Hi! Meagan here. I’ve been with Inspired by This for the past 6 years. After writing countless wedding inspiration posts and featuring the prettiest real weddings, it’s my turn to get married! Crazy. I wanted to take you with me on this wedding planning journey, so this is the first in a series of wedding planning diary posts we’ll share on the site! Today, we are focusing on the framework of planning a wedding. I’ll get into everything from the guest list to napkin folds, so buckle up and follow along!
Wedding Planning Diary Part 1: The Framework
There are a few big decisions that have to be made when you first get engaged. Obviously 1) When you want to get married, 2) Where you want it to take place and 3) How much you’re willing to spend on it.
My fiance and I got engaged in May and then traveled for a few weeks around Europe (check out some of my travel recaps here and here!). When we got back, we talked with our families and decided on a summer 2020 wedding in LA. My entire family is in Texas, but his family is from Southern California. After living in California for 8 years most of the people we’d invite are in LA, too! When it came to budget, we discussed a baseline number with our parents and then factored in a little flexibility. I’m all too aware that an initial budget is often wildly unrealistic, so I knew that we’d have to be willing to make cuts or spend more where it was needed! Once those big decisions were made, we could move on to the next big step – Finding a venue.
The Venue Search
Working for a wedding blog exposes you to just about every type of venue that exists. I’ve seen it all – From rustic barn weddings to modern ballroom fetes. Narrowing down what we were looking for in a venue took a bit of time! My fiance and I have a very classic meets modern style, so we knew we wanted something that would reflect that. We reached out to about 10 venues in the LA area to get pricing and availability, toured 3, and finally settled on the perfect space for our 8/22/20 nuptials.
Forme Los Angeles is a brand new venue in Burbank, CA that had the perfect indoor/outdoor and classic/modern balance we were looking for. They have a great outdoor space that’s perfect for the reception and cocktail hour, and then a huge white blank slate reception hall that can be totally transformed for your event. We can’t wait to work with our planner and florist to work some magic on this space!
Forme is owned by Jay’s Catering, and we’ve loved working with their team so far. They’ve been so helpful, and trust us when we say that they’ve got this whole wedding thing dialed in. Every question we’ve had has an answer, and we feel totally confident that our every need will be taken care of. We’re stuck deciding between their amazing food stations (A poke bar!? Come on.) and an Italian family style dinner (Because who doesn’t love pasta.). We’ll keep you posted as that evolves!
The Vendor Team
The two vendors we’ve booked so far are our planner and our photographer. We went with Shannon and Vikki from All You Need is Love Events for a few reasons. 1) We’ve worked with them through Be Inspired PR for years, and they’ve always been such a great resource for us. 2) We loved their event portfolio and really felt like they understood our style and would be the perfect team to bring our vision to life.
To photograph our big day, we just had to go with our favorite Sanaz Photography. You’ve seen her work on the site all the time, like this cute Mother’s Day event and this styled shoot in Malibu. We absolutely love the light and bright style of her photography. After working with her on countless shoots and events, I knew we’d feel so comfortable with her behind the lens. We’re taking our engagement photos with her soon, and we can’t wait!
The Guest List
I’m not going to lie – Finalizing a guest list has been the hardest part of this process so far. Deciding on a target number was easy (120), but figuring out who makes the cut has been a struggle. My fiance and I both have large extended families, and someone *cough, cough* has a friend list that could make your head spin. There are so many factors that go into each individual invite that I didn’t realize. It’s been difficult for me as a people pleaser to figure out how to say no to a huge chunk of people. Our system so far has been:
1. Have we had a one-on-one conversation with them in the past year?
2. Do they know the two of us as a couple?
3. (If they’re not local) Would they realistically be willing to travel to LA?
I’m not saying we’ve got it figured out because we definitely don’t, but these few questions have helped us make a few cuts so far. I’ll have to update you in the next post on how we finally get to our goal number (Assuming we actually can!).
Alright, that’s all I’ve got for this first wedding planning diary post! I feel good about the framework we have set right now. Our next steps will be onboarding the rest of the vendors (helloooo florals!) and finalizing that aforementioned guest list. Stay tuned for my next post in a few months where I’ll update you on our progress!