What Should I Do First When Planning My Wedding?

Your wedding is one of the most precious and memorable events of your life.  It is a lot of excitement and fun planning your wedding, but it can also be very stressful.  Some couples hire a professional to help them handle their wedding plans, but there are some who choose to take on the responsibility to plan their own wedding.  Maybe they are working on a tight budget or just love all the do-it-yourself options.  Whether you decide to go at it alone or hire a wedding planner, it is possible to plan a wedding of your dreams and keep the stress level down to a minimum.  Sometimes you have to know how to prioritize and decide what tasks should be accomplished first.

The key to having a smooth wedding planning process is to focus on a single task at a time so you don’t get tired or overwhelmed.  If you find your wedding planning checklist too overwhelming, here is a list of basic steps you need to take first to make sure your big day is a success.  We know there are many items to handle and plan, so focus on the following tasks first to make the rest of your wedding planning a much smoother process.

Set the Wedding Budget

When you think of planning a wedding, the first thing that should be analyzed is the budget. Whether your budget is $2,000 or $20,000, determine the amount you are willing to spend on the wedding.  It may not be the most exciting part of the planning process, but it is the one task that must be done first.  So sit down with your significant other and come up with a general budget and then divide the budget into different parts of the wedding (i.e. dress, food, venue, etc.).

While setting a budget, every aspect and every part of the wedding should be kept in mind.  For the bride, the most important subject is her wedding dress.  With so many options available, there is a wide range of dress prices that go along with those options.  It may be difficult for the bride to pay attention to the budget when the wedding dress options are so plentiful…and beautiful.  But maybe the traditional bridal shop is not the option for you.  As a cost savings, we recommend that you consider buying your dream wedding dress from an online bridal consignment marketplace, such as Yesterday’s Bride.  We have high quality, preowned wedding dresses, and competitive prices.  You will find a plethora of wedding dresses on our website at a fraction of their original retail price.  Visit our website at www.yesterdaysbride.com to take a look around.  Here, you can buy your dream wedding dress from anywhere in the world with the option of having your beautiful gown delivered to your doorstep. We also have preowned wedding accessories and bridal party dresses—we have a little bit for everyone. 

Determine the Size of the Wedding

Estimating your guest list/count is another important part of the wedding planning process and definitely has implications on the overall budget.  When it comes to creating your guest list, there are many factors to consider.  If you have a specific venue or reception in mind, you have to determine how many guests you can accommodate.  If parents are asking to invite their friends and 4th cousin Barbara, you may need to put a cap on their guest list.  Or you can simply ask them to chip in on the cost to cover the guests on their list, or eliminate their list all together if your venue and/or budget cannot accommodate it. Remember, adding extra guests to your wedding means higher expenses as catering costs are usually calculated on a per person basis.

Another area of the guest list to consider is children.  You will need to decide whether you are inviting children to the wedding.  Although they are little people, the venue and caterer may still charge an adult rate.  Keep in mind, if you decide not to invite children to your wedding, be prepared for some of their parents to stay home as well.  Some people may not like the fact that their kids are not invited to the wedding, or some may not have a baby sitter to watch their child(ren) to attend your wedding.  Either way, it’s okay and you shouldn’t let it upset you.  Remember, for whatever reason, even all the people you invite will not be able to attend.

Decide on a Season

Deciding a season is key while choosing a wedding date.  It is ideal to choose a season that is known for its mild climate.  Try to choose the season that brings ease for you as well as for your guests to travel and reach the destination without any problems.  There will be some cons of choosing the most popular season for your area because the demand for locations and wedding vendors are likely to be higher at this time of year. Therefore, some venues and vendors may be difficult to book for your wedding.  Summer months are typically the most popular for weddings.  So if you have a season in mind, go ahead and start thinking of dates, which is discussed below.

Choose a Venue

The venue will become the background of all your wedding photos so you want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with your choice.  Be sure to look at several photos so you can see what it looks like decorated for a wedding.  Also, read online reviews of different wedding venues, visit in person if possible, and try to work with your partner to find the location of your dreams.  You want to ensure that you look at prices, packages, and any restrictions (guest count, alcohol consumption, etc.).  Even if you find the perfect venue that aligns with your budget and overall vision of your wedding, make sure you have a Plan B until you sign the contract. 

Pick a Wedding Date

When you narrow down the season and venue, go ahead and select a few dates.  Have more than one date in mind as your first and second choice may not be available.  Contact the venue to see what their availability is and hopefully one of your date options is open. 

Determine the Style of Your Wedding

It is necessary to decide the style of your wedding.  Choosing a wedding style can be a difficult part of the wedding planning process.  Whether it’s a specific wedding color, seasonal style, or a particular theme, it may be tough to narrow it down.  Deciding the style of your wedding will help you choose your other wedding planning concepts such as decor.  There are many popular themes that can be selected for a wedding—some of the most popular themes are:

  • Romantic
  • Whimsical
  • Vintage
  • Rustic
  • Modern
  • Royal
  • Bohemian
  • Traditional
  • Rustic

We understand that wedding planning can be very overwhelming because there are so many tasks to complete.  But if you utilize the tips above, you will be able to stay on task and really enjoy the process of planning your dream wedding.  Remember, it’s your wedding day and you deserve for it to be a special and beautiful day.