How to Begin Planning Your Wedding

In getting started with planning your wedding, let’s talk big picture: what you think of when you think of wedding and where and when that might all take place. You don’t need to make decisions in this phase, but as you walk through the steps below let the image of what your wedding might look like start to form.

FIRST STEPS: THINKING BIG PICTURE

When you envision your dream wedding, what does it look like? Big and fancy? Small and intimate? Homespun and DIY? If you go further from there, what do you zero in on? Chances are you already know what’s important to you, but now can also be a good time to start jotting that down.

Event stylist Jenn Elliott Blake encourages couples to “start by setting priorities. Ask yourself what’s most important to you when imagining the celebration of your wedding day. Is it great food? Incorporating family traditions? Beautiful flowers? A cake from the bakery you’ve always bought every celebration cake you’ve ever eaten from? Set your top three priorities for your day and start there.”

Don’t worry about specifics yet, just think big picture. Whatever it is, we’ll call these your Top Three Things, and you’ll refer back to them whenever you have a big decision to make or it feels like things are getting overwhelming.

Start with the list below:

  • The Perfect Venue
  • Delicious Decor
  • Amazing Food & Drink
  • Lots of Friends & Family
  • Flawless Hair & Makeup
  • Magnificent Music
  • Incredible Photos and Video
  • Dressed to the Nines
  • Your Dream Vacation
  • Fantastic Florals
  • Amazing Assistants

Don’t overthink these. There’s a chance they may change as you jump into the thick of things. But getting an initial idea of what matters to you will help the rest of the pieces come together. Knowing your priorities will also help you determine where to allocate your budget when selecting vendors and decorations, and it will give you a better idea of the experience you’re trying to create both for yourselves and for your guests.

THE WHEN: CHOOSING A WEDDING DATE

Once you have an idea of what your priorities are, you can begin to think about when you’d like to walk down that aisle.

In a nutshell, you’re looking for the date when the right people and the right place are available at the right price. In other words, when you should get married is determined by who you want to be there, who you want to officiate, where you want to hold the ceremony, and how much it all costs.

If you already have your heart set on a specific venue or a specific officiant, the availability of those things will affect when you’re able to get married. If not, you can start by thinking about the ideal season of your wedding (busy season is May through October and venues tend to be more expensive in those months, whereas November through April tend to be less busy and therefore less expensive), whether you want to be married indoors or outdoors, and a general location.

You might only be able to narrow down a location as far as “my fiancé’s hometown or the city we live in now,” and that’s OK. At least you have a general starting point for your venue search, which will help in setting a date.

GETTING ON THE SAME PAGE

While you’re identifying your Top Three Things and the emotions you want to evoke on your wedding day it might also help to walk through the questions below.

  • Do we feel strongly about being married in a house of worship?
  • Who do we want to marry us?
  • Do we want to our ceremony and reception to be in the same location?
  • What are the traditions that are important to us?

You have some time to figure all of this out, but knowing the answers to those questions will help you begin to determine when and where you want to get married or who you’d like to officiate.

LET’S TALK LOCATION

It’s helpful to assemble some wedding day inspiration before you begin your hunt for the perfect place. Fortunately, the Internet’s a treasure trove of inspiration. With your Top Three Things in mind, we encourage you to check out a few of our favorite websites below.

Now that you’re ready to get started, let’s talk about your ceremony!

Want even more tips for planning your wedding? Our weekly countdown walks you through the entire wedding planning process from beginning to end, telling you exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it. Check it out HERE.