Congratulations! You’re engaged. Before you enter the throes of wedding planning, follow this guide. You’ll see how easy—and fun—it is to start planning your wedding.
Talk to Your Family
Your family likely already knew the question was coming—they were just waiting for your significant other to pop the question. It’s time to sit down with each of your families. They’ll have many questions and, no doubt, a few of their own opinions to offer as a guide to planning a wedding.
Now might be a good time to lay down boundaries. Their enthusiasm is commendable, but this is your wedding. Listen to their input and suggestions. They might have ideas that even you didn’t consider, but if one of their ideas just isn’t your style, it’s okay to tell them so.
The Big Picture
The guide to planning a wedding really could go on and on. Start with the big concepts. Who do you want in your wedding party? Will the menu be a plated meal or a family-sharing dinner? Will the reception be in a contemporary urban locale or a rustic-chic space, such as a winery?
Thinking about the major aspects now, such as the guest list or dress, will help you nail down concrete details for the perfect wedding day.
What is your bridal style? Is it an industrial-chic day or a contemporary, glam reception? Do you want a traditional big wedding dress or a fitted silhouette? Will the colour palette follow neutral shades or eclectic, bold hues?
Sit down with your partner and discuss each other’s wedding visions to plan the overall look.
Check out Pinterest accounts for inspiration. Review local food photographers on Instagram for wedding menu inspiration. A certain pattern might trigger an idea, whether it’s for the bridesmaids’ dresses or the glassware used. You’ll be inspired anywhere you look.
You can tell you’ll have a lot to think about, and it’s going to be hard to keep all this stored in your head. Start creating separate checklists and spreadsheets for different parts of the day. If you prefer a hard copy, create a wedding binder with different tabs. If digital is easier, create a file on your computer with specific subfolders. There are even wedding planning apps with pre-set templates to guide you. Use the organization method that fits you best.
There are many ways to stay organized throughout this process. Divide your binder or folder by category, such as venue, menu, caterer, dress. If that doesn’t work for you, separate your information by quotes, vendors, inspiration cut-outs, et cetera.
Create a rough timeline that outlines various deadlines, such as researching and booking a caterer or designating particular weekends to go dress and suit shopping. Scheduling and filing each detail keeps them within easy reach and will help you keep your cool throughout the planning process.
Review Your Finances
It’s time to start a rough outline of wedding costs, marking down the dress, the tuxedo, the venue, the caterer, the honeymoon—the list continues. Ensure your initial budget covers the big items, while leaving space for the little details that crop up. Whether you download a wedding budget guide or keep it simple with an Excel spreadsheet, you want to start designating how much you have to spend and where you’re willing to put the cash.
Once you do start shopping and comparing quotes, you can easily compare how the predicted costs line up in reality. You want to know how much you can realistically afford without spending all your savings. The budget is the foundation in your guide to planning a wedding. It’s not always fun, but it’s crucial to ensuring the big day is everything you want it to be.