Ok, so the time has come to tie the knot.
The first thing to do is to stop panicking.
So far, you’ve managed to find your soul mate, decided to commit yourself to that person till the end of time, and to make it official.
The next thing that you need to do is decide on how to celebrate one of the most important days in your life.
Fret not, as this post is designed as a checklist that will help you find your feet and get the ball rolling.
1. Set the Budget
This may not be the most fun thing to do, but it is definitely a starting point. The final number you decide on, together with your partner and perhaps with your families too, has a significant effect on the entire wedding planning process. So, before doing anything else, you need to discuss with your partner, your parents, or any other family member that can contribute and draw up a budget.
Also, it is important to decide on your priorities, so you need to have a clear picture of where you can make some cuts and where you can splurge. Remember – you don’t have to break the bank to have the wedding of your dreams.
2. Choose Your Wedding Date
It’s best to select a few dates, just in case.
For starters, take the weather and holidays into consideration, and, of course, your preferred time of the year.
To be safe, when you pick a perfect date, make sure to opt for a few more plan-B dates to have up your sleeve in case your desired one isn’t available.
3. Create Your Wedding Guest List
Planning a guest list shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Although you may want to throw a party for all of your friends and family, more guests mean higher expenses, so your budget is heavily impacted by the size of your guest list. If you are on a budget, you’re probably better off without the people you haven’t talked to in ages or relatives you barely know.
4. Define Your Wedding Style
Picture your big day and imagine the vibe you want.
The overall feeling and look of your celebration should embody and represent the two of you as a couple, as well as your personal style and taste.
Start by considering these questions first:
Big or small?
Indoors or outdoors?
Home or a destination wedding?
Classic, rustic, romantic, or modern?
Social networks like Instagram or Pinterest can serve as a great source of inspiration to help you define how you want your wedding to look.
5. Pick a Venue
The location sets the tone for your big day, so choosing a venue is a big decision.
The venue should match your vision and taste, and it’s important to opt for a place big enough to accommodate all your guests without getting too crowded. Bear in mind that the venue and catering costs should make up about half of your budget.
Deciding on your wedding theme and style (a formal, black-tie ceremony, rustic, casual, etc.) will help you pick the right venue. If you’re into a rustic or vintage feel, a stylized barn, vineyard, or a picturesque wooden lodge will suit you best!
If you are looking for something different with a wow factor that will sweep your guests off their feet, imagine a romantic wedding venue with stunning views of New York Harbor.
For a bit of glam on your big day, opt for a ballroom or an elegant restaurant. If boho is your thing, you’ll certainly want to check out a garden or a beach setting.
6. Book Priority Vendors
Start with researching potential vendors as soon as possible. Take a look at the vendor’s portfolio and pricing. You’re probably aware that top photographers, videographers, and caterers book out quickly, so it’s essential to act fast.
The same thing goes for entertainers and companies in charge of the decor, invitations, and cake.
7. Her Majesty, the Wedding Dress
Finally, the most fun part!
To get the idea of what you like (and don’t like) sift through Pinterest, bridal magazines, and various online resources.
Before paying a visit to a dress salon, learn a bit about silhouettes, necklines, and fabrics in order to have some suggestions ready. Try out different styles and fits to find that perfect one.
Make sure to find the wedding gown at least eight months ahead, so that you have enough time for potential alterations.
The entire process may feel like a roller coaster ride, and it can be overwhelming at some points, but that’s normal. On such an important day in your life, you want everything to be perfect and to provide your guests with a unique experience. Trust your gut feeling, plan well ahead, and give yourself time to contemplate each decision.