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For the record! Planning your own wedding is extremely stressful! To first, plan, then star in your wedding is a tough task! The colors, guest list, catering, decorations, venue, photographer, cake, hair, and makeup artist. Oh, and did and mention your dress!?!, It is absolutely complicated to coordinate all of that. Now throw in maintaining a job and possibly kids, and you're sure to be in over your head!

However stressful, complicated, and over your head doesn't mean IMPOSSIBLE!

Now, by all means, I'm not saying don't hire a wedding planner! That's not where I'm going. Finding an amazing wedding coordinator that's going to bring your vision to life is God-sent! So please, snatch them up! A good wedding coordinator "does it all"! All you have to do is pick your perfect dress, relax, and walk down that aisle! Now that relaxing part is a whole different story.

This blog isn't about hiring a wedding coordinator. Or wedding coordinators in general! This is about the "what ifs"! What if you're getting married soon and can't find a coordinator for your time frame? What if you don't like any of the coordinators you meet? Or let's be honest, What if you can't afford a coordinator?

If any of the 3 apply to you then stay tuned, I'm going to try my best to walk you through this, step-by-step!

1) Write everything down!

This should be a given and I know what you're thinking, "Yea Michael Anthony, this is common sense!". Yea, just like I thought men making decisions regarding a woman's body was "common sense"

If you have a photographic memory that's one thing. However I'm begging you, please don't take the chance! It never works! You have to take this seriously from the very beginning!

First things first, make a checklist. Write everything you want and your "must-haves" down. Now I'm old-school y'all! Nothing beats having a binder! My binder "never accidentally deleted my entire hard drive" or never needed to be "backup to another hard drive"! But I digress, having a checklist helps you with your timeline and helps you track your progress. A checklist also helps you with keeping track of payments. The last thing you want is to get to your wedding day, just to realize you never paid your caterer! So make sure your checklist is made and up to date!

2) Venue

This is the first yet crucial step towards your wedding day! What is the theme for your wedding? Having a theme helps you narrow down venues. Everyone is different! Me personally, I've always envisioned my wedding in Colorado! Now I love the snow! Mix that with a snowy mountain background and you have my perfect wedding! Just with that in mind I know I'll have to find a venue in Colorado that has a nice hall and some amazing spots to take some priceless portraits.

The venue you pick for your wedding day should have your heart from the beginning! It's like falling in love when you see it, you know! As a photographer, my suggestion is always to think about the scenery when it comes to picking your venue for your wedding day. It can be an inconvenience to have to leave your wedding just to get some great portraits somewhere else. So if you wanna be royal, find a venue to fits that! If you want an outdoor wedding, find a beautiful place to say your "I DOs"! And for the love of God CHECK THE WEATHER! Nobody and I mean "NOBODY" wants to attend a wedding outdoors when it's 100 degrees!

The determining factor in planning your wedding date really comes down to the dates that that particular venue is open.

3) Setting a Date

Most people would put this as the number one thing on their list. However, I find that using your venue to pick your date is always the best option. But hey, this part is totally up to you. You can literally pick any day that your heart desires (It's your day)! Should the date of your wedding be well thought out? Of course! Every detail of your wedding should be well thought out. Remember this famous line " If you do it right the first time, you'll never have to do it again"!

It's time to go to your checklist! Take a great look at your list, and check it twice. Your checklist should be the ultimate deciding factor for choosing your wedding date. By having that checklist, you get to map out the details as well as the time it takes to get all of that done. Do you want a fall wedding? Do you want a spring wedding? Check the date, does it normally rain on that day? Do you have enough time to get invitations out? Knowing these little details goes a long way when it comes to deciding your wedding day!

4) Vendors

This is where the real leg work begins! It's time to pick the vendors for your wedding. Wedding vendors break down into five major categories. The caterer, photographer, band or Dj, hair and makeup artist, and the decorator. Let's break down each vendor into individual categories:

  • Caterer

What's on the menu? Trust me, this is a question that every guest asks before or while attending a wedding! This might not be a big deal to you. But after sitting thru a wedding ceremony, and going to the reception, your goal should be to feed your guest an amazing meal! I'm just going to say that it's kind of disappointing when the food is nasty! To help avoid that, here are 8 tips to help you find a caterer for your big day:

  1. Determine a budget.

  2. Decide on a Style.

  3. Start early to ensure availability

  4. Ask your Venue for Suggestions.

  5. Ask social media for referrals.

  6. Read online reviews.

  7. Schedule taste testing for the top 3.

  8. Sign a contract.

For more information visit

  • Photographer

Now, this can make and break your entire day! There's an old saying " At the end of your wedding day you're stuck with two things, YOUR MAN AND YOUR PICTURES! You better hope both are good!" This is where you need to be "PICKY"! A photographer is there to capture one of life's biggest moments! Should you be nervous? Yes! However there's no need to panic, you just have to know where to look and what to look for! I got you! After all, that is why you're here reading this after all! So Let's get started!

Well, it always comes down to your budget! I would never advise you to go above your means. However, I see wedding photographers as an investment! Well, a good one is! Every photographer is not built the same. What is your style when it comes to weddings? How do you want to be photographed? Questions like these from a photographer ensure you that you have someone that values and genuinely cares about your wedding pictures! Here are some tips for you:

  1. Go through their work with a fine-tooth comb!

  2. Check out their reviews!

  3. Check availability.

  4. Set up consultations.

  5. Don't make picks solely based on budget (Cheap isn't always better)

  • Band or DJ

This is the heartbeat of your reception! Band/DJ, Band/Dj, Band DJ, this is an everlasting battle. Do you want live music or do you want a DJ. Both are good options, but unless you have a favorite band, I'd suggest going with a DJ. Finding a decent live band can be hard, depending on the city you live in. I love almost every genre of music (keyword: almost) so thats why I'll always pick a DJ over a band.

So how do you find a perfect band or DJ? First, try to ask around on social media to see what and why people would choose them. Now realize people on social media will give you a their bias opinion, so you have to do your due diligence! If it's a band try going to one of their shows. Or if it's a DJ try going to an event they're at. Either way make sure they're the perfect match. Understand this, the music is and will be the life of your wedding reception. You paid and spent good money for people to be at your wedding and reception the whole time, the last thing you want is for people to become bored and leave your reception because of a poor music choice. So choose wisely!

At the end of the day, having an amazing wedding is every woman's dream. And giving your woman that dream is every man's job! Every decision is vital to that happening. I want you to have an amazing wedding and the pictures to show off for the rest of your life! In my opinion a great wedding takes time to plan, so don't rush it! I hope this article helps you on your path to your big day!

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