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Our How To Plan Your Wedding Guide

Congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding can seem like a daunting task, but don't worry, we've got you covered with our step-by-step guide. Whether you're dreaming of a simple, intimate celebration or a grand, lavish affair, our guide will help you stay organized and stress-free throughout the planning process.

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Take it one step at a time and don't hesitate to delegate tasks to family and friends. Remember to communicate any changes to your vendors in a timely manner, and don't forget to breathe! With our guide, planning your dream wedding will be a breeze.


What are the steps to planning a wedding?


When it comes to planning your dream wedding, it's essential to have a game plan. Following a comprehensive checklist and tackling the steps in order can make the process smooth and relatively stress-free. Each task has its place in the timeline, ensuring that everything falls into place effortlessly. For instance, setting a date and booking the venue before selecting your attire can ensure that your look is comfortable for the event's setting and season. These are just a few reasons why following the steps to planning a wedding is crucial for your big day's success. If a wedding checklist seems a bit daunting, don't worry! Here's a rundown of the essential steps you need to take to create an unforgettable wedding. Of course, you may want to add additional tasks to your list, but for now, let's focus on the must-dos. Ready to dive into planning mode? Let's take a look at how to plan a wedding step by step.

Congratulations on making it through our ultimate wedding planning guide! We hope that our step-by-step tips and advice have helped you to navigate the planning process and create your dream wedding. Remember, this day is all about celebrating your love and commitment to each other, so don't forget to take a moment to soak it all in and enjoy every precious moment. Best wishes for a lifetime of love, happiness, and adventure together!


Step 1: Create a Sensible Wedding Budget and Stay Within Your Means


Your wedding budget is the foundation for all your decisions, so tackle this step early on. Discuss financial contributions with family, and take a good look at your finances if you're covering the costs. Establish your budget and promise to stick to it. Allow for flexibility in unexpected costs, last-minute changes, and upgrades. Allocate 10-15% of your budget to a contingency fund to handle unforeseen expenses. With a contingency fund, you'll be prepared for anything and avoid getting caught off guard.


Step 2: Determine Your Wedding Must-Haves


Grab your partner and get ready to brainstorm! Take a moment to identify your top three wedding must-haves. Is it a breathtaking venue, a specific date that's meaningful to you both, or an unforgettable live band to get the party started? Whatever it is, put those must-haves at the top of your priority list and be open to negotiating on the rest. Knowing what's truly important will help you stay on budget and put your energy towards the things that will make your big day truly unforgettable.


Step 3: Discover Your Unique Wedding Style


Your wedding day should reflect you and your partner's unique style, personality, and love story. To get inspired, explore various bridal resources, from Pinterest and Instagram to wedding magazines and websites. Don't be afraid to take your time and curate a collection of your favorite wedding ideas and images. Consider creating a Pinterest board or a visual collage on a cork or poster board to help you narrow down your wedding style and stay true to your vision.


While it's great to have a plethora of inspiration at your fingertips, it's important to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Limiting the amount of time you spend browsing photos and ideas can help you stay focused and avoid feeling bogged down by too many choices. To streamline the process, make a list of your likes and dislikes, as well as your must-haves and deal-breakers, so you can quickly review and assess the inspiration images that speak to you.


Step 4: Finding Your Perfect Date (and Season)


Choosing the perfect date for your wedding is exciting and important, but it's essential to be flexible and open-minded to secure your dream venue and vendors. Consider external factors that could impact your plans, including popular dates that may be more challenging to book and seasonal variations in prices and availability. Don't forget to also consider your guests' schedules and availability. So, get creative with your date ideas, weigh all the factors, and choose the perfect season to celebrate your love and start your forever together.


Step 5: Add Flair to Your Big Day with a Theme


Adding a theme to your wedding is an excellent way to infuse personality and style into your special day. Whether you choose a specific color palette or take inspiration from a particular era or style, a theme can help streamline the design process and make decision-making easier.


Incorporating your chosen theme into every aspect of your wedding, from the invitations to the centerpieces, can create a cohesive look and feel that will impress your guests and leave a lasting impression. So, get creative and think outside the box when selecting your wedding theme.


Whether you opt for a vintage-inspired theme or a modern and minimalist look, choosing a concept that resonates with you and your partner can help make your big day truly unforgettable.


Step 6: Create Your Ideal Guest List


Sit down with your partner and family members to brainstorm your ideal guest list. Consider your venue, budget, and any logistical constraints as you refine your list. Decide whether to invite children and offer plus ones. With careful planning, you can create a memorable and intimate celebration with those closest to you.


