You don't need to hire a full service pro for wedding planning to get the most valuable aspect of their services - setting a realistic budget. Many times, couples underestimate their budget, because people just don't realize how much these damn things cost. Hire a planner on an hourly or a-la-carte basis to discuss your ideas on decor, venue, time, date, and main components of the event, and have them create a budget scenario so you know what to expect. You may decide to postpone the wedding planning until you save more money, or it could help show parents and relatives the true cost and formalize any contributions.
Don't get carried away by Pinterest.
You will see so many great ideas on Pinterest, and the next thing you know you're pinning everything in sight and have 500 photos, that all represent different ideas and themes. Instead, pick your aesthetic (modern? Vintage? Rustic?) and let that guide your venue choice, and wedding decor, and don't get distracted by anything that looks off-theme.
Consider a small bridal party.
Anecdotally, I'm finding more and more couples are doing this. It cuts down on the workload of wedding planning considerably - managing tuxes, gowns, and navigating inner-circle drama takes up a lot of time.
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