If you’ve happened across this article, I’m presuming you’ve recently got engaged, so congratulations! Let’s pop the Prosecco! This is such a special time, and a time that should be celebrated. Given the recent wedding boom, understandably you may feel like diving head first into wedding planning, but before making any critical decisions, it’s important to understand that there is a method to the madness. I wrote this blog so that newly engaged couples can truly understand the first few steps in how to start planning a wedding.
There are many moving parts and things to organise when you are planning a wedding, and lots of people wonder where to start, but there is an order that will help you in the long run. It’s important not to just jump right in and start wherever in the wedding planning process. One of the most important places to start is with the budget. Booking vendors without having discussed a wedding budget is a sure-fire way to overspend and cause more stress later down the line. It is so important to sit down and to talk finances with your partner at the beginning of wedding planning, so that you are both clear on what you are comfortable investing into your day. Hot tip: if family members or other people have offered to contribute financially to your wedding day, this is a good time to talk to them too. I know that talking about money can make people feel uncomfortable, but it is vitally important to have a good understanding of how much you have to spend on your wedding, so that you don’t feel stressed in the weeks leading up to your big day when all of the invoices start flooding in.
Once you have an overall budget settled, the next thing couples should do is work on a guest list. The guest list will help determine many other factors in planning, but particularly things like the venue and catering. Often venues will have a minimum and maximum number of people they will allow for a wedding. You don’t want to find your dream venue, only to realise that they won’t be able to cater for all of your guests, or that you have too few guests to reach the minimum spend.
The third most important factor in wedding planning, is setting your expectations. This can be a fun activity to go through with your partner at the start of wedding planning, and discuss all of your ideas and visualise what you want your wedding to look like. Do you want an elopement with just the two of you and your pet dog on the beach? Or do you want a grand ballroom filled with floral installations and live music for over two hundred people? Getting on the same page about what you expect your wedding to be will help guide you through the planning process and make decisions based on what you know you both want.
So, to recap, the first three steps on how to start planning a wedding are: decide on an overall wedding budget, draft a guest list and set your expectations. Once you have these three things, it’s important that you see how they all stack up against each other. It may be great that you agree on having a large party with two hundred people, complete with live music, fine dining in a grand ballroom, but if your budget doesn’t allow for all this, it’s going to make planning unnecessarily stressful trying to make it all work. Similarly, if you want an intimate wedding in a local restaurant so you can focus on the experience you are creating for each of your guests, but your parents insist on inviting everyone from your childhood, this will quickly blow your budget and your expectations for how you want to spend your day. My goal is for couples to feel confident planning their wedding, to enjoy this process and be excited for their big day.