Wedding’s are so fun when you’re a guest, however when you are the bride and groom it takes a lot of planning and organising which can seem incredibly overwhelming. I got engaged in December 2021, and had absolutely no idea what I was in for. So I’ve collated the ultimate guide to planning your dream wedding with the greatest of ease.
Set a budget
First thing’s first, sit down with your new fiancé and agree on a rough budget. I say a rough budget because it will likely change as you progress through the stages of your wedding planning. Not because you are making outrageous additions, but because things cost probably two to three times more than you initially expect. Outlining your budget as a starting point is most important because it will help you when starting to research and request quotes from vendors and understand if they fit into your budget or not before booking.
When considering your budget, it helps to ask friends who have planned weddings for a rough guide on how much their weddings have cost (if they are happy to share. Consider the cost of the venue, catering, photography, dress, tuxedo, flowers, and any other expenses that you’ll need to cover.
Below is a rough breakdown of where you should focus on dividing up the expenses.
Outline your guest list
Now that you have a rough budget in mind, it’s time to think who you’re willing to spend all that budgeted money on! The decision on who to invite to your wedding is extremely personal and ultimately depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. First things first, before you involve your families, take some time to sit down with your partner and start jotting down names.
Obviously you’ll tally up any family members you want to invite, parents, siblings, grandparents and any other close relatives. These are the people you simply can’t imagine getting married without. Next, move on to your closest friends. These are the people who have been with you through thick and thin and you can’t imagine your big day without them by your side. Then move on to consider any additional guests you would like to invite who are outside of your family and very best friends. Prioritize those who have been supportive and continue to be important to you and your partner, and be prepared to make some tough decisions if you need to limit your guest list. Ultimately, the guest list should reflect your and your partner’s wishes and make your wedding day the very best day of your life, celebrating with the people you love and who love you.
Research & Choose your Venue
Now that you have your estimated budget and guest list, you can get to the fun part of finding a place to marry your person! You can do some research on wedding portal websites like Easy Weddings & Wedshed. You’ll find every vendor you could ever think of on there, including reviews from couples who have used them before.
Start reaching out to the venues that you like best and give them a rough idea of what you are hoping your day will look like, including food, venues, any activities you want for your guests along with how many guests you are anticipating to have at your event. They are likely to invite you to come and view the venue and meet with their coordinator or planner and to view the property. This is a great opportunity to discuss your desired date, inclusions, potential liabilities and budget.
Choose your Wedding Party
Selecting your wedding party is such a fun part of the planning process, but also a really important choice. Choose close friends or family members who you know will be in your life long term, and who will keep your very best interest at heart the whole way through the planning process. Although it’s a fun an exciting time, wedding planning can be stressful and people’s true colours tend to show. Choose people who will be in your corner, help ground you in difficult times and remind you of how fun and exciting this is, even if it seems stressful for a small period of time.
Choose your vendors
There are so many people who have a hand in bringing the vision for your wedding day to life. Meaning it’s super important to choose the vendors who align with your vision for your wedding. Research and compare all your options, meet with and get quotes from as many as you like. I found it really helpful to create seperate Pinterest boards for each element, ie. Stationary, Florals, Table settings, Food, drinks and cake, so that you can visually see how you would like everything to come together. It also makes it really easy to send the specific boards to the relevant vendor and gives them a clear idea of your vision and expectations.
Take note of the vendors that you might want to engage in this list.
Plan the details
With your budget, venue, date, wedding party, and vendors in place, you can go ahead and start planning the details that will make the day unique to you and your partner! There are so many detials includes deciding on a color scheme, in terms of flowers, bridesmaids dresses, the groom and groomsmens suits and how all these colours incorporate and look with your venue.
Visualise the types of flowers, the food and drinks, the stationary, and any other details that will make your wedding unique. Send out invitations: Design and send out wedding invitations, and create a wedding website to provide guests with information about the event, accommodations, and registry.
Shop for the wedding dress and attire: Find a dress that fits your style and budget, and choose the attire for the groom and wedding party.
This is a great starting point to the beginning of your planning process, but the best advise I can give is to enjoy planning while it lasts. This is a special and incredibly unique time in your life which is only going to happen once, so stop and smell the roses every chance you get! It helps to surround yourself with positive people who are excited and encouraging to help you try to relax and have fun.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post, Say I do with Confidence: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started on Wedding.
Until next time,
Melissa Jayne x
Header image: Photo by Emma Bauso on Pexles