I feel your pain, brides (and grooms).  I really do.  You have your ring… now what?  I have been a photographer in this industry for six years now.  I know a lot of awesome Dallas wedding vendors, and have become friends with many of them.  And now, we are just a little over a year out from our ten year anniversary and vow renewal, and I have NO IDEA where to start planning a wedding.

I figured, since I am in the same boat as many of you, I will blog my experience.  Hopefully I can help someone else out in the process — and if you are so inclined, feel free to leave some helpful hints and suggestions in the comments, too.  We can form a little community to help each other out =)

First, I would like to explain why we have decided to have a renewal.  There are several reasons, actually.  One big reason is our faith.  When we got married in 2005, Tim and I were both Christian, but we were not practicing our faith.  In fact, we both fell away for quite some time.  However, a little over a year ago, I rededicated myself to Christ, and Tim has brought Christ back into his life as well.  We have become members of Lakepointe Church in Rockwall, and want to make a public commitment of our marriage to God.  A second reason is that the divorce rate is so high, and so many couples never even make it to their ten year anniversary.  Instead of divorce, we wish to remarry each other and keep our vows close to our hearts.  A third reason for our renewal is that our family will be complete and we want our son to know that he plays a huge part in our family.  We are not just committing ourselves to each other, but to him as well.  Plus, Cody will get to see his parents celebrate the love we have for each other and our family.  How cool is that?  The last reason we want to renew our vows, is so we get the chance to do it ‘right’ this time.  We had an awesome wedding, don’t get me wrong, but we should have gotten a good photographer (I know….) and we didn’t have a dance at our reception.  We didn’t really have a reception at all.  So, this time around, we want to have our first dance (ever) and for us to dance with our parents.

So, this is what I am learning on where to start planning a wedding…

Step 1: Decide on a Budget

We all, obviously, don’t want to spend money unnecessarily, so we ALL are on a budget.  Some budgets are quite significant, whereas, others are not.  Tim and I fall into the later category.  This is a renewal, and we have a child, mortgage, and all that fun stuff… so we do not have the luxury of investing a great deal of cash into our renewal.  Now, that doesn’t mean that we will be cheap.  It just means that we have to make some decisions on what is the absolute, most important items on our list.

Step 2: What is the most important?

Every version of a wedding budget out there is useful to some degree, but they do not take into account what is the most important to each bride.  For me, photography will be the primo spot on my list (obviously…)  So, photography would be a negotiable for me.  I will most likely spend MORE than the recommended 10% of my budget to make sure that my photographer is amazing and will capture everything I want.  For other people, food would be the most important.  Or flowers.  Or venue.  Whatever your priorities may be, make sure you set aside the budgeted amount to make it happen.  There are other places to make up the difference.

Step 3: Gather Ideas

I, like many of you, have started a Pinterest board for my {re}wedding.  I think this is a great place to pin anything that inspires us.  Go ahead and check out what I have so far.  There really isn’t much yet, but I will be adding to it in the days, weeks, and months to come.

My plans so far…

A wonderful friend of ours, Kendyl, will be our coordinator.  I really would like to hold my renewal near water.  A friend of mine recommended the boats that sail on the Harbor in Rockwall!  How awesome is that??  And they are very reasonably priced, too.  So, we could have our ceremony, then go straight into a ‘reception’.  Tim and I would do our first dance, I would dance with my dad, and he would dance with his mom.  Afterward, our good friend and chef will have prepared sushi rolls and spring rolls to pass around as hors hors d’oeuvres for the rest of the cruise.  A nice dinner afterward at one of the restaurants on the Harbor and some sunset pictures would be the perfect ending to the perfect day.

As far as my photographer… we have a really good idea on who we want to choose, but we are not stating it on here until we talk to him/her first.  But that person is amazingly awesome!  =)

What blog post would be complete without pictures?  Here are some awesome details to get you inspired….

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If you are still trying to decide where to start planning a wedding, stay tuned for the next article I write in this series, How to Select Your Wedding Vendors.  I intend on having that one up by next Sunday.

To schedule a session or consultation, please email me at christina@christinatruelove.com or call 469-432-2245.