Top 5 Things to Kick Off Your Wedding Planning

Your favorite person in the world popped the question, you have the most gorgeous ring, and within what feels like 10 minutes people are already asking you when the big day is. As you’re still soaking in the magic of the moment, you realize “Where do I even begin? Now what?”

We’re listing the top 5 things to do when you get engaged (congrats btw!), so if you’re not sure where to begin, start here with these core elements to planning a wedding:

what to do when you get engaged

Don’t you worry, we’ve got your back! Here are 5 things to get your wedding planning started:

1. Budget
Creating a budget will provide you with an overall guideline for your big day. We already know that your public (and secret) wedding boards are full of ideas, and might also have some general pricing in there as well. Of course a quick Google search can give you additional details, but starting here will help as you start to get real numbers to plug into your budget. Pretty quickly you will realize if you’re on track, if you need to adjust or surprise, you have an extra chunk of cash to spend!

2. Priorities List
We always suggest that you and your soon-to-be-spouse come up with your top 3 things to really splurge on. Maybe it’s photography, the wedding band, and the flowers – whatever it may be, those top 3 things will get the largest piece of your budget. Everything else will still be a priority, but just further down the list. Creating this list from the start will not only help you stay on track with your budget but will also give you a great idea on where you can spend and where you can save.

what to do when you get engaged
Photo Chang, ElephantCanFly Photography by from this Phuket Destination Wedding

3. Create a guest list
Now we know this is a “duh, obviously” thing, but you’d be surprised how many couples find this piece difficult! So here is how we suggest tackling it: each create their own list, then ask parents to create a list. When you see your list is approximately 400 people, don’t panic! A lot maybe overlapping. Now decide who you are okay with not being there, also ask yourself, “do I want children in attendance”. This will slowly whittle down and will help you when it comes time to picking your venues.

what to do when you get engaged
Photo Erin Wilson Photography from Arkansas Wedding with a Megasize Guest List

4. Mood Board
If we’re all being honest with ourselves half, if not more, of our weddings are already done thanks to Pinterest. We recommend taking an evening with a glass of bubbly and putting together your colors, your ideal bridesmaid dresses, any floral and design inspiration and creating a mood board for your wedding. When meeting with vendors, this will give them a clear idea of your vision and will be able to provide you with the budget for each piece much easier.

california wedding venue in the redwoods
Photo  VID Studio  by from this Magical Wedding in the Redwoods

5. Begin Venue and Vendor Search
This is probably our favorite part! Now that you have the preliminary work completed, you can begin to put your wedding pieces together. Looking back at your priorities list, is there a must-have vendor? We’d recommend reaching out to them for their availability first. This again, will help you as you look over your venue options to ensure they line up. When looking at venues, you can refer back to your guest list to double check that the capacity can hold everyone you’d like to invite. Many venues can also provide you with their preferred vendor list and requirements so remember not to book anything until you’ve spoken with the venue about this.

Planning your wedding is an incredible experience. When you actually look at your to-do list, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but don’t you worry! When you start with these few steps, everything else will come together fair easier. Plus your venue and vendors will provide you with additional guidance as they truly are the professionals. We can’t wait to hear all about your wedding planning experience!

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