Wedding Planning: Where to Start?

So here we are, less than nine months until W-Day (Wedding Day), and so far I have the groom and the dress. Yep…that’s about it. I’ve been reading magazines like Brides and The Knot. I’ve logged onto and created a wedding website. And we have somewhat of a budget–I just know I’m not dealing with a lot of money, so things are tight.

I would love to have this cake topper, but for $130, that's way too much. (Source:

We did have a friend’s brother do our enagement photos on my parents’ farm. But a wedding photographer? Nope. We have a few ideas, but we haven’t signed any contracts.

Matt knows who he wants for the caterer–a local BBQ joint. So, that’s easy, right? Now if I can just get him to make the phone call and get more information.

A baker? Nope. We’re on the fence about that–we don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a cake, but we want it to be delicious and something special. We are thinking of having a simple 2-tier cake with a sheet cake to feed be able to feed the rest of the guests. And I don’t want anything extravagant. I’m all for a simple icing job (no fondant, please) and then having my mom decorate the cake with flowers like she did my sister’s weddig. It’s simple, but still pretty and pretty on the budget.

A DJ? Nope. We met a couple of prospective DJs at the last bridal fair we attended, but their price is way more than I figured. I don’t need any big, fancy productions or light shows. I just want someone who has a plethora of music in a great variety (I’m talking country, old school rock, hip hop, whatever me or my guests want), with a few lights, and a great personality to be able to host the reception. Also, it’d be easiest to have the DJ provide the ceremony music for a few songs we’re having played.

An officiant? Nope. Well, we thought we had one, that I’ve seen perform a friend’s wedding and I was already comfortable with, but he’s no longer performing weddings. Boo. So now we’re stuck trying to figure how to find someone with a great personality and that we can be comfortable with. But that’s hard when you don’t attend church in the area. We’ve toyed with the idea of having a friend become ordained online, but is that too corny? Or asking for the possibility of the ordained friend being too nervous to perform in front of the crowd?

A ceremony/reception site? Well, we think we have that down. We have the choice between two friends’ horse farms just north of Lexington, we just have to make the final decision and hope the friend is trully, 100% alright with us having our wedding there with a tent and lots of cars and people.

We attended a bridal fair in hopes of being put on the path to wedding planning, but instead I came home overwhelmed and more lost than I was before. I know there’s no right or wrong way to plan a wedding, but when you see wedding shows on television and the bride talks about spending nine months of solid planning, or how choosing the vendors is the easiest part, it scares me more. I have a full-time job, with a packed schedule of running/gym workouts and agility training/trials with the dogs, not to mention come Spring and Summer I’ll start reffing sand volleyball games at the local German bar again (great side gig that I started in 2010–possibly more about that later). So where will I find the time to plan the wedding and accomplish the DIY details I’m going to have to do to try to have the type of wedding I’d like?

How does the everyday, busy, girl plan their wedding when they’re on a tight budget? I’ve never been the type of girl to read bridal magazines before even being in a serious relationship, nor have I ever dreamed about or planned my wedding in my teens.

So here I am…feeling without direction towards what’s supposed to be the biggest day of my life. Ugh.

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