Have you recently gotten engaged to the love of your life? Do you want to plan the ultimate wedding, but are unsure of where to start? If so, then you need to learn how to plan a wedding from the pros.
Doing so can help you shine a light on the entire process. You’ll be able to think through all of the essentials, then add on extra elements to your big day as you see fit.
See below for an in-depth guide on how to build the foundation for your wedding to ensure that everything is put into motion for your ceremony and reception.
1. Start By Setting a Budget
Weddings are worth every single penny. That said, they’re also one of the most expensive purchases that you’ll ever make.
It’s best to prepare yourself for the fact that the average wedding costs around $25,700 and some change. That’s not exactly going to be money that you have laying around the house.
Even if your parents (or your fiancé’s parents) offer to help with the wedding, they’ll likely give you a maximum amount that they’re able to help with. Financial constraints should not deter the plans you have for your big day.
Start by setting a wedding budget first. That way, all of the decisions that you make from this point on will be based on the budget you have. It can ensure that you’re starting your marriage the right way.
Start by finding out who all will be contributing to the wedding. Set the total amount that you have with all contributions added up—this is your budget.
Now the trick is to allocate that money effectively. How much will you spend on things like your wedding venue, wedding dress, the groom’s attire, the wedding cake, the number of guests you’ll feed, and so on?
2. Establish Your Must-Haves With Your Future Spouse
Marriage is all about communication. The better you are at talking over big decisions with your future spouse, the happier you both will be.
Why not put that into practice during your wedding planning? Take the time to sit down with your spouse and discuss all of your must-haves. As the name would imply, these are aspects of your wedding that you (and they) deem essential to the ceremony or reception.
This could be anything that you want. It could be such things as:
- Having your wedding on a certain date that has special meaning
- Having the ceremony and/or reception at a specific wedding venue
- Hiring your preferred DJ (who might be a relative or friend)
- Having a certain amount of people in your wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen)
- The overall cost of the wedding
- The theme of the wedding
- Where the wedding will be held (EX: some people dream of having a wedding in Hawaii. Others dream of having the ceremony in the church they grew up in, etc.)
As you can see, your must-haves can refer to any aspect of the wedding. Determining these will help you both understand what cannot be cut or altered from your final plans.
3. Create a Guest List
It’s never too early to start creating a guest list. If you wait too long, then you run the risk of forgetting someone important due to being in a rush.
We have a few key recommendations to help you configure the ultimate guest list. First, make sure you give yourself at least 2 to 3 weeks to come up with the list.
Naturally, there will be people on your guest list that are a higher priority than others. This is what we refer to in the wedding industry as your “A-list”. It contains all of the most important people on your guest list that aren’t already at the wedding party.
Once you feel that you have all of the names listed, separate them into A-lists, B-lists, and even C-lists. When you send invitations out, send them out to your A-listers 9 to 10 weeks out from the wedding. Give your B-list 7 to 8 weeks, and your C-listers (if applicable) 5 to 6 weeks.
4. Find a Venue
Many couples make the mistake of setting a wedding date before they choose a wedding venue. If you do, you might be putting yourself in a significant hole with limited options for venues.
Instead, chose the venue first. If you’re wanting to do separate venues for your ceremony and reception, then choose the ceremony’s venue first.
Look at the dates that your ceremony’s venue is available. Keep a few key dates in mind, then set out to look at reception venues. Cross-reference the available dates for the ceremony venue and the reception venue then set your preferred date!
5. Create a Wedding Website and Registry
As soon as you announce your engagement, you should open up a wedding registry so that you can slowly add items to your list as needed. It’s hard to remember everything at once.
After the registry is set up, be sure to create a wedding website (some sites can help you do this), which can direct guests to the registries you’ve created, give information about the wedding, and anything else you’d like.
Make sure to invest in a wedding planning book so that you can have a way to check off all of the major tasks as you accomplish them. Of course, make sure you also include a catchy hashtag for your wedding!
How to Plan a Wedding: Establish the Foundation
Now that you have seen a guide on how to plan a wedding and all of the things that you should put on your wedding checklist, be sure to use it effectively.
Start by sitting down with your future spouse to set some goals. What are their must-haves? Do they agree with your list of priorities?
Be sure to browse our website for more articles on how to plan a wedding, as well as many other topics that you will enjoy reading.