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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.


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.