Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20th, 2018
Weddings are expensive, and it’s important to remember that after the guests have gone home, you’ve still got bills to pay. Life goes on. There’s a reason that DIY weddings are so popular these days. Couples want a wedding that is less expensive, and yet, still reflects who they are.
This is your special day and you are inviting your closest friends and family to celebrate it with you. Shouldn’t you go as big as possible where it matters to you? To us, a WTF is created when you decide what is most important to you on your wedding day, and figure out how to make those pieces special.
Do you want to be the prince or princess at your personal ball, or would outdoors and casual more fit you? Are you imagining a “posh” wedding, or does something more rustic appeal to you? Are you going for formal, casual, avant garde? Give these matters some serious consideration, and talk them over with your partner. If you get a good head start, you can often lock in better rates at venues, and many public spaces only charge small fees. Some are even free!
These priorities include location, ceremony (and officiant!), food, DJ, photographer, attire, etc. Actually writing them down is incredibly helpful -- As you work through the wedding planning process, and have to decide how to spend your budgeted amount, referring back to your priority list will help you stay on track.
Unless most of the wedding is already planned, or your budget is very small, meet with several wedding planners to find the one who understands your vision. Wedding planners are the unsung heroes of the day, and they'll do everything in their power to make sure your ceremony is awesome. It's important that you are able to communicate your priorities effectively with them (see number 2!), so that they can help you actualize your dreams.
Yes, a wedding planner can be a big part of your budget, but they're experts in creating a wedding that fits you -- reducing the time you would have spent researching something you've never done before! Your time (and sanity) is valuable, too. For example, do you know all the locations within a 50 mile radius that would hold 100 guests, have a great view of the mountains, allow you to bring in your pet or favorite BBQ caterer, with boutique hotels nearby for all your guests? No? Wedding planners do!
Of course, AMM’s focus is on the ceremony, and finding the perfect wedding officiant should be a priority.
If you're asking a professional wedding officiant to perform the ceremony, this should absolutely be factored in to your budget! But there's another option, too, one we love: Many couples (those who love DIY and those who don't), want a personal and non-traditional ceremony, and these couples often ask a friend or family member to marry them!
If you're asking a friend or family member perform your ceremony, they can get online ordination through AMM, preparing them to perform legal marriages in any state in the US! Next, they can seek expert guidance (by using our Wedding Officiant Training pages) to make sure the ceremony is just as special, and personal, as the rest of the wedding day.
A lot of people assume that marrying someone is all about the, How do we make it legal? side of things. That is very important, but that part is usually surprisingly easy! What you really should be asking is: What pieces go into a ceremony?, What can each piece represent?, What order works best?, and What are the logistics involved in delivering a ceremony?
We’ve got that covered for you! Now, enjoy creating the rest of your WTF (Wedding that Fits)!
Updated March 2021
Written by an experienced professional AMM officiant, Amber Olsen, this valuable guide covers everything from wedding day logistics, writing your own vows, how and where to meet ideal wedding vendors, to obtaining and completing your marriage license – and more. It includes:
• Wedding Day Emergency Kit Checklist
• Wedding Vendor Questions Guide
• How to Change Your Name
Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!