Did you recently become engaged, but aren’t sure where to begin with the wedding planning? It’s okay. Looking at a to-do list a mile long is enough to make anyone a bit anxious. Luckily, there are a number of resources – and people – that can help make the process a bit more streamlined and a lot less stressful. So, if you’re just embarking on an engagement journey, first, congratulations! Now, remember, you get to start planning the wedding day of your dreams.
First Things First, You Need a Budget
One of the first things you’ll need in place, before you can reserve a venue or book a DJ, is a budget. While talking money is rarely a bride’s favorite chore, it is necessary to keeping your finances in check while you and your fiancé plan your dream celebration.
If you already know your parents will be footing the bill for the wedding, or will be contributing towards it, sit down with them and hash out the how much they plan to spend. Remember, this should be a joyous experience for everyone involved. Be respectful and understanding about any necessary budget restraints, and remember, limitations are often a springboard for creativity. Making a few sacrifices to stay within your budget will help save you a priceless amount of stress, and shouldn’t keep you from having a beautiful, memorable day.
Next, Pick a Date
Once you’ve set a budget, there are a few key decisions that will need to be made quite early on. These decisions are crucial to setting the tone for your entire day. They are choosing a wedding date and a venue!
If you don’t have your heart set on a certain date, to begin with, it’s in your best interest to remain flexible, initially. Since popular wedding venues are often booked for peak seasons (May, June, July and October) years in advance, having a range of dates you’re willing to work within can greatly increase the chances of booking your dream venue. Friday evening or Sunday dates are often slower to fill up than Saturday afternoons. (This principle can be helpful if you have selected a popular photographer, as well, since they also tend to be booked very far in advance.)