New Hampshire Wedding Tips 

You’re newly engaged and that’s SO exciting! For a lot of couples though, the entire wedding planning process can be confusing at times. When I was a bride in 2018, I can honestly say I had NO idea what I was doing. So now as a NH wedding photographer, my goal is to make sure that all couples understand the ins and outs of weddings and that everyone has the best wedding experience possible! 

So today I’m sharing my best tips for planning your New Hampshire wedding. This post is chock-full of information, so be sure to bookmark it for later! 

How to Plan a Wedding

Step 1: Create Your Wedding Plan 

This is the fun part! If you’re visual like me, I highly recommend using Pinterest as a point of inspiration. When creating your wedding plan you want to decide on the following:

  • Where do you envision your wedding? 
  • When do you want to get married? 
  • How formal will your event be? 
  • How many guests? 
  • What style are you drawn to? What colors? 

These details are all things you’ll want to keep in mind when booking your venue and vendors. Your wedding venue IS the vibe of your whole event (and photos!), so having a plan ahead of time will help you select a venue that fits your vision! 

Step 2: Set Your Budget 

Let’s talk about money. First of all, please know that you can have an AMAZING wedding day no matter what your budget is. If you don’t have an endless wedding budget don’t worry, that’s NORMAL. We all have limits! 

As a couple you need to determine what is most important to you on your wedding day in terms of vendors and then assess your budget from there. For instance, at my wedding, the photographer and venue were my largest expenses. These were the two most important vendors to me so I felt okay putting more of my money there. If you’re a couple who loves to party I HIGHLY recommend putting your investment into a DJ that will keep your dance floor alive all night! 

Here are a few tips to help you save on your budget: 

  • Elope instead of having a traditional wedding
  • Ask vendors if they offer off-season pricing
  • Get married on a weekday 
  • Trim your guest list 

Remember, there are vendors who fit into every budget! Sometimes you just need to do a little research. 

Step 3: Pick Your Venue

Picking your wedding venue is the very start of your wedding planning journey! When you initially start to inquire with venues, keep your budget in mind. When you begin touring venues or viewing portfolios, remember that the vibe of your wedding venue is ultimately the vibe of your entire event and the photos that will be captured. For example, if your Pinterest board is full of rustic inspiration complete with barn photographs and mason jar decor, you will want to pick a venue with similar rustic features. 

Some other things you’ll want to consider when booking a venue:

  • Is there a getting-ready suite?
  • Can guests stay on-site?
  • Is there an indoor option if there is bad weather?
  • Are there any unique rules?
  • Is anything included with the venue? Chairs, linens, etc.?
  • Is there a guest limit?
  • Is it handicap accessible?

Step 4: Book Your Other Vendors 

Now that your budget is set and your venue is booked, it is time to book your other vendors! If there are particular photographers or videographers you love and hope to work with make sure you reach out ASAP. It’s not a bad idea to start the inquiry process as soon as you’re ready to sign your contract with your venue. For a lot of vendors, weddings are on a first-come, first-serve basis. August, September, and October weddings tend to book out 18-24 months in advance as these are the most requested wedding dates!

Step 5: Schedule Your Engagement Photo Session

Now that your vendors are booked, schedule your engagement session! This is a great way to meet your photographer and get comfortable in front of the camera. You’ll get an idea for your photographer's posing/prompting and know what to expect on the wedding day. You probably already know what to expect in terms of their editing style, but it’s always great to see how YOU look with your photographer's style before your wedding day. Although I’ve listed this as step five in the wedding planning process, you can have your engagement photos taken any time after you’re officially engaged! 

If you’re not sure how you would use your engagement photos, here are some ideas!

  • Table Centerpieces
  • Guestbook
  • Invitations
  • Save the Dates
  • Home Decor

Step 6: Announce Your Wedding Date! 

It’s time to announce your wedding date to family and friends! Your Save the Dates serve as the official announcement of your wedding. These generally have just a few details, the invitations that will get sent out later on will have all of the details! 

