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How To Start Planning A Wedding

Purchase A Journal And Use It


This will be a time of ten thousand moments you won’t want to forget, as well as some frustrating times that you’ll need to vent about, and not necessarily to your partner. The journal/planner you keep while planning your wedding will not only help you through this time, but it will be something you cherish for the rest of your life. If you’re internet-savvy, consider doing some journaling online or starting a wedding blog.

Involve Your Significant Other

Whitney Neal Studios

Don’t feel like you’re in this wedding planning process alone. Consult with your partner along the way their opinion is bound to be invaluable andeven if they’re only involved in some aspectsit makes wedding planning that much more fun when you can make decisions together. Working towards a common goal not only further bonds you and your partner but also helps you grow as a couple with every issue you tackle as a team.

Start Your Guest List

While you dont have to have a final guest list until a bit later, when thinking about how to plan a wedding step by step, coming up with an estimated guest count early on is important. Theres a big difference between a 50-person wedding and a 300-person wedding, particularly when it comes to your venue options. So before you start browsing wedding venues, get an idea of how many guests youll host.

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Create A List Of Priorities

Figuring out what you want from your day is where to start when planning a wedding. What are the most important elements to you? Maybe you want an excuse to have great food and drinks? Want to throw a huge party late into the night with great music? Maybe big shindigs just aren’t your style and you want something small and quiet?

Having your priorities straight will guide the rest of the process, making it easier to choose where you’ll compromise.

Call The Fashion Police

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Don’t go dress shopping on your ownall the gowns will start to look the same after a while and it will be harder to recall which style you really loved. But be careful about who you do bring. If your mom or sibling can’t make the trip, ask a friend who is truly honest. This is the time when you really need to know which dress looks best.

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Choose Your Wedding Ceremony Location

Deciding where youre going to hold the ceremony has an impact on where the reception, and the rest of the wedding events, will be held. Some venues offer both ceremony and reception space, while others, like many places of worship, may be ceremony-centric. Use a wedding venue search tool like Wedding Spot to sort venues by services offered, distance to other venues, and more.

Pro tip: If youre planning on having live music for your ceremony, make sure your venue isnt located in an area with a strict noise ordinance in place, and consider the needs of neighboring homes and businesses. Youll also want to consider any sound issues your venue has that may interrupt your ceremony, such as nearby roads, gun ranges, etc.

Find the perfect wedding venue!

Pick Your Wedding Party

Now that you’ve got your guest list, it’s time to choose the people who will stand beside you on your big dayyour wedding party. So go ahead and select your bridesmaids, groomsmen, groomsladies or bridesmen and ask them to take on this important role. Check out our favorite bridesmaid proposal ideas to get started.

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How To Start Planning A Wedding

The perfect wedding doesnt just happen overnight. Its a product of months worths effort by the couple, their respective families, and their planner or coordinator. This is also something thats very subjective, as only you can make your wedding perfect for you. As this is the biggest day of your life, it should also be one where the entire family and all your guests are going to have fun.

Your wedding is an amazing occasion thatll bring you many years of happiness that you can share with your partner. This is why you should find ways to make it as smooth as possible so that everyone can enjoy your special day. Planning your wedding shouldnt feel like a big stressor in your life, as it only happens once. Despite the busy days, you should enjoy the process, too.

Here are some tips on how to plan a wedding that you and your partner will cherish.

1. Decide On The Wedding Date

First, decide when you want to get married. This could be any random day, or even a holiday so you know that most of your family can make it. For sentimental couples, this date could be their anniversary. Whichever date represents something meaningful to you, set it right away.

If you keep changing wedding dates, the entire planning process will also be just as messy.

2. Enjoy Being Engaged

Enjoying being each others fiancé can give you that much-needed stress relief and love, especially when the wedding planning days will breeze through so fast.

3. Finalize Your Location

Secure Passports And Other Documents

How To Start Planning Your Wedding: First Steps

A valid passport is a given for international travel, and you’ll at the very least need a driver’s license for domestic destinations. Double-check all expiration dates as soon as you choose your wedding date and location, then check again! Depending on the country, additional information, such as a list of previously visited countries, health records, or vaccinations, may be required.

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What Are The Steps To Planning A Wedding

When it comes to how to plan a wedding, its a good idea to follow a checklistand tackle the listed steps in order. Theres a method to the madness here, and sticking to a wedding-planning checklist will ensure a smooth and relatively stress-free process. For example, theres a reason why you should set a date and book your venue before choosing your attireto make sure your look is comfortable for your events setting and season. And thats just one example of why following the steps to planning a wedding is so important youll find many more in the list below.

If you’re someone who finds a wedding checklist a bit overwhelming, heres a list of the basic steps youll need to complete to ensure your big day is a success. Of course, there are more tasks you may want to tackle, but were just talking the must-dos here. Ready to go into planning mode? Heres how to plan a wedding step by step.

All The Essentials Wedding Planner

This interactive planning book will thrill your inner organizer. It’s chock-full of super helpful lists, timelines, charts, downloadable templates and moreall contained in a cute, 3-ring binder divided by color tabs. From Sausalito-based planner Alison Hotchkiss, this book is more than just a must-have planning tool. It’s also a treasure trove of up-to-date advice covering all aspects of wedding planning, from creating a registry to booking photographers.