Step 7: Chat with Other Happily Ever Afters!


Did you attend a wedding that made you want to dance the night away? Don't be shy, ask that loved-up couple for their top tips and tricks! They probably have some invaluable insights and expert advice that they'd love to share with you. Who says you can't lean on friends and family for the best wedding planning advice? Get inspired by the other couples in your life and let their wisdom guide you.

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Step 8: Let's Venue Hunt!


Time to do some investigating! Don't just settle for the first venue that catches your eye. Take a look at multiple options to find the perfect fit for your big day. Check out their prices, packages, and any restrictions (like minimum budget spend or guest count). But wait, there's more! Don't be afraid to ask around and see what other venues are charging. You never know what hidden gem you might discover. Remember, you want your wedding to be perfect, so take your time and explore all your options before signing on the dotted line. Happy venue hunting!



Step 9: Book Wedding Vendors You Click With!


Wedding vendors are like the unsung heroes of your big day, making everything from the flowers to the food to the music come to life. So, it's important to choose a team of vendors who not only understand your vision but also make you feel comfortable and excited about working together. Don't rush into any decisions. Take your time and consider a few different options. Look for vendors who vibe well with you and your partner and have a good sense of your vision. And don't forget to stay within your budget! Pay attention to how they communicate with you. If their style isn't a good match or they seem uninterested, it's time to move on to someone who truly gets you. And remember, it's okay to ask questions and check-in along the way.


Step 10: Don't Get Caught Off Guard - Read Those Contracts!


Before signing anything, make sure to read and review every detail of your wedding vendor contracts. Look out for red flags like no post-service reviews or unfair cancellation policies. Keep an eye out for policies regarding changes in service, like unexpected guest count changes, which could lead to an increase in rates. Remember, everything needs to be in the contract, from dates to colors, so that you're protected if things go sideways. So, don't be afraid to ask questions, and make sure you understand all the terms before signing on the dotted line.


Step 11: Choosing Your Wedding Squad


Your wedding party is there for emotional and tactical support from start to finish. So, choose wisely! Consult with your partner on the right squad size, considering the expenses that come with it. Pick the people you really want by your side, who are capable of performing their duties throughout the planning process.


Step 12: Shop for Your Wedding Look!


Let's talk fashion! Finding the perfect wedding dress is an adventure in itself, so we suggest starting your search after you've picked your venue and ordering it nine months before the big day. This gives you plenty of time for fittings and alterations. Next up, wedding party ensembles! Aim to start shopping seven to eight months before the wedding date, and for the gents, around five months before. Don't forget about your pre-wedding events - brunches, showers, and rehearsals - you'll need outfits for those too!


Step 13: Let's Make Your Dream Gifts Come True!


Building your wedding registry is all about making your wildest gift wishes come true. Start by creating a list of everything you'd love to receive from your guests, whether it's traditional items or something more creative like funding your dream honeymoon or making a charitable contribution. Don't forget to share your registry information on your wedding website or invitation insert (never on the actual invitation). With your Wishlist in hand, you'll be well on your way to receiving the perfect presents that'll help you start your new life together.


Step 14: DIY Your Way to a Personalized Wedding!


DIY wedding decor can save you some serious cash while adding unique and personal touches to your special day. But don't go too crazy, or you might end up with a DIY disaster! Keep it simple by tackling projects that can be done well in advance, like favors and welcome bags. For florals and food, leave it to the pros for flawless results.


Step 15: Wedding Invitations and Save the Dates


Ready to spread the word about your big day? Start planning your wedding stationery as soon as you know your wedding style and venue. Send save-the-date cards nine months ahead of time for destination weddings, and four to six months for local events. Then, six to eight weeks before the big day, send out your invitation suites. Just be sure to request RSVPs back one month before the celebration to avoid any last-minute hiccups!


Step 16: Make Your Wedding Unique


Your wedding day should be special and unique to you! Consider adding some personal touches that hold a special meaning for you and your partner, whether it's incorporating familial or cultural traditions or starting a new tradition of your own. Don't be afraid to let your personalities shine and make your wedding day a reflection of your love and style. After all, it's your day to celebrate! Be sure to plan ahead to incorporate any of these.


