Getting Engaged: The First Three Steps of Wedding Planning
So your partner popped the question…now what?
Unfortunately, for most newly engaged women, the excitement of finally finding “the one” is dampened by a hard dose of stress and anxiety. Sure, you’ll find about a gazillion wedding planning checklists out there, but they all tend to overwhelm more than they help, and all essentially fail to address the fundamental question: “Where do I begin?”
We’re here to help. After you’ve announced the exciting news and taken some time to bask in your newly engaged glow, it’s time to get cracking. Here are the first three wedding planning tasks you absolutely must accomplish before anything else. Cross these items off your wedding checklist – and you’re on your way.
The First Steps of Wedding Planning…
Step 1: Determine Your Budget
Every decision stems from the wedding budget. Before you can plan anything, you must know how much you can spend and who plans to contribute. Your budget will determine the type of wedding you can have – from how many guests you invite, to where and when you host your wedding, right down to the specific blooms in your bouquet. And with the ever increasing cost of weddings, financing the event is often a group effort; the bride’s parents no longer need to take out a second mortgage just to fund the upcoming nuptials. You’ll need to talk to your families about who will pay for what, and arrive at a total wedding budget. This complete wedding budget guide will walk you through the process.
Step 2: Tackle the Guest List
Some checklists suggest setting a date and commencing other wedding plans before this step, but we consider the guest count is the most vital decision after the budget. Here’s why: Capacity is one of the most important criteria in finding a suitable wedding venue – more so even than style and vision – and you must secure your location before you can successfully plan anything else. Trust us, cramming 300 people into a venue that seats 150 will not go over well. You don’t need to have the list finalized just yet, but you’ll need an estimate from both sides of the family (and yourselves) right away to avert countless planning headaches down the road. This complete wedding guest list guide will help you get started.
Step 3: Set on a Site and Date
Only once you have an estimated budget and guest count, you can begin searching for a place to hold your event. Remember: Many reception sites book more than a year in advance, so you really can’t decide on a wedding date until you have officially booked your venue with a signed contract. Find as many reception sites that meet your budget, capacity, and overall style quotient as you can. Use our wedding reception site search to find venues in your area, and narrow down your list. Then schedule appointments to tour each wedding venue and meet with the manager. After that, it’s decision-making time.
There is one wedding planning truism that we hold dear: As you may have heard it said, once you find your wedding venue, everything else falls into place. Once you have accomplished these steps, you will find the rest of your planning task list a piece of, ahem, wedding cake.