It’s no secret that planning a wedding can be seriously stressful and completely overwhelming. The problem is that with so much that needs planning, it’s easy to struggle to know where to start. The important thing is to stay calm and in control and have a plan of action to follow. It’s a good idea to get a wedding planning book that details what needs to be done when. As this makes it much easier to keep on top of what you need to focus on first. To help you get to grips with the first steps that you need to take, I’ve put together this handy guide.
Establish a budget
Before you do anything else, you need to work out what your budget is. This is crucial as it will impact all areas of your wedding planning. Spend some time working out what you have to spend overall. Then split your budget into different sections, such as venue and catering. Once you know how much you have to spend on what, you can get planning.
Write a guest list
The next step is to write a guest list. This is important as if you don’t have an idea of how many people with be attending, you’ll struggle to find a suitable venue. This is because most work on a per person basis. Sit down with your partner and write a list of everyone who you would like to invite. Beforehand, it’s a good idea to discuss whether you want a small intimate wedding with just family and close friends or a larger celebration. This will, most probably, depend on your budget as well as your personal preference.
Choose a venue
Once you have a guest list and a budget, you can then start looking at venues. It’s best not to have a set date in mind, as this can narrow your options. Instead, have a month or time of year in mind, that you’d be happy to tie the knot at. To get an idea of the best venues in the area, do some research. Ask other people who have recently got married where they would suggest, and see if you like any of the suggestions. Take your time looking around, imagine holding your wedding in each place. Think about the dancing - is there room, dining, and areas for the children to run around. That is, if you're inviting kids along.
Set a date
As soon as you know when your chosen venue is available, you can then set a date. This is an important step as once you know what date you’re getting married, you can then book the church or registry office. This is also important for sending out save-the-dates, invitations, and for booking your vendors. When it comes to choosing your save-the-dates and invitations, it’s essential that they match one another. You could make them yourself, you could opt for laser cut wedding invites, or you could go for something different. The most important thing is that your invites and save-the-dates match in some way.
Pick your bridesmaids and groomsmen
The final step in the initial stage of wedding planning should be picking your bridesmaids and groomsmen. You most probably already have your maid of honour, and best man picked out, so it’s just a case of choosing the rest of the bridal party. Pick the people who you are closest to, don’t worry about upsetting anyone. It’s your big day, and it’s important that you have the people who are most meaningful to you.
If you take the time to break down your planning into smaller, more manageable steps, this will make it easier.