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Define Your Ideal Clients

Once youve spent time thinking about your business goals and have started to plan out what you need to do to reach them, its a great time to start defining your ideal clients. Sure, you might be in the phase of business where youll book just about any couple who comes your way , but having a clear understanding of who your clients are now and who they will be in the future will help you plan for growth and success. Block some time on your calendar to create client avatars for:

  • The couples you want to attract and book as your clients in your first 1-2 years in business
  • The couples you want to grow into booking more of
  • The couples who are your most ideal clientnothing says you cant book ideal clients right out of the gate, but for many new wedding planners, it is something they have to grow into

Choosing A Wedding Party

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One thing that might help you figure out how you see your wedding is to ask close friends and relatives to be a part of the wedding party. This can help you with your date, if you have to work around a loved ones commitments, or location, if anyone important to you cant make it to a certain place.

Further, your wedding party can help you with a lot of the planning. Often, the wedding party will plan showers and pre-wedding parties for the bride and groom. Delegating some of these smaller responsibilities to good friends might clear your metaphorical plate.

Propose to your bridesmaids early so they can help you with other planning steps!

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Build Your Guest List

First things first, commit to keeping this process as stress-free as possible. Pick a relaxed time on a weekend when you dont have other demands and sit down with your partner. Keep your approximate wedding size in mind building a guest list for a small wedding is going to be different than choosing who to invite to a large one. Here are some tips to keep the process smooth:

  • Write down all of the names of people youd like to attend even if they live across the world or your partner doesnt know them that well.

  • Track your guest names in a wedding planning app or a spreadsheet.

  • Manage guest requests from family. Its okay to invite some people your parents would love to share your wedding day with, but try to keep the number reasonable.

  • Create two categories for your guest list. A is for the names of family and friends who you absolutely want and/or need to have at your wedding. B is for the extended family, friends, and work colleagues youd like to share your day with, but it wouldnt devastate you if they couldnt attend. Take a break and come back to list B. Narrow it down together until the list fits wedding size.

Pro tip: A good way to start sorting who you want to invite is by going through the contact list in your phone, as well as who youre following/interact with on your most-used social media platforms. Chances are, if you want them at your wedding, youll at least have their phone number or Instagram handle.

Hire Priority Wedding Vendors

If you just can’t imagine getting married without a certain local band playing at the reception or a photographer whose work you love, act fast. Many top wedding photographers and other in-demand wedding vendors are hired more than a year in advance, and once they’re booked, they’re gone. Translation: Figure out what your highest wedding priorities are, whether it’s world-class catering or exquisite flowers, and snap up the vendors whose work you love.

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Start With A Wedding Checklist

When it comes to planning a wedding, there are some things that have to be planned before others. The best way to stop yourself from feeling overwhelmed is to take the whole and break it down into smaller parts. Having a checklist is a must! And you dont need to stress, because we have created a for you.

This checklist breaks things down prioritised sections sorted by months to help give you an idea of when to start with what.

Generally, the first thing to consider is figuring out where you want to get married. Your wedding venue is the first step. Once you book the venue, youll see the other aspects start falling into place. Remember to start looking at least one year before the time. The weddings industry in South Africa can get very busy in high season and vendors get booked out quickly.

Some questions to consider before starting:

  • How many guests are you planning on having?
  • Do you want a chapel at the venue?
  • Would your guests require transport or accommodation in the area?
  • Do you have a theme in mind?

We know that it may seem a little scary to try and get as much done as possible in the first few months, but that way, the last few months wont be as hectic. Youll thank yourselves later promise. If you prefer, you can work with a professional wedding planner and leave all the stressful details to them.

When To Get Married

How To Start Planning Your Wedding Tips

This year, next year, the year after or in five years time? Narrow down between yourselves the desired year and month. Covid-19 has of course affected the wedding industry but venues have adapted and are ready to host your big day when restrictions allow.

Our top points to keep in mind when choosing your desired wedding date

  • Finances. Wedding season is typically May to September but a date out of season can help save on your budget
  • Weather. If you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding, summer months are clearly best suited
  • Destination weddings. Appropriate months will depend on your location- do your research
  • Job/work commitments. Will you be able to get suitable time off work?
  • Key guest commitments. Choosing your sisters baby due date or best friends 30th is probably not wise!

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If You’re Going To Hire A Wedding Planner Do It Early

You don’t have to have a wedding planner to have a beautiful wedding, but if you want to hire and can afford a planner, it’s best to book one before you start making any big decisions.

“If you really want somebody who’s going to help you from soup to nuts, find the planner first,” Cooper told Insider. “They oftentimes will know about venues and little nuggets.”

But if you have a dream wedding location in mind or just want to play a more hands-on role in the planning process, it might be in your best interest to check to see if the venue has a staffed day-of coordinator you could work with instead.

Day-of coordinators will make sure the wedding day itself runs smoothly, and they’ll be your point of contact with your wedding venue.

“If you want to be more involved from the beginning, I would say start with the venue and then see what it offers,” Trumpower said of day-of coordinators. “Because if they offer that as part of the cost, then you don’t have to pay twice.”

Anxieties About Planning A Wedding

If you are starting to plan your wedding, it is normal to have some anxieties. For starters, many people are uncomfortable with the attention that being a bride or groom brings. Similarly, the pressure to throw a fun party for your guests may seem overwhelming.

However, it is important to put this aside and to just get started on planning step-by-step. Once you get the wedding ball rolling, it wont stop! If you are so anxious that you still cant start planning, wait to set a date until you make sure youre ready to get married.

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