If you’re newly engaged, congratulations are in order! Now, you have to start thinking about planning the wedding ahead, so it’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of. And while planning your big day can feel stressful at times, if you start doing it right now you’ll have more time to take things smoothly. The trick is to organize the wedding planning tasks and go step by step. Here are 10 steps to start planning a wedding:
1. Plan your budget
This is an important first step when it comes to wedding planning. If you have a set budget to organize the big day, your dreams will be more realistic. Think about all the costs involved and calculate roughly how much you will spend on each detail, so you can estimate the overall price to pay. According to The Knot, in 2017 the average cost of a wedding was $33,391, excluding the honeymoon. A quick tip: if you can’t have a wedding without your dream dress, no matter what the cost is, then compromise on smaller details like the flowers, for example.
2. Pick a date
Choose 2-3 dates you’d like to have your wedding on. What time of the year do you prefer? Think about the season, work schedules, holidays, and any events that might interfere with your guests RSVPing ‘yes’. You can also think about special dates that might make your wedding even more meaningful – some couples like to celebrate their wedding on the day and month they met, for example.
3. Choose a wedding theme
What are you in the mood for? Think about the season, what you both enjoy as a couple, and what you want your wedding guests to experience on the day. If you prefer something simple, a relaxed beach or bohemian wedding might be ideal; if you prefer glamorous, choose a contemporary theme with a music, lights and dancing.
4. Find the perfect venue
It’s never too early to choose your wedding venue, so book it 12-18 months before the big day. This should be one of the first things in your to-do list, as the number of guests, wedding date and location depend on it. Think about the type of wedding you’re envisioning; do you prefer a castle or a country house? And take other factors into account – do you need to look for wedding venues with accommodation? Will you have your own caterers? Will your wedding be big or small?
5. Plan the wedding guest list
When you get engaged, one of the first things you think about is the wedding guests, and surely you already know the key people that can’t miss your big day. However, once you start thinking about distant family members, plus ones and colleagues, planning the guest list gets trickier. The easiest way to plan your wedding guest list is to first decide how many people you want to invite, then write a full list of guest names, and if your list goes over the set number, you have to do the unpleasant task of crossing off a few names.
6. Choose the wedding suppliers
Even if your wedding venue already provides suppliers, you still might want to take a few details of the big day into your own hands. From photographers to florists, cake companies, and makeup artists – do your research, so you have different options and prices to choose from. This way, you can manage your budget better too.
7. Pick your dress
The dress is one of the most important wedding details for every bride. First things first, decide what type of dress you want: custom-made or store-bought? Bear in mind designer dresses can take up to 6 months to be ready, and if you’re on a tight budget you can always order a dress online at a cheaper price and then make a few alterations. And remember that once you cross this step off your to-do list, you can move on to the grooms wear and bridesmaid dresses.
8. Create the wedding gift list
Don’t be afraid of creating a gift list, you’re actually saving your guests time and hassle by telling them exactly what you want and need. When it comes to wedding gifts, you have different options to choose from: the traditional store list, the online list, or the honeymoon fund. If you choose to go with actual gifts instead of money, make sure to include in your list items that suit your needs, especially if you’re moving in together.
9. Send the wedding invitations
Invitations should be sent 3-6 months before the wedding, and they’re a bigger part of your wedding planning than you might think! They work as the first impression of your wedding, since invitations usually set the wedding theme, together with all the other important details. You can go crazy with the traditional stationary, or make your life easier by sending online wedding invitations that allow you to track RSVPs and communicate with your guests.
10. Book your honeymoon
When the big day is over, you’ll be glad you booked your honeymoon in advance! This step should be fun and less stressful, as you will have enough time to choose the destination and book the perfect hotel. Remember that after all the wedding planning and the roller-coaster of emotions of the big day, you’ll want to have a relaxed honeymoon – an all-inclusive resort is always a great idea.
Now that you know the first 10 steps you need to take to start planning your wedding, hopefully the task will be easier and stress-free! Having a to-do list and deadlines to follow can also be helpful, and remember you can also delegate tasks to friends and family if you need to.
What tips do you have to plan the perfect wedding? Post them in the comments below!