One of, if not the single, HARDEST thing about planning a wedding is simply getting started and knowing the first steps of wedding planning. The idea of booking a venue, picking a date, hiring the perfect vendor team and bringing a vision to life can seem like an incredibly daunting task. Am I right?
Here's what I want you to remember: Regardless of what happens on your wedding day or how crazy the planning process may feel, you are getting married! Repeat after me: 'I AM GETTING MARRIED.' When you get stressed or overwhelmed through this process, I want you to remind yourself of that fact. You are marrying an incredible person and at the end of the day, that is what truly matters.
Now, let's talk about diving into the craziness that is wedding planning. Instead of trying to think through every detail you need for your wedding, I want you to have tunnel vision. I want you to focus on one (or two) things at a time, and once you check those off, you can go on to the next thing on your 'to-do' list. This is going to help you stay focused and is going to help the planning moving forward. And it's going to help prevent you from getting too overwhelmed. I promise!
Now, in order to really help you get started, I have put together the first 6 steps you need to take in wedding planning. Scroll on down to read more.
STEP ONE: DRAFT A GUEST LIST
Before you can really set a budget or pick the perfect space, you need to have an idea as to how many people you are expecting. Now, this doesn't have to be an exact number, but you need to know whether you are looking at 50 people or 200 people.
Also, be sure to touch base with your parents here. Believe it or not, your parents already have their own guest list started and will have a lot to say about who is invited.
STEP TWO: CREATE A BUDGET
And by setting a budget, I don't mean picking a random number out of the air... I see couples do this all ALL the time. Because you have no idea what things cost, you simply choose a random number and go with it. The only challenge is that this 'budget' may or may not accurately portray the wedding you are wanting.
Instead, I encourage you to do some research in order to figure out what things cost. What do those dream venues, photographers and florists cost? Getting a basic idea of what this looks like will help you set a more realistic budget from day one.
Lastly, having an idea of what everything costs will prevent you from spending your ENTIRE budget on your venue, which happens more often than you might think.
STEP THREE: BOOK A PLANNER
A wedding planner can help you work through your budget, introduce you to unexpected, unique venues and ensure everything is lining up BEFORE you are locked into a venue contract.
Even if you aren't sure you need a Full Service Planner, I still encourage you to talk to a planner at this point in the process. You will gain so much valuable insight and clarity on how to move forward.
STEP FOUR: THINK THROUGH YOUR VISION
Start brainstorming what you are picturing for your wedding! Are you envisioning a large, formal ballroom wedding with 200 guests or an outdoor garden wedding for 50 people? Having an idea of what you are picturing is going to make finding a venue much easier, and selecting a venue that matches your vision is going to prevent you from having to bring in AS much decor.
Check out: How to Create a Wedding Inspiration Board
STEP FIVE: BRAINSTORM YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES
I'm going to let you in on a secret: there is no such thing as a perfect venue and chances are, none will check every single box. Knowing that, I encourage you to make a list of your 'non-negotiables.' These are the things that are going to make or break you wanting to move forward with a venue.
For example, the wedding has to end by 10pm, the ceremony can be viewed by the pubic or it's more than 1 hour from the airport.
STEP SIX: BOOK YOUR VENUE
Now that you have really thought about the big picture, know your budget and really understand what you want, it's going to be MUCH easier to decide on a venue.
Now, go out and secure that perfect venue! Once that is done, planning will get a little bit easier, I promise!
Need a little extra help going through these steps? Grab our completely FREE ultimate wedding planning guide!