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How to Create and Make a Wedding Budget

How to Plan, Make, Create, a Wedding Budget

First. Honesty.

Modern weddings often cost way too much. It’s true. You know this.

How much do weddings cost? How much will YOUR wedding cost?

It matters AND doesn’t matter. Because really – you CAN get married and have a wedding too. So yeah. How DO you create a wedding budget? How do you make a wedding budget?

1. Do some research.

Most of us don’t worry in any kind of event-facilitation-capacity. Basically – we don’t plan and put on regular events for more than 30 people. So most of us really don’t have any clue about everything needed for such an event, nevermind the costs that are involved. But you will have to do some research and find out what things cost in your area (or the area where you plan on having your wedding take place.) Major vendors such as venues and caterers are easy to find. Start finding price sheets or get quotes just to see what things cost. Even if they’re way out of your target price range – you have some idea of what the ballpark looks like.


2. Decide what you really want to spend.

Don’t let anyone else tell you what you should spend. You decide how much you want to spend and then go from there. Not the other way around. Remember that. Seriously. Remember that.

Also remember that not everything is worth it.

Atlanta Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Phoenix Weddings | Desert

3. Write It All Down.

Don’t hold anything in your head. Don’t estimate if you have exact numbers. Write it all down. Everything. Write down everything related to your wedding that you will have to spend money on. EVERYTHING. Add it up. Add it ALL UP.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | The Barn at HighPoint Farm

4. Decide what is actually, actually important to you. 

Seat covers costing too much money? F*ck em. Hand written calligraphy invitations more than you want to spend? F*ck em. Decide what is important to you and keep it. Everything else – is on the list of things that can be CUT if it needs to be. Those are your two lists.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Rome, Ga. | The Farm | LeahAndMark & Co.


Atlanta. Georgia. North Carolina. Wedding. Photographer. Create. Wedding. Budget. Make. How to.


Creating Your Wedding Guests List (part 1 of 8)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark & Co. | Creating Your Wedding Guests List

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Whether you have 10 guests or 300 guests – you’re going to have to feed them – something. Even if you’re having a mid-afternoon wedding so that you can avoid buying everyone dinner – you’re still going to have to give them at least a few animal crackers and some boxes of Hi-C fruit juice. Of course, that might be looking at things a little harshly.

These are your wedding guests and not just hungry warm bodies that want you to pay $50-$100 per person just so they can party and drink as much alcohol as you’re willing to pay for. They’re your closest friends and family – all of the people that you care about and that most want the two of you to be together. I know – there are going to be people you think you are obligated to invite, and that’s true – you will think that – and that’s okay. Just know that obligated doesn’t mean must.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark & Co. | Creating Your Wedding Guests List

I want you to approach your guests list as if you are making a list of people that you want witnessing your professing of love for each other. You’re making a list of the people you want to witness your marriage ceremony. Not a list of people who will bring strangers (their +1) that will meet you for the first time ever at your wedding. Not a list of relatives you don’t like. I know – that one’s a tough one to accept – but it’s true. Whether strangers or guests – you don’t have to invite people you don’t like. F*ck that. It’s your wedding. Be surrounded by the people that love you both. 

North Georgia | Ellijay | Mountain Wedding | Cabin | Woods | Forest | Vintage | Offbeat |

Surround yourself with people that don’t care about the flowers, or the open bar, or anything other than the fact that they get to be there for the two of you. Those are the people you want. They’re the ones on your guest list. Not the folks that want anything from you. Not the ones that want you to make them feel special on your wedding day. It’s your wedding not theirs. 

Fill your guest list with people that will celebrate your wedding and your love above everything else that day.



All photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

Comments? Questions? Need more information?

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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. How to Create Your Wedding Guest List. Pick. Select. People. Tips. Choose.

