How to Start Wedding Planning: Your First Steps

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You’re Engaged,
Congratulations!

You are about to embark on the most wonderful and exciting journey of wedding planning, and I’m here to help!

Laying the foundations for the wedding plans require a few key considerations.  The first wedding booking to made is your venue (and then paying a huge deposit). Though the wedding venue is the first booking and first real step to wedding planning, it’s actually the product of many other sometimes tricky wedding planning decisions:

Guest Numbers: Without a consideration of the number of guests you’ll have, it’s very hard to settle on a wedding venue which might not be the right size later. I suggest this is the very first place you start, writing down the names of every person you’d like to see on your wedding day, and working from there. This may also give you an indication as to what kind of wedding you envisage (see video on how to start your guest list).

Budget: It’s the second most important (and second most demanding) B word in Wedding Planning, and like the bride, the budget may demand constant attention.  Without an idea of budget expectations, you can’t possibly commit to a venue. Sit down early, talk it over with your fiance, and any parents or family who may offer to make a contribution to your wedding budget, and start working out your finances well in advance (see more on guest list).

Date: This really ties in with budget, as if you don’t have enough money, or won’t be able to save within 12 months, you might want to consider a longer engagement. So, do you want to get it all on track right away, have a long engagement, plan a winter wedding or wait for peak season, or even plan a holiday at the same time? Looking at your guest list, are there certain people who will only be able to make it at one time of year (overseas friends coming back for Christmas, for example) and can you do without them? If you’ve already set your heart on a wedding venue, your date may be dictated to by this too – I told you this was a tricky one!

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Style: Less so, because with the right decor you can transform almost any room, but if you’re likely to want a classic and elegant wedding, a barnyard venue may not suit. So, before you sign on the dotted line of a wedding venue’s contract, work out whether it suits your style, or whether it’ll cost a fortune to decorate it.

Once you’ve considered the above, you might like to read a speech I recently delivered: ‘How to prioritise your wedding budget and plan a wedding you can afford‘.

If you’ve just got engaged and want to start planning, also have a look at the little white wedding planning bundle to help with all your decision-making.  It includes the little white book + a pack of PDF templates, checklists, excel spreadsheets and more.

Once you’ve sorted these first four, head to the wedding planning index to work through the next steps!

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