July 9, 2024

The FIRST thing to do after you get engaged


Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

Let’s face it. It is easy to get caught up in all of the wedding planning and finding every perfect thing for your wedding day. If you’re feeling a little stressed about all of the decisions and all of the planning then let me ease your mind for a few minutes.

One of the things I like to say to brides is, “At the end of the day you have married your best friend then your wedding day was the best day ever!” We can let sooo many things get in the way of our end goal. It’s easy to get distracted by other things that are special as well, but let’s just start by reminding ourselves that the goal is to marry our best friend.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about how we can prioritize other things for our wedding day. After talking through your budget, here is a checklist for you to go through to determine what matters most:

Make a list of vendors

Here’s an example list for you:











Hair and makeup

Wedding planner

Event rentals / photo booth / etc.


Then go through the list, with your fiance, and rank each from 1-10 (1 being less important and 10 being the most important). You may find that you both care a lot about having a great photographer but you don’t care as much about having a wedding planner. You may even find that you prefer having a band over a DJ! If you and your fiance have different rankings that’s totally fine too. But you both need to come up with a decision about the TOP 3 vendors that matter to you on your wedding day.

Put a dollar amount next to each vendor

After knowing your budget, and knowing your vendor priorities, go through and mark next to each vendor what you are willing to pay for their services. You may find that you have NO IDEA what any of those things may cost so it may be helpful to look at some local vendors to see what their pricing is like before deciding on a number.

After putting a price next to each, add all of them up and see what that final number would be. Obviously, there are more expenses than what is on this list, but this will give you a good idea of where you’re at and what things you may need to cut back on or maybe some things you could increase on!

Northern Virginia Engagement

Lastly, find vendors that are in your price range AND that you would enjoy working with

I have met SO MANY couples who have regretted hiring certain vendors for their wedding because they just didn’t like them as a person. This may not matter for all of the vendors, but for people that you will be interacting with a lot on your wedding (photographer, videographer, wedding planner, hair and makeup) you should pick someone you feel comfortable with and feel like you could be friends. This is especially important for photography and videography because if you don’t like how the person is directing you or how you get along then it will definitely show in the photos and video.

My #1 recommendation would be do hop on a phone call or zoom call with them. Chat with them for a little bit and ask them questions to make sure you VIBE. If not, then move on and check out some other vendors instead. Trust me, if you don’t vibe with the vendor then they probably don’t vibe with you. Personally, I want you to work with someone that you are comfortable with and feel happy to work with! If I’m not that person then that’s more than okay! I’m not going to be a photographer for everyone but I LOVE the couples that I do work with and am so thankful we get to know each other before the wedding so I can really tell their unique love story and have their personalities shine through their photos.

REMEMBER, at the end of the day you are marrying your best friend and THAT matters MOST OF ALL! Happy planning!

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