Have you ever wanted a step by step list of how to start planning your wedding? Well, you’re in luck! As someone who got married a year ago and had no experience planning a wedding (obviously), I wanted to make a list of things you can do to make the wedding planning process a breeze.
Of course, preparing for the future with your fiancé is a lot of fun. But it also brings with it plenty of stress and confusion and I’m assuming you, too, aren’t very experienced in the wedding planning department. I’ll have all the details below, but first, some advice.
If you’re newly engaged—like brand new, just posted the news on instagram and still getting congratulated everywhere you go—then save this link and get off my blog! You need to take some time to just soak in the moment you’re in. I know I said that this is such an exciting time and you want to get planning, but the whole being-engaged time of your life will go by so fast. You’ll want to process every emotion and soak in every moment so that you remember being engaged fondly. You have time to plan, so don’t worry about it for a little! Just take some breaths and soak it all in.
Okay, ready to get planning? Here’s a list.
Set a budget
Figure out which vendors you want to book first (Photo, video, venue, etc.)
Make a list of things you for sure want included in your day. Things that will make your wedding yours.
Make another list of the vibe you want the day to be. Try to narrow down colors, style, size, decor. This will help you pick a venue.
Make a list of things you’re doing yourself, and things you’ll buy or have others do. Make sure you list those people and what they’re doing. For example, Aunt Marge is making the cake, and your mom is buying all the drinks.
Make a to-do list of all the tasks you have so far! Things like crafts, making the guest list, picking the first dance song, etc.
Book your first few vendors.
Make a schedule. You’ll be editing this a lot over the next months, but start documenting when you’re picking up your dress and getting it fitted, when family comes into town, when your tasting appointments are, whatever you know is happening soon, write it down. You can also start a wedding weekend/day of schedule! Don’t forget to schedule things like a tan, haircuts for the boys, ring cleaning, and the rehearsal dinner.
Decide on your wedding party, and ask them!
Start trying on dresses! You’ll want plenty of time to make alterations. This is also a good time to start looking at what invitations you’ll use.
Figure out the rest of the vendors you need. Don’t forget your florist, officiant, caterer, MC/DJ, decor if you need it, cake, a day of coordinator, and hair and makeup!
Draft your guest list. You can also do this right away to help you figure out a venue.
Write down any jobs that will need to be done on the wedding day. Things like cake pickup, transportation, setup, serving food, whatever you have planned! You can’t do it all, so utilize friends and family who are willing to help out.
Start getting those things on your lists done! Make sure you check off whatever’s finished.
Plan out what you’ll be bringing to the venue, and what you’ll be using that’s already there. Have someone picked out who knows what needs to be packed up at the end of the night.
Make a script for the MC. While they'll be able to improv most of the day, they'll need cues for when to announce your arrival to the reception, when and how to announce dances,
and any other things in the schedule that they will need to announce.
17. Have fun tasting food, touring venues, and soaking in that almost-married feeling!
18. 3-4 months before the big day, send out those invites!
19. Print out copies of the schedule for the day to have on hand. You can give copies to your wedding party, the MC, the officiant, your coordinator, and anyone else who could benefit from knowing what's happening when.
20. Keep up on your lists, ask people for help, have fun, and before you know it, you’ll be happily married and reminiscing on the best day of your life with your best friend by your side. :)
Now get out there and plan like a pro! And don't forget to bring me along with you. When you book me as your photographer, I will gladly walk through the entire planning process with you. It's what I'm here for!