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  • Writer's pictureAmy

You Got the Ring...

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

(Now let's plan this thing!)

Engagement season was quite the buzz this year. Did you know that there is actually an "engagement season"? It typically falls in the summer months, particularly in July, and again in November and December. After she says "yes", the celebrations begin! And then the fog slowly starts to lift....

"Wait, now we have to plan a wedding...where do we start?"

Planning a wedding can be as much fun and as stress-free as a couple allows but you have to start with two very important things: 1. your guest list and 2. your budget. These two items will shape your entire wedding experience and make sure you're very honest with yourself when considering these two items. Before you ask your best 15 friends to be in your wedding, make absolutely sure that you're in a place with your budget where you can afford to supply 15 bridesmaid bouquets and gifts.

Guest List:

Your guest list needs to be a realistic one. Do you foresee that you'll have a budget that will allow you to invite 300 of your closest friends and family? Remember, when inviting a guest to a wedding, you're supplying them with a chair for each person for both the ceremony and reception, a table for them to sit at, square footage in your venue, a napkin, a plate, fork, knife, glassware, booze to fill said glassware, and dinner. A favor to take home, square footage on the dancefloor because you know you need room for all of your guests to shake it! I could go on. Remember, you're paying for your guests to experience your special day with you. Your guest list will marry your budget. These two will go hand in hand together to make sure that your day has the best possible outcome.


Everyone absolutely dreads putting together their wedding budget. This is something that you have to be completely honest with from the get-go. But the great thing is, once you create your budget, you get to move forward with your planning process! You want to make sure that everything you select for your wedding day is in financial balance. Don't break your wedding budget by selecting a dress that is 30% of your wedding budget. Here's a suggested breakdown:

Attire 7% | Beauty 2% | Cake 2% | Ceremony 1% | Drinks 8% | Favors 2% | Flowers 8% | Food 18% | Paper 2% | Music 8% | Photo 10% | Wedding Venue 18% | Transportation 2% | Planner 8% | Extra 4%

Your wedding planner can help you dive into this further! Once you've put together your guest list and your budget, it's time for the fun stuff! I always love when working with couples we make it past this preliminary part of things and we can move on to booking the big things such as venue, caterer, photographer, and florist. From there it all starts to come to life. Make sure your wedding planner puts together a vision board for you so that you can see it all start to take shape.

When searching for a wedding venue, a venue that offers in-house options can make things incredibly easy for you! At Cotton Hall, we offer in-house planning (hello! it's me), in-house catering, an end of the night getaway car, on-site parking and dressing suites, and so much more.

Contact us today to start planning now that you have the ring!

Amy Lane

Director of Events

843-505-0073 |

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