📷 Lockie Photography
🌸Zuzu’s Petals
  6. Keep your budget flexible! Going into planning with a set budget ingrained in your mind will drive you insane! Price is important, but so is the value of what that price tag holds. There are ways to stay close or even under budget, but in todays world where Pinterest and Instagram shove more ideas in our face than we can handle, it causes us to dream big! And girl, that’s ok! This is the BIGGEST day of your life and you shouldn’t skimp or cut corners on anything. I would hate to look back to my wedding and think I skimped on XYZ. Now I’m not telling you to blow your entire budget on your dress or white rose wall, but keep an open mind to all the components you will need to have a successful wedding. Create a list of your top 3 must haves, and put more focus (and money) into those. Whether it be photography, the venue, food, or heck even your shoes….decide on which elements are most important and start there first. No bride wants to save the best for last to find out she has a zero to none budget left for her top priorities!  
📷 Lockie Photography 🌸 Zuzu’s Petals
  7. Read everything carefully! The excitement of booking a vendor can cause you to skip over the important stuff like, a legal binding contract! Contracts suck to read but we need them because, lawyers. Before you sign anything, be sure you are reading and understanding everything that contract or agreement says. If you don’t understand the legal mumbo jumbo, ask them or a friend/parent that does. Ask for a copy so you can peruse it at home. It’s better to know exactly what you’re getting versus a surprise later. Better yet, it’s best to gauge what “bang you’re getting for your buck”. The last thing you want to do is commit to a vendor that doesn’t specify in detail all they are providing. For example, you book a Caterer. Sign the contract and hand over the deposit. What you didn’t do was read the fine print that states “we do not serve food, bus tables, clean dishes, or take out the trash”. Eeeek!!  Now you’re scrabbling to find a company that provides servers/clean up crew. And usually this won’t become apparent until the day of when you see Grandma clearing your guests tables! Perks when booking at Stonebridge, we do all legal reading for you…ain’t no bride that has time for that!
📷 Lockie Photography
🎧 Valley Mix Entertainment
8. Be engaged! The engagement season before marriage is such precious time with your finance! Use this time to grow and learn more about each other, making decisions together and allowing each of you to voice your opinions. The #1 rule in marriage is…compromise! Take a mini engagement-moon to your favorite local city for the weekend. Don’t forget to relive the feeling you had when getting engaged. The planning process will fly by in the blink of an eye and you’ll wish you could do it all over again! Capture memories along the way to the alter.  
📷 Courtney Lively Photography
🌸 Zuzu’s Petals
9. It’s 2017, there is no such thing as tradition. In this day and age, we see more and more untraditional weddings popping up everywhere. Literally, someone I know just had a pop-up wedding ceremony in the middle of the desert with her closest family and friends….it looked ahhhmazing! Whether you have an ultra creative mind or no clue where to start, here’s a tip. Weddings have evolved from when your parents got married. Traditions like not seeing each other before the ceremony or freezing the top tier of your cake for 1 year is fading away (plus, who wants to eat year old cake anyway?). More couples are paying for their own wedding and engagements are lasting longer. There are some traditions that will always be heartfelt, like dad giving away his daughter and your BFF sharing your most treasured and embarrassing memories during toasts. However the days of sitting on the brides side or grooms side for the ceremony and tossing your bouquet are dwindling away. I recently saw a bride taking apart her bouquet and giving a flower to each single lady in hopes they all meet the man of their dreams! In the end, keep what traditional aspects are important to you and with the rest, do whatever you want!
📷 Courtney Lively Photography 🌸 Zuzu’s Petals
  10. I like saving the best for last and this is my biggest tip of them of all! Know what you don’t know! And if you don’t know, make it up! The biggest question I get is “how much does it cost”? Well, what is your guest count? I don’t know yet. What is your preferred month? I don’t know yet. What’s your budget? I don’t know yet….and cue the crickets. It’s literally impossible to ask a wedding professional for a quote if you don’t know what you want. Before you start shopping for anything, especially a venue, you will need to know these things or at least have an idea. Of course, there’s a huge difference in price between a Saturday and Thursday wedding. If you don’t know what your estimated guest count will be, aim high. It’s always good to start high and watch the number decrease than vice versa. Same rule applies for your budget. As described in #6, your budget should be flexible, giving you a buffer for those moments when eloping sounds like the better deal. Do your homework and ask questions! I love when a bride brings her list of “Things to ask a Wedding Venue” because I can confidently answer all of them. When you and your vendor are both prepared, it makes the search so much more exciting. Team work don’t seem work!   Written By: Brittany Fitch | Director of Sales