By Lizzy Buczak

Newly engaged? Are you ready to start planning the wedding of your dreams?

There’s no point in delaying the process, you have to jump right in.

I know it can be hard though – I got engaged back in December and was overwhelmed with the idea of starting to plan because there’s so much to think about and so many decisions to make.

Here are the steps I took to at least BEGIN- they may or may not work for you but feel free to use it as a guideline!


1. Set a date –  It’s important to pick a date that’s special to the both of you. My fiancee and I had a couple of dates in mind and called a few vendors/ wedding bands to see their availability before settling on one.

2. Set up a budget – Before we started looking into anything, we checked our finances and set a budget for our wedding. You don’t want to go into this on separate pages – do you both want a simple and small wedding? Are you going extravagant? Weddings can be expensive and you don’t want to find yourself overpaying for something so it’s best to talk things through, set a budget and stick with it when looking into venues/videographers/photographers/florists/etc.

3. Create a guest list – Even if you don’t have a set-in-stone guest list, it’s important to know how many people you want to invite. Are you having a small reception? Will you have 100 people? 300 people? I’d say put together a list of everyone you want to invite (and their plus ones) and go from there. When you start looking around at venues, they’re all going to want to know an approximate # of guests to see which space they can offer you and what price.

4.  Find a venue – Every girl has a vision of her wedding. The perfect venue can make your wedding and you’ll want to do some research. First, decide what you’re looking to get from your venue. Some places offer very inclusive packages which include dinners, chairs, tablecloths, lighting. Other places are cheaper up front but charge extra for various rentals. Or maybe you aren’t even interested in serving dinner and prefer hors d’Oeuvres. Figure out what you want, check out a few different venues and opt for the one you like the most with the biggest bang for your buck.

5. Ceremony Site – Will your ceremony be at the same place as your reception? Will you be getting married on the beach? At a church? Talk with your fiancee to see where you both are at and when you make a decision, find out what the next step is. How much will an officiator be? Do you have to complete marriage classes? How much is a marriage license?

6. Find a Photographer/Videographer – What’s more important to you – pictures from the wedding or a great wedding video? Both? Will you use the same company for both or do you have to find two seperate companies? Read some reviews, look at their work and reach out to a few people to see if they’ve got your wedding date available.

7. Take Engagement Photos – It might seem odd that I put this at the end but there’s a reason. Once you pick a photographer, you’ll see that some packages include an engagement session. Some offer discounts if you’re booking them for the wedding. Or you might want to use someone completely different for engagement photos. Then you have to determine what kind of engagement photos you want – what location, which season, what you’ll wear.

There’s a lot that goes into wedding planning and it can be super overwhelming. If you take it one step at a time though, it starts coming together.

I have been using The Knot for a lot of my planning. Once you create a profile, you can seriously do anything – create a wedding website, registry, guest list, budget. When you book venue tours, you’ll even be placed with a venue concierge.

There’s nothing worse than finding out something is already booked for your special day, so why not get a head start?



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