Now that you have that gorgeous diamond on your finger, where do you start? You’re overwhelmed with joy and have been dreaming about this day for quite some time. But, the amount of resources, to-do lists and strict time schedules are nerve-racking to say the least. That’s why we’ve prepared this list of the first 10 steps to plan a wedding so you have a step-by-step list of where to begin!
- Set a Realistic Budget
You shouldn’t begin any planning until a realistic budget has been determined. Don’t even so much as look at anything! We know it’s hard, but trust us when we say to wait. Internet searches can easily suck you in and leave you with high hopes and expectations of must-have’s and can’t-live-with-outs. It’s much easier to sit down with your parents, family members or just the two of you, figure out who is contributing, how much they can contribute and what your total budget will be. This way, you’ll prevent any unwanted stress from choosing items you love that don’t fall within the price range.
We do know that it’s hard to have a general idea of what you’ll need in terms of budget; but that’s what we’re here for! Learn more about our budgeting process here.
- Choose an Ideal Season
Your wedding date is important – for the obvious reason that it is one you will remember for the rest of your life. To begin choosing the “perfect date”, start with what season you wish to marry in. Have you always dreamed of a winter wonderland wedding or a warm, outdoorsy celebration? Use these ideas as inspiration, because they will largely determine and help mold the theme of your wedding. Which leads us to our next point….
- Determine the Style:
Consider the FEELING you want your day to have. Sophisticated? Casual? Traditional? A small dinner party with close friends or a chic cocktail party with the whole gang? Listen to what your heart and gut is telling you, and come up with a word to name it. This may seem silly, but it will make things SO much easier when trying to communicate your vision to your vendors. It can be anything from “beachy” or “glamorous” to something more defined like “Casual Vintage Rustic.” Researching wedding dresses and venues are always a good place to start to help determine the style of your day as well!
- Have an Outlet:
Think exercise, reading, taking a bath, walking your dog or cooking. It’s important to punctuate your wedding planning time with something that’ll take your mind off the big day, even if it’s just for a few moments. Take time to unwind, schedule in some me-time and find your happy place.
Typically, once the newly engaged bliss tones down and things begin to feel real, your next train of thought will probably be, “where will our wedding take place?” While venues are usually booked early on, it’s important to keep in mind that it shouldn’t break your budget right off the bat. It’s understandably easy to get excited and jump the gun on the first venue you see or read about. Take the time to really evaluate a location, what it offers and what you’ll need to bring in additionally. Once that’s determined, it’ll be a much smoother transition to checking off the remaining “to-do’s” on your list.
With the amount of planning that goes into a wedding, it’s important that the entire event is preserved forever with cherished keepsakes to be enjoyed by you and yours for generations. Photographer’s, like your venue, are booked early on and something you’ll want to secure from the get-go. Nail down a budget and try not to stray too far from this number. Hiring a professional is important, but you don’t want to overspend in the beginning of your planning process and find out you need to cut back on something that could equally be as important to you down the road.
- Create your Guest List:
It’s likely that your venue will ultimately have the biggest influence on the rest of your wedding, your guest list being one of them. Once you know the size of the space you’re working with, accompanied by your budget, you’ll be able to grasp a general idea of your guest count. The ability to invite everyone you know is a rare luxury and most of us have to draw the line somewhere. So, schedule a night with your fiancé, grab some wine, and start creating an excel sheet with an A and B list.
- Purchase Ring Insurance:
With all the hype and excitement of your engagement, it would seem natural to run into a hiccup; but don’t let ring insurance be one of them! Being human, it’s easy to make excuse after excuse on why insurance should be placed on hold. But no matter how much your ring costs, when something so sentimental is lost, the small insurance payment doesn’t seem so bad after all!
- Start your Pinterest Board:
Now for the fun stuff! Pinterest can save you money with DIY projects, connect you with wedding bloggers in the industry, provide you advice from previous brides, and allow you to collect images that’ll help bring your dream wedding into reality. Start by creating one Pinterest board that you can pin all your favorite ideas from blogs, stationary sites, dress designers and more. The sky’s the limit! Then after a few weeks or months of pocketing things that inspire you, start a second Pinterest board that’s narrowed down to a more cohesive style. This will be your go-to, final board when it comes time to choosing your cakes, flowers, table settings, dresses and so on.
- Create a Separate Wedding Email Account:
A wedding-only email address is simply a separate email account created specifically for wedding correspondence. Any time a wedding professional or vendor requests your email, you can provide them this account to stay more organized and have it all existing in one place. These emails are also great for signing up for freebies, discounts and coupons so that your personal email doesn’t get overflowed or lost in the mix.
Best of luck on this journey! As always, if you have any questions or need additional help with the steps to plan a wedding, reach out to us today to learn how we can help get you started!