If you recently got engaged, you may not even know where to begin when it comes to wedding planning. This is likely to be the biggest event you’ll ever plan, and most people will struggle with planning a day for hundreds of people. We’ve got some of the basic steps here, so you can refer back to this checklist whenever you’re wondering if you forgot something:
Pick a date
Picking a date can be one of the hardest parts of wedding planning. Obviously, you’re aiming for perfect weather. But so is every other couple, so you’ll need to book the best venues and dates well in advance. There’s a reason why most people take a year to plan their wedding- some venues are booked out even further in advance.
When you’re picking a date, you’ll also need to consider how much notice you’re giving guests who will be flying in. And you may need to work around the schedules of your close friends and family members- particularly if they’re having kids or getting married themselves.
Now’s a good time to sit down with your fiance and compare ideas. Of course, it’s also the best time to think about your budget and what you can and can’t afford. Make a list of all the things you’d like to include. Don’t forget things like a personalized invite, a wedding guest book, and favors for your guests. If either of your parents have mentioned that they’d like to contribute, now’s the time to find out how much you would be working with.
Make a guest list
Your first guest list should be more accurately known as a “wish list.” While it can be tempting to invite everyone you know to celebrate your nuptials, if you’re paying $100 a head, cutting just 10 people from the guest list can save $1000. This is the biggest contributor to the cost of your wedding, so now may be the time to ask yourself if you really need to include your second cousin twice-removed who you haven’t seen for ten years.
Find the dress
For many brides, this is the step they’re looking forward to the most. But along with your dress, you can also expect to need to choose bridesmaids’ dresses, a flower girl dress, and maybe even an outfit for the mother of the bride.
Pick your vendors
If you know people who have recently tied the knot, and you loved their wedding, ask if they would recommend their vendors. Word-of-mouth is a great way to pick vendors, particularly if you loved the food, flowers, musician, or photographer you spotted at a friend’s wedding.
Work out the details
Once you’ve got your date nailed down, send your invitations as soon as you can. Now you’ll need to think about things like flowers, a signature drink, the songs you’d like played, and the types of pictures you’d like. However, once you’ve nailed down your date and booked your venue and vendors, you’ll have plenty of time to make these decisions.