So, you’re engaged! Congratulations! The next step is to start planning your wedding. And while weddings can be a lot of fun, they can also be a lot of work.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this blog post, we’ll give you 15 basic steps to getting married.
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1. Set a budget and stick to it.
One of the most important things to do when planning your wedding is to set a budget and then do your best to stick to it.
Wedding costs can quickly get out of hand, so it’s important to have a plan and a limit in mind from the start.
2. Pick a date and book your venue.
Once you have a budget in place, you can start thinking about when and where you want to get married. Be sure to book your venue well in advance so that you don’t end up being disappointed later on.
3. Start planning your guest list.
Another important early step in wedding planning is deciding who you want to invite.
This can be tough, but it’s important to try to keep your guest list as small as possible so that you don’t blow your budget.
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4. Find a wedding planner or coordinator.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of planning your wedding on your own, consider hiring a professional wedding planner or coordinator.
They will be able to take care of all of the nitty-gritty details for you and make sure that everything goes smoothly on your big day.
5. Choose your bridal party.
Once you have a solid guest list in place, it’s time to start thinking about who you want by your side on your big day.
Choose carefully—you’ll want to pick people who will be supportive and helpful throughout the entire process.
6. Start shopping for your dress and accessories . . . but don’t forget the groom!
Now that you have the big picture starting to come together, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll wear on your big day. But don’t forget about the groom—he’ll need a tuxedo or suit as well!
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7. Book your photographer, videographer, and other services like a florist, caterer, musician, and so on.
Another crucial step in wedding planning is booking all of your vendors well in advance.
Photographers, videographers, florists, caterers, bands—you name it, they should all be booked in advance so that you don’t have any last-minute surprises on your big day.
8. Send out save-the-dates and invitations.
Once all of your vendors are booked, it’s time to start sending out save-the-dates and invitations! Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to do this so that you don’t end up rushing at the last minute.
9. Enjoy every minute leading up to your big day!
Try to relax and enjoy every minute leading up to your wedding day—it will be here before you know it! Before long, you’ll be marrying the love of your life and starting the next chapter of your story together.
10. Know What You Can Afford
Before you start setting a budget, you need to know what you can realistically afford. Take a look at your income and debts, and make sure you’re comfortable using some of your savings for the big day.
Remember, you’ll still need money for things like a down payment on a house or car, retirement, and other major life expenses.
If you’re not comfortable dipping into your savings, consider alternatives like financing your wedding or asking family members to help out.
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11. Determine Your Priorities
Once you know how much you can afford to spend on your wedding, it’s time to start thinking about what’s most important to you.
Do you want a lavish affair with all the bells and whistles, or are you more interested in something simple and elegant?
Make a list of your must-haves and prioritize them in order of importance. This will help you figure out where to allocate the majority of your budget.
12. Set Your Budget Early On
The sooner you set your budget, the better. This will allow you to start making financial decisions early on in the planning process and avoid any last-minute scrambling (and overspending).
Once you’ve set your budget, make sure everyone involved in paying for or planning the wedding is aware of it so there are no surprises down the road.
13. Track Your Spending
Throughout the planning process, it’s important to keep track of all your spending so you don’t go over budget.
There are plenty of ways to do this, from using a simple Excel spreadsheet to more robust software options like WeddingWire’s Budget Planner tool.
Keep all receipts and invoices in one place so you can easily reference them later on.
14. Stick to Your Guns
It can be easy to get swept up in wedding mania and start making impulse purchases left and right. But if you want to stay within your budget, it’s important to stick to your guns—no matter how tempting those impulse buys may be.
If someone tries to pressure you into spending more than you’re comfortable with (e.g., “You only get married once!”), politely explain that you’ve set a budget and need to stick to it.
It might not be the most exciting way to plan a wedding, but following a budget will help ensure that you don’t end up in debt following your big day.
15. Have a Plan B (or C)
No matter how well you plan, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong on your wedding day. If possible, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan (or even two) in case of an emergency.
For example, if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, what will you do if it rains? Will you have a backup venue reserved?
Thinking about (and planning for) potential problems ahead of time will help you stay calm and collected on your wedding day—even if something does go wrong.
Planning a wedding can be daunting, but if you break it down into smaller steps as we’ve done here, it becomes much more manageable (and even a little bit fun!).
Just remember to stay organized (but flexible), communicate with your partner often, and enjoy all the planning process leading up to one of the best days of your life!
FAQ About Planning a Wedding
Below are some frequently asked questions about wedding planning:
How do I start planning my wedding?
The best place to start is by setting a budget and determining your priorities. From there, you can begin booking vendors, reserving a venue, and making all the other big decisions that will need to be made leading up to your big day.
What are some common mistakes couples make when planning their wedding?
One of the most common mistakes is not setting a budget early on in the process. This can lead to overspending and putting yourself in debt. Other mistakes include not communicating often enough with your partner, waiting too long to book vendors, and not having a backup plan for potential problems.
How do I start planning my wedding?
The best place to start is by setting a budget, then determining your priorities. From there, you can begin booking vendors and venues, and start working on the details.
How far in advance should I start planning my wedding?
Ideally, you should start planning your wedding 12-18 months in advance. This will give you plenty of time to book vendors, secure a venue, and work out all the details.
What are the most important things to do when planning a wedding?
Some of the most important things to do when planning a wedding include setting a budget, booking a venue, and hiring a wedding planner (if desired).
What are some tips for staying within budget when planning a wedding?
Some tips for staying within budget when planning a wedding include setting a budget early on, tracking all spending, sticking to your guns, and having a backup plan.
Do I need a wedding planner?
You don’t necessarily need a wedding planner, but they can be helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the planning process. A good wedding planner will be able to help you stay organized and within budget.