So you want to plan your wedding, but how do you start planning your wedding? Where do you even begin? That’s the question I’m fielding today thanks to this inquiry by bride-to-be, Samantha. It’s one thing to plan a wedding, but a whole other thing to decide where to begin. She writes,
“I’m eager to plan my wedding but I have no idea where to even start! How do I start planning my wedding?”
Great question, Samantha — one that many couples wonder about as soon as they get engaged.
There is an easy way to start planning your wedding but it requires you to take a good solid look at three major factors.
Where to Start Planning Your Wedding
Your budget will determine everything about your wedding: it answers the who, what, when, and where of the entire day.
Who is invited
What kind of wedding you’ll plan
When it will be held: peak season or off-season?
Where to host the event
Your budget is everything: use this budget breakdown calculator to figure out exactly how to allocate the budget.
CLICK HERE to start planning your budget.
2. Guest List.
Next, you’ll need to figure out the guest list. Don’t wait on this one: it is a crucial place to start planning your wedding immediately after the budget is set. You’ll want an estimate of how many guests you’d like to reasonably have at the wedding, based on how much is in your budget and how large your families are — as well as what you envision. Do you picture a big celebration or a low-key wedding? Discuss this together and make a guest list you can stick to.
Don’t forget the plus-ones, as well as guests your parents wish to include, if able.
3. Choose Your Priority Item.
It’s like choosing your owna adventure, but more fun and wedding-related. :)
Instead of bouncing around to ceremony venues and reception locations, calling places to see if they have your date available, STOP.
Do this instead.
You need to decide WHICH of the following is the most important to you both. You can only pick one as the top choice, then label the other two as “2” and “3”.
Is your #1 thing…
• The Date
Is it the date of the wedding? Is there a particular date that is especially meaningful to you both? Maybe you want to get married on the anniversary of when you began dating, or you dream of a New Years Eve’ bash, or you want to plan a May The 4th Star Wars wedding. Whatev! If it’s the #1 thing on your list, choose date as your priority.
• The Ceremony Space
Is it a particular ceremony space you want to get married at, whether religious or non-secular? If it has to be at a certain church, synagogue, other place of worship, beachy area, woodland space, etc., and that means the most to you, this is your priority item.
• The Reception Venue
Is the reception venue your most important item on the list? If you have a dream ballroom in mind, a special reception space, a banquet hall, or other area that you absolutely love — with good food as a plus! — make it the first thing you do when planning your wedding.
Here’s why this is an important part of starting the wedding planning process. You can’t have it all: I want you to, but most couples have to compromise on one of these aspects. If you dream of getting married on a specific date, then that is your priority. You’ll need to find the venues that are available on that date — not already booked — and that you can afford.
If the ceremony space is very specific, book it first. Don’t try to book the reception venue and then come back to the ceremony venue, only to find it’s not available on that date. Major bummer.
If you find the ceremony venue and reception site, then realize neither are available on New Years’ Eve for your epic NYE wedding, then dang! You’ll be out of luck.
Okay, now you have the tips: go onward and plan that awesome wedding of yours! You’ll want to look for local venues near you, book your priority item, and then set the date.
Get this checklist when you’re ready for the next steps!
Ahhh, so excited for you!