Step 17: Wedding Transportation Made Easy


Transportation is a key element of your wedding day, so let's make it fun! First, consider the three categories of wedding transportation: getting to the ceremony, your getaway car, and group transportation for guests. For a personalized touch, get creative with unique types of transportation that fit your surroundings. How about a vintage trolley or a horse-drawn carriage? If you have out-of-town guests, don't forget to book group transportation to make their travel stress-free. And remember, hotel blocks can come in handy for coordinating transportation.


Step 18: Wedding Bands: Time to Shop and Protect


Celebrate your engagement and love by shopping for your wedding bands! Don't forget to insure your engagement ring and add your new bands to the policy. Enjoy this moment before you say "I do!"


Step 19: Pre-Wedding Fun and Festivities


Before your big day, there are plenty of fun pre-wedding events to enjoy, from engagement parties to bachelor/bachelorette parties. While traditionally hosted by close friends or family, you'll need to be involved in planning by creating guest lists to pass on to the generous hosts.


Step 20: Let's Plan the Rehearsal Dinner!


The rehearsal dinner is just as important as other pre-wedding festivities. Whether you're hosting it or someone else is, it's time to plan! You'll need a venue, guest list, delicious catering, and fun invitations. If you're having a destination wedding or wedding weekend, you can either tie the rehearsal dinner into the welcome party or keep it separate.


Step 21: Hire a Day-Of Coordinator


Think you can handle the wedding day chaos on your own? Think again! Hiring a day-of coordinator can be a total game-changer. They'll keep track of vendors, make sure everything stays on schedule, and tackle any last-minute details or on-site tasks you just don't have time for. Don't wait until the last minute to book your coordinator though - they're typically hired six to eight months in advance.


Step 22: Make it Legal


Amidst all the wedding craziness and endless details, don't forget the important step of getting your marriage license! Research and gather the necessary documents early on, as licenses are typically only valid for a few months, and destination weddings may have additional requirements. But don't worry, getting your license can be a fun adventure! Make a date out of it and explore the city or town where you'll tie the knot.


Step 23: Prepare the wedding toasts


Wedding toasts are a big deal, so let's make sure they're done right. Typically reserved for VIPs, toasts can be spread between the rehearsal dinner and reception, or all done in one shot. You're in charge of organizing the speaking order and notifying the toast-makers of their responsibilities. And don't forget about readings! Including traditional, cultural, or literary readings in the ceremony is a beautiful way to honor important people in your lives. As with toasts, you'll choose the speakers and define the order.


Step 24. Get Ready to Set Up!


As your big day approaches, make sure you're all set up! Touch base with your venue to determine when your vendors can arrive for setup. The earlier, the better - but be aware of other events taking place the same day. Share this info with your vendors to ensure everything is seamless on the day of your wedding.


Step 25: Build Your Wedding Playlist!


Get ready to boogie down and groove to your favorite tunes! Whether you're having a live band, DJ, or DIY-ing the music yourself, it's crucial to create a playlist of must-play songs for your big day. But wait, there's more! Don't forget to also make a list of songs you absolutely don't want to hear. Let's make sure the music sets the perfect vibe for your celebration, and leave the cringe-worthy tracks at home.


Step 26: Writing Your Wedding Vows


Put down your wedding planner hat and let's switch to your to-be-wed headdress. Take some time alone to gather your thoughts and write down your declarations of love and nuptial promises for your spouse-to-be. Remember, your vows should include actual promises, not just love letters. So, get creative and make your vows fun, heartfelt, and meaningful. After all, they are called vows for a reason!


Step 27: Create Your Wedding Day Schedule


Make sure your wedding day runs like a dream by creating a comprehensive schedule of events. This will ensure everyone knows where to be and when to be there, keeping things running smoothly and stress-free.


Include everything from hair and makeup appointments to when vendors will arrive, transportation to the ceremony, the couple's arrival to the reception, speeches, the first dance, cake-cutting, and more. Print or email copies to key players, including your MC, photographer, maid of honor, family members, vendors, and anyone else who needs to know the plan.


The last and most important step:


Enjoy the Ride! You're getting married! Soak up the love and don't sweat the small stuff. No need to stress over tiny details that guests won't even notice. Focus on the big picture, relax, and savor every moment with your loved ones. And most importantly, don't forget to eat! The day will fly by, so take a deep breath, let go, and enjoy the ride!


Congratulations on making it through our ultimate wedding planning guide! We hope that our step-by-step tips and advice have helped you to navigate the planning process and create your dream wedding. Remember, this day is all about celebrating your love and commitment to each other, so don't forget to take a moment to soak it all in and enjoy every precious moment. Best wishes for a lifetime of love, happiness, and adventure together!


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