enchanting photos of candelabras intertwined with twigs and greenery. Cool, but probably from a magazine shoot at a Scottish castle. Not exactly my reality. It sure tried to snare me in it’s dazzling claws, though.  Maybe you know the feeling? We ultimately scratched the mansion plan. Too much to decorate. Not our style. Too stressful.

Chasen and I talked it over for several days.  We would get a bit exhausted with the topic and table it for the next day.  Side note tip: Try to discuss wedding plans only when you feel excited about it.  This will help keep this happy thing from turning into a chore.  When you’re at your limit, step away and come back to it later.  I think the idea of searching for a big home in Mexico was born over a couple of Modelos and tamales at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  How appropriate! We thought, wow, wouldn’t it be cool to share a beer with our closest friends and family around a pool in some beautiful big casa somewhere a whole lot closer to the equator than Oklahoma?  We went home and began the search online. We ultimately found a beautiful villa outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We had our venue!

Tip #2: Don’t lock yourself into a venue or date before you’ve made sure your priority wedding pros are available.

I’m so thankful we didn’t lock ourselves into our first venue idea.  We would have completely pigeonholed ourselves. We would never have had the wedding we had.  We wouldn’t have been able to hire the photographer and videographer we wanted if we had gone with our first two ideas.  We would have missed out. We understand the urge to book a venue and date right away, but resist that urge if you can until you do this one activity.  We call it “Co-Creating A Wedding Vision.”

This easy activity saved us so much time, money, stress, and arguments that Chasen and I refer to it as The smart couple’s step-by-step guide to not losing your mind (or your relationship) in the wedding planning process.

I have created printable worksheets that you’ll definitely want to have on hand for the activity. In fact, I’ve put together a complete 13-page guide to take you through the process one step at a time.  And it’s free! Just fill out the simple form in the sidebar and we’ll send it right over!

Tip #3: Carve out an hour to sit down with your fiancé and use the planning worksheets.  (get them from the form in the sidebar)

Resist the urge to include others (like your parents) at this time. Right now, focus on what the two of you want.

Even if you have no idea where to start, we have created this guide to help you go from no idea to a solid game plan for your wedding budget. The reason we strongly encourage you two keep this activity just between the two of you is because it’s too easy for other well-intentioned friends and family to insert their own ideas.  Figure out what YOU want first, then ask for specific advice from others after you know your main priorities.

Because we were in your shoes just one year ago as a bride and groom, we can attest to this method being a lifesaver when it came time to start allocating our limited wedding budget.  There are so many things to spend on, from dresses and suits to invitations and floral, that we would have blown our budget a dozen times without a plan. Thank goodness we didn’t, because our wedding ended up being even better than we dreamed and we didn’t go over our budget.

Tip #4: After you’ve completed the planning worksheet and you’ve co-created your vision together, base all your decisions on the priorities that the two of you decided on together.  

The answers you came up with together are your wedding roadmap.  Use your roadmap. Refer to it every time you make a wedding related decision.  Budgeting. Hiring pros. Wedding day timeline. Wedding party. Guest list. All of it goes back to the plans you and your fiance’ made during the planning activity.  

If all of this sounds a whole heck of a lot better than stressing out, overspending, and arguing about the little stuff, we understand.  And we agree.

I hope this article and the free worksheets that will lead you through the process will give you a start towards creating your own wedding plan roadmap. It’s tried and tested, it saved us money, and it saved us from those dreaded wedding planning arguments. We hope you love it, too!

for your free roadmap worksheets, just fill out the simple form in the sidebar or click here.

What is Let’s Revel?

Let's Revel is educating engaged couples on how to create the wedding experience they dream about but have no idea how to create.  Let’s Revel is soon to launch a web-based solution for engaged couples and wedding professionals frustrated by outdated wedding planning websites.  We are introducing a new opportunity to connect you with certified wedding pros. That means no scammy amateurs, no ghosting, less stress. Only the good stuff. The way the Internet was supposed to work. Click HERE to get the low-down when we launch.

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