Wedding Planning 101: Where to Start Planning Your Big Day

young couple buying wedding ring at jewelry store ready to start wedding planningCongratulations on your wedding engagement!  Once the excitement wears off from receiving the engagement ring (or if you’ve started wedding planning in anticipation of a wedding proposal), it’s time to tackle the wedding planning process.  It’s normal to not know where to start; we’ve met many wedding couples trying to figure their way through the planning process.  That’s why we’ve put together these tips for planning your big day (well).

Talk BEFORE you start planning.

Start your wedding planning with clear expectations so you don’t have to detour through the process.  You don’t want to find out your fiance wanted mixed drinks after you’ve put a down payment on a bar that doesn’t include their request.  Or have to back track when your parents make a request about the guest list after you’ve booked a cozy venue.

Sit down with your fiance and any important members of your family or friends to find out their expectations so you can initiate your planning with all the important “stuff” out in the open.  You may find out the one thing your fiance has always wanted, or a request from your in-laws you didn’t know before the conversation.  Ask them questions about their vision for the day (if you want it) and any financial input they may want to gift you for your wedding budget.

Set a budget & date

This is your big day, so try to picture what you want it to look like.  Use that vision and the input you’ve received your fiance, family, and friends to start confirming the details of your special day.  Start with your budget and wedding date.

You can either set the wedding date in stone or use open dates from your favorite wedding venue or vendor to come up with the perfect wedding date.  For example, if you have a wedding venue or DJ you really want, and you know you want a fall wedding date, contact them and ask what dates are available.  Choose the date that works for you, and start looking and designing wedding invites.

Contact ‘must have’ wedding vendors

The sooner you book your wedding details, the more likely you are to get the wedding vendors you want (and that are really, really good!)  Don’t procrastinate.  Book your venue as soon as possible, and your DJ at least 14-18 months in advance.  To keep track of it all, use this wedding planning checklist for reference.  You’ll be glad you have it on hand when you’re enjoying the wedding day of your dreams.

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