How to Make a Wedding Day Timeline (Schedule)

Atlanta Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Phoenix Weddings | Desert

We Make Amazing Wedding Photos for You

If you’re having a very small or a very large wedding, much of the same things will occur. Everyone (including you!) will get dressed, there will be a great and loving ceremony, and then all of a sudden a huge party will break out! Except unlike other events you may have attended – at this one there will be a photographer literally following you THE ENTIRE DAY. Craziness I know.

If you’re not in the wedding industry (lucky you) – then you probably need a little bit of help to create your perfect wedding day schedule and timeline. I mean – when does stuff happen? How long should everything take? You can barely schedule your own regular life, how are you going to create the timeline for a wedding? Especially YOUR OWN WEDDING?

Don’t worry. Everything’s okay. This isn’t a big problem.

We’ve created a basic 8 hour wedding day timeline that you can use for your own template. It’s a traditional (regular) schedule full of awesome that takes into account that you’ll have a first look/portrait session before the ceremony. Of course there’s always flexibility and you can move anything around (and you should) so that you can make this wedding day schedule, YOUR OWN!

It’s your wedding right? YES.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | The Foundry at Puritan Mill

Example WEDDING DAY Schedule and TIMELINE (Eight hours of coverage)

1:00 PM                The Photography crew will arrive and start making amazing.

Don’t worry – the photographers will take photos of everything. No really – they’ll ask for your shoes, and flowers, and jewelry – and of course your dress. They’ll do weird things and put them in odd spots, trying to get the perfect photo. Of course they’ll also take shots of you getting hair and makeup done and getting dressed (tastefully of course!).

2:00                        The Bride Gets Dressed

This is when everyone – especially the people getting married – finish getting ready. No time to waste. Everyone that will be in the shots as the bride puts her dress on – should already be dressed. So that means that if your bridesmaids are going to be in the shot, they need to be done. If your mother is going to be there – she needs to be dressed as well. Hopefully.

3:00                        Groom Finishes Getting Dressed

This is when we photograph they guys side. It doesn’t take long and most of the shots are a bit staged. We don’t need to photograph anyone putting their pants on.

3:30                        The First Look

Your photographer should completely handle this. They should pick the location (unless you are already set on one) and they should direct both of you on what to do.

4:00                        Photos of the Wedding Party

Once your first look and portrait session is finished – then it’s a good time to bring in the rest of your wedding party and knock out those shots as well.

4:30                        Go into hiding.

After your portrait session and wedding party photos are completed – you should go into hiding and cool off/warm up and basically just relax for a little while before your ceremony.


5:00                        GET MARRIED! It’s time for your Ceremony!

Your Ceremony Happens HERE.

5:30                        Family Formal and the Cocktail Hour!

We don’t waste time during the family formals. What I like to tell clients is that I can run through EVERY. SINGLE. COMBINATION. of family as long as THEY ARE THERE. So just make sure that whoever you want in your family formal photos that they MUST BE THERE.

6:00                        Your Photographers take photos of the reception space (while it’s empty and no guests present)

6:30                        Your Reception Starts!

6:45                        Wedding Party makes their grand entrance and the couple goes directly into their first dance!

7:00                        DINNER Service

7:30                        Toasts! Speeches!

7:45                        Father Daughter Dance, Mother Son Dance, Other Special Dances!

8:00                       OPEN DANCE FLOOR!

8:15                        CUT THE CAKE!

8:30                        Toss the Bouquet!

9:00                        Your Photographers Finish Their Coverage for the night.

Wedding Day Schedule, Timeline, Planning, Itinerary Help

Whew. That was a lot. I know – but don’t worry! This is just a sample timeline and if it feels like there’s just TOO MUCH – then take some out. (Well except the time for the photography – NEVER TAKE THAT OUT… just kidding!… sort of…)

That’s just an 8 hour timeline – but you can see how it easily fills up!

There is always plenty of flexibility and if you hire good vendors, they’ll always be able to work with what you have in mind.

Any Questions? Ask us.



How to Make a Wedding Day Schedule or Timeline. Example Timeline. Example Wedding Schedule.