How to Start Planning a Wedding for 2024
How to start planning a wedding can feel like an overwhelming question. And as a wedding and elopement photographer, I love giving my clients as many resources as possible to zap out the burden of your wedding to-do list and replace it with nothing but fun. Because that’s how wedding planning should feel! So if you’re getting married in 2024, this one’s for YOU!
When should I start planning for a 2024 wedding?
That’s a great question!Well friend, the time is now.We are coming up on the 2023 wedding season which means many vendors and venues are booking well into next year. Of course, the timeline of planning your wedding depends on what you’re envisioning! But it’s never too early to get started.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to choose your date. Popular wedding months like May through September are likely already booking for vendors. If you’ve chosen a date with sentimental value (we love that!), you’ll want to start reaching out ASAP!
Another important thing for you to consider is your priorities. What is most important to you and your partner on your wedding day? Is it the location or venue? Is it the photos you’ll look back on forever? Is it about having your loved ones around or more about just you two?
Make a list of what matters most to you and start there. That way you’ll have booked your most important vendors first and can breathe a big sigh of relief knowing you’re on their calendar! Then fill in the gaps once you’ve got the major boxes checked off.
⭐️Pro tip: If you have some flexibility in your date, let vendors know when you inquire! That way you can start the conversation on availability and go from there.
Which brings us to…
Booking Vendors for your 2024 wedding
As an Oklahoma wedding photographer who also travels for destination weddings and elopements, I can’t tell you how important it is to reach out when you find a vendor who feels like they align with your vision.
There is a sea of people involved in bringing a wedding to life and building a team of people you actually like is more important than you might think. It does absolutely make a difference in the experience of your day who you book, so choose wisely.
But how do you choose wisely? Of course, you’ll need to find vendors who fit into your budget, serve in the location you’re getting married, and have your date available, but it’s more than that. Here are a few questions to ask your vendors to make sure they are the right fit!
- How many years of experience do you have in this type of wedding?
- Can you explain a bit about your process from inquiry to booking to wedding day?
- What would you consider your speciality?
- We’re thinking of hiring x, y, z, wedding vendors. Do you have experience working with these types of vendors?
- Do you have any advice for me as I continue the planning process?
For more questions, you can read more on this genius blog by Bridal Guide on top questions to ask your wedding vendors!
Here’s some wedding vendors I would recommend reaching out to as soon as you know you want them to be a part of your day!
- Photographers (it’s me, hi!)
- Wedding planner/Day-Of Coordinator
- Hair and Make-Up
- Social Media Documenter
- Film Photographer
- Photo Booth
- Live Band
How to add some fun to planning your wedding!
From now on, I want you to shift the mindset from how to start planning a wedding day to how to start planning your wedding experience. This process is about so much more than just one day. It’s about all of the days you get to spend with your partner as an engaged couple. Don’t get so focused on the next phase of your relationship that you speed through this extremely fun and exciting time.
You’re getting freakin’ MARRIED woohoo! But what about right now? What about being engaged? Here’s some ideas to add a bit of fun back into your wedding planning experience!
Turn to-dos into date nights! Wedding cake tasting? Yummy date night! Checking out a venue? Date night drinks to celebrate! Searching through wedding photographer websites? Pop some popcorn and put them on the big screen!
Schedule engagement photos! And if possible, schedule them with the same photographer who is shooting your wedding day. This will help you get more comfy in front of the camera, but also give you a chance to develop a friendship with your photographer. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them on your day, so be yourselves and take this time to get acquainted (aka become besties!). Because you’ve built that connection with your photographer before your wedding day, you’ll walk away with wedding portraits that feel authentic and personalized to you and your relationship!
Speaking of engagement photos, here’s a blog to guide you through planning outfits for engagement photos! See what I mean, I’m all about less stress, more FUN!
What are some 2024 wedding trends to spice up your day?
Now, I couldn’t let you run off and continue planning a wedding day without mentioning a few of my favorite trends for 2024 weddings! The previous years have blasted the doors wide open for more personalized, non-traditional approaches to a wedding day and I’m here for it! Here’s what I’m most looking forward to seeing and photographing at my weddings next year.
Day after sessions! In the spirit of less stress on a wedding day, many couples take the pressure off of the tight timelines and opt for a day after session. This gives you and your partner more time to focus on being present, spending time with loved ones, and maybe even just taking a break on your wedding day. We can get ceremony photos, photos with your wedding party if you have one, and candid captures of your time partying together. I won’t have to whisk you away from the reception for portraits (which is what happens most of the time) and instead we can plan a day-after session while you’re still radiating that post-wedding glow!
Have a look at this day-after session blog for details about why you might want to plan one, plus some dreamy desert inspiration from Kari and Bobbie’s photos from Big Bend National Park!
Personalized, unique wedding days! Nothing against tradition, but sometimes classic just isn’t your jam. I’ve seen my couples use their wedding day to express themselves and their unique relationship with each other over the past couple and years and I’m so happy it’s still a trend going into 2024.
A great real life example of a wedding day packed with personality is Willow and Zane’s quirky elopement in Tulsa! They wore colorful overalls and comfortable shoes, invited a handful of close friends and family, then celebrated with their favorite taco take out. Ummm, how cool is that? But more importantly than being cool, it was a total reflection of who they are as a couple. Their advice to you when it comes to planning a day FOR you? “Screw what everyone else is going to think of you, do what YOU want!” I couldn’t agree more. 🙂
Destination weddings and elopements. Okay okay, so this isn’t necessarily just at 2024 trend, but the wedding world has definitely opened their eyes to the limitless possibilities on how and where you can get married. Couples are taking what would normally be spent on catering and decor from a traditional wedding and turning it into insane views and built in vacations. Eloping is no longer a little white church in Vegas, it’s a one-of-a-kind and curated wedding experience for the adventurous at heart!
Want to plan a destination wedding? Check out my advice right here!
Honeymoon sessions! On the same note as destination weddings and day-after sessions, more couples are opting for photography coverage of their honeymoon. Whether that means a family cabin in the mountains somewhere or toes buried in the sand, inviting your photographer along to capture your newlywed bliss in a different setting from your wedding can add variety to your wedding gallery! After all, your entire wedding experience should count your honeymoon too!
Pops of color! For a long while it seemed that neutral tones reigned supreme in the wedding world. But one trend I’m excited for is the return of color to wedding days! Color is a personal choice and everyone has their favorites, so what will you choose?
In my opinion, one of the best ways for adding color to your wedding day is in the florals! Peek at the links below for some color-filled inspo!
- Reds, yellows, oranges at this stunning Tulsa wedding!
- Similar colors, but a whole different vibe at this desert elopement!
Has this helped you answer how to start planning a wedding in 2024?
GOOD! Now go on, get back to planning! But before you go, I wanted to leave you with a little reminder…
Your love story deserves a wedding experience that feels like you. So rather than get lost in the planning checklists, take time to reflect on what you truly want and what brings you both the most joy. The best thing about planning a wedding in 2024 is that there are no rules.
The best part of your photos and memories of the day won’t be the decor or the attire or the details, it’ll be the authentic and joy-filled moments of celebration with the love of your life. You might not find that on those checklists when you Google “how to start planning a wedding in 2024,” but it’s something to definitely add to your must-haves.
That’s why I do what I do – the love, the unfiltered emotion, the preservation of it all into artistic, candid images. So if you’re looking for a wedding photographer who gets just as giddy over your one-of-a-kind love and the way you celebrate it – I’m your girl!