If you’re planning a destination wedding or getting married on a holiday weekend, consider giving your guests 12 months' notice. If you’re getting married locally or are planning in less time you can send out Save the Dates anywhere from 6-8 months before the wedding. You can order printed save-the-date cards on a variety of different websites. If you’ve already had your engagement session, check out the print shop that your photographer has for high-quality prints and Save the Dates with your photos on them! Here are some other creative ideas for Save the Dates:

  • Magnets
  • “Pencil us in” pencil with your name + save the date card
  • Illustrated wedding photo card
  • Scratch off Save the Dates
  • Polaroid Save the Dates
  • Bookmark
  • Baked cookies with the date
  • Luggage tag
  • Digital Save the Dates

Step 7: Plan Your Ceremony 

You can really have fun with this step. Your wedding ceremony can be as traditional or non-traditional as you’d like! If you’re not sure where to start, your wedding officiant can help you coordinate a wedding ceremony that works well for you and your partner. 

Some things you’ll want to consider when planning your ceremony are:


  • Where is the ceremony location at your venue, or do you need to have the ceremony off-site? 
  • What time will the ceremony occur, and does the venue set the time?
  • Will it be indoor or outdoor? If outdoor, what are your rain plans?
  • Will the sun be in your eyes or your guests' eyes during the outdoor ceremony? 
  • Will you be writing vows?

From there, you can incorporate as many unique elements as you’d like to make it personalized to you! 

{Note - in this post I explain how to apply for a marriage license in New Hampshire! Though this post is about how to elope in NH, the marriage application process is the same.}

Step 8: Create Your Wedding Day Timeline 

It’s almost wedding day! One of the last steps in planning your New Hampshire wedding is creating your wedding day timeline. Your venue will play a large role in creating your timeline for the day. Check with them to see if they have a required start time for your arrival, ceremony time, or reception start time. Those three times will help your hair + makeup artists, photographer, videographer, and DJ understand what time they need to arrive to provide coverage. Also, your hair and makeup artists will let you know how much time they need for each client and you can factor that into your morning timeline. 

As a professional wedding photographer, I make a wedding photo timeline for all of my couples! This is the document with ALL of the much-needed details like the time of a first look or family portraits. 

{This helpful post outlines in more detail how to your wedding day timeline for a summer wedding, and the main points are applicable for all seasons!}

Should You Hire a Wedding Planner for Your New Hampshire Wedding? 

Should you hire a wedding planner? Honestly, I think that everyone could use a wedding planner on their special day, but I totally understand that it is not in everyone’s budget. You might benefit from having a wedding planner if you’re feeling overwhelmed with balancing day-to-day life with wedding planning, have a vision but are not sure how to execute it, or want to make sure you have the absolute best vendors within your budget. Planners have some of the most valuable knowledge in the industry and always strive to help couples have the absolute best day of their lives! Here are two common options: 

Full Service Wedding Planner

If you love the idea of getting married but don’t love the idea of putting in TONS of work and stress to get there, then you need to stop what you’re doing and hire a full-service wedding planner! A full-service wedding planner will help you from the early stages of budgeting and hiring vendors, all the way to coordinating your wedding night (and beyond with some!). 

Day-of Coordinator 

Some couples find joy in wedding planning, which is great! If you feel like you have a good grip on planning, but would like to have someone help everything come together on your special day, you should consider bringing on a day-of coordinator. A day-of coordinator can help your dreams come to life by coordinating the timeline, vendors, and even decor on your wedding day. They are the ones who make sure that everything happens and is on time! Some venues offer similar assistance, but a day-of coordinator will truly step in and handle everything for you on your big day. Their goal is for you to be able to relax and stay fully present on your day!  

Looking for a NH Wedding Photographer?

There you have it! Those are all of the primary steps for planning your New Hampshire wedding. If you are at the stage where you’re ready to book your photographer (or when you get there!), I would love to hear from you! Photographing New Hampshire weddings is my absolute joy, and the best part is meeting amazing couples!

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