Did your holiday gift come in a ring box? Did your Valentine’s Day dinner turn into a scavenger hunt for your engagement ring? Did your winter carriage ride end with your partner on bended knee? Congratulations!! According to Wedding Wire, 40% of wedding engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. So where do you start your wedding planning? The first steps of wedding planning are the same for every couple, whether your big day is a few months or a few years away. Either way, there’s not a moment to lose in your wedding planning (because there is a lot to do!), so it’s best to kick-start the process as soon as possible.
Have the ‘talk’
This simple conversation is one of the most crucial parts of your wedding planning process. Start a discussion with your fiancé about the cost and vision of your wedding, and any preferences each of you might have. Questions you might ask are:
- What do you really want at our wedding? How do you see the day?
- How do you want to handle costs?
- Do you have anything you really, really want in the wedding?
- Do you have any traditions that you want to include in our special day?
Obviously, you are going to have your own talk with your own questions, but these questions can give you an idea of how to start the conversation. Some couple talks take hours, others just a few minutes (like our friend whose fiance’s only request to have mixed drinks!). If another member of your family or friend has offered to financially help out with the wedding—such as paying for your wedding dress, covering the cost of the dinner or drinks—now is the time to discuss the amount and any requests they have about their gift. A discussion now with open communication is important, so don’t skip this important step; it can save you a lot of heart ache and misunderstandings later.
Start with a vision
Before you go dress shopping, before you book your wedding venue, before you even think about wedding songs, think about what you want your wedding to look like. This step helps to prevent a mishmash of a wedding with unrelated elements.
Do you want an elegant outdoor wedding? A rustic barn wedding? A ballroom wedding? A destination wedding on a beach? Decide the direction you want to take in your wedding planning, so you can create a cohesive, beautiful event. If you need guidance in developing your vision, look online and visit bridal show for ideas.
Set a budget & date
These two important elements of your wedding dictate almost every other detail: when you send the invites out, what kind of invitations you can purchase, your wedding venue, your dress…everything. That’s why it’s important to set these two details early, and be realistic. If you want an extravagant elegant wedding, 30 days is going to be an extremely tight timeline. As for the budget, pick a reasonable number that you can afford, and be ready to stick to it.
Snap up your ‘must have’ wedding vendors
The best local vendors’ calendars fill up quickly, so don’t procrastinate. Once you have a budget and a date, start contacting wedding venues and ceremony sites as soon as possible. When those two important wedding details are confirmed, you can start contacting your preferred wedding vendors (before someone else does!): that bakery that makes delicious wedding cakes, the wedding DJ you’ve heard keeps everyone on the dance floor all night. If you have an extremely busy schedule, or need assistance with organizing all your wedding planning tasks, consider hiring a wedding planner. They know the best caterers, local DJs, venues, everything you need, and they can make sure that your vision turns into a special day that is uniquely you.