wedding planning

First Steps to Wedding Planning: How to Get Started

Where to begin your wedding planning journey, and how to avoid feeling a little overwhelmed

Being engaged is a wonderful and exciting time. Frankly, we’re jealous! You’re in the midst of preparing to spend the rest of your life with your best friend, and you’re about to plan the ultimate celebration! But how do you start planning your dream wedding, and which first steps should you take to succeed in creating the nuptials of a lifetime?

We’ve talked to so many excited brides over the years, all thrilled to be planning a wedding, but with that, they find themselves scared at the prospect of such a big undertaking. And in fact, many brides ask, “How and where do I even start planning my wedding?”

first steps to wedding planning with journal

This is a significant question, and one we’re hoping to share the answer to today! What to do and where to start will give you the confidence you need to enjoy your wedding planning process, so let’s take a look at this easy to follow first steps guide!

The First Steps to Wedding Planning

1. Enjoy Engagement.

For us, simply enjoying being engaged, is one of the most important first steps in wedding planning. Because here on out, there will be numerous big decisions that need to be made, and so many voices around trying to guide you. So, before all of that madness begins, take a moment together, and bask in the warm glow of engagement. Dream about the future, go celebrate just the two of you, or simply take loads of engagement ring selfies! Whatever makes you and your partner happy, do that, for a bit.

2. Tell your Parents/Loved Ones.

Depending on your situation, you should tell your parents about your impending nuptials before anyone else. Both of you should be present, and ideally, you will tell them in person, just so they’ll have a chance to see your happiness up close.

Traditionally, the bride’s parents know before the groom’s do, but any order is fine. Then share the news with a few close friends, the ones who are likely candidates for maid of honour and best man, or definite attendants in some capacity.

3. Announce Your Engagement.

Now that Mum knows, it’s time to tell everyone else the good news! There are many ways of doing this, and no way is more proper or better than any other. If you’re old school, you could consider announcing your engagement in a newspaper or mailing announcements to your family and friends. But these days, the news will often be circulated via social media. This is also a great time to create a wedding website.

4. Set a Date.

One of the most important first steps you’ll make while planning a wedding, is picking a wedding date. Not only will it be the first question everyone will ask you, but you’d be surprised how difficult it will be to make any progress planning your wedding without knowing the date.

One mistake many couples make is choosing only one date and not having any back up dates. You must plan ahead, and have a couple of back up dates to ensure that your venue and suppliers have availability, if your original date falls through.

wedding planning first steps set date

5. Consider the Style of the Celebration.

Have a think about whether you would like a formal wedding, a casual affair, or a themed celebration. This is also a good time to decide if you’re having a religious or non-religious ceremony. In short, you need to decide what you want your wedding to feel like.

A good way to decide is to sit down with your partner, and do some (guilt-free) brainstorming about your ideal wedding. Look at the way that each of you has written about the occasion, and use it as a starting point. A wedding planning questionnaire can help you get started. 

6. Set a wedding budget.

Now that you have a vision of what you want your big day to be, you’re already halfway there with your budget. Creating a budget will help you to keep track of all your expenses and guide you towards seeing the big picture.  Budgeting will also help you to plan the rest of your wedding, and aid in decision on what you want and what you are not so attached to. Or, where you want to splurge!

7. Choose your wedding party.

This is the fun bit! Normally…!

At this stage, you get to ask your closest friends/family to be a part of your big day! Sometimes it’s hard to decide on a number because you just love everyone, but once you’ve narrowed down the girls and the boys, go ahead and ask them! 

8. Decide on the Guest List Number.

Formulating a guest list is an integral part of the wedding planning process, and should be a priority within your first steps for many reasons. The most important being that suppliers need to know your head count, and they will ask you that during your first consultations and bookings, so don’t this task off.

When creating your guest list, start by writing down the names of friends and family you are closest to. Keep writing until you’ve got no more names in your head, then head to your Facebook friends list or other social media platforms. This is a really helpful way to make sure you don’t forget anyone!

9. Start looking for your dream wedding venue.

The most popular venues and even less conventional options typically get booked up a year in advance, especially during peak times. So, the further in advance you start looking, and booking, the more likely you are to get the time, date, and cost that you’ve planned for.

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