Congratulations, you’re engaged! It’s an exciting time and you know you’re getting ready to plan for an incredible day, but now the questions begin. What do you do first? What order do you book the vendors in? How do you kick off the planning process? Wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming, especially if you get it started off on the right foot. Start with these 5 big items, and you’ll be on your way to an easy planning process!
Make the first draft of your guest list.
You’ll need to have a general idea of how many people will be in attendance before you can start booking anything, so creating a rough draft of invitees is a must. Start by listing out everyone from both sides that you’d consider inviting (don’t forget to include any necessary plus ones!). If the guest count is a little higher than you anticipated, go through the list a second time, and put the people you have to invite in the A-list, and everyone else in the B-list, then add people from the B-list as needed.
Set a budget.
Don’t just say a number and think you’ll stick to it! Sit down with your parents, or decide if you’ll be paying for the wedding on your own, and determine how much everyone is contributing to the day. Setting a budget will help you keep realistic expectations throughout the planning process, and make it easier to book vendors and purchase items without feeling like you’re breaking the bank.
Set your priorities.
Sit down with your sweetheart and decide which wedding categories are most important to you. Is the photography is the most important thing or do you have to have a live band or do you know you care more about the food than the flowers? Whatever you and your spouse-to-be decide, just make a list that you both can agree with, and then focus on booking those first. This way you can budget a little more toward the things that matter most to the two of you, and know that those vendors or items are secured with something that will make you both happy.
Book your venue.
Venues book up very far in advance. Start looking at venues you’d like to check out, and set up tours for 3-5 different places. Check them out in person, get all the details, and ask all of your questions. Then decide with your fiancé which one stole your hearts, and get a signed contract and paid deposit in place.
Set the date.
You may swap the order of this and booking your venue, depending on which matters more to you, but they go hand in hand. Setting a date is a crucial first step in your planning process, and is necessary in order to send Save-the-Dates, start a registry, and start booking vendors and planning the details!
If you start with these 5 things, you’ll have the rest of your planning process under control! As an added bonus, hire a planner to help ease the stress of the planning. Their knowledge of budgets and venues will be extremely beneficial to you, so you can focus on enjoying your new engagement!