Photo by Mateo & Company

How to Start Planning a Wedding: When No One Gave You a Darn Map

You’re engaged. You’re wearing the ring, you’ve taken the obligatory show-off-the-ring photo, you’ve said thank you a hundred times (at least). You threw out a few ideas to those who assume you’ve already made decisions on everything from your colors to how you’ll do the exit.

But once the glow of engagement starts to fade, reality hits and you face down how to plan a wedding.

That’s where I found myself in March 2017 after my now-husband popped the question. The halo of ‘being engaged’ swiftly started to translate into the impending need to plan a wedding. I was pretty clueless about where or how to start. Thankfully, the more you learn, the more you can pass on.

If you find yourself lost about how to start the wedding planning process, here are a few thoughts and tips to get you off the ground:

Time of Year & Venue

The time of year and availability of the venue will ultimately set the foundation for your wedding planning.

When contemplating time of year, consider the pros of each season: a spring wedding offers decent weather, while a winter wedding can provide a dramatic backdrop for your photos. Fall also offers cooler weather and a gorgeous setting for an outdoor celebration. (In fact, October is now one of the best times of year to say “I do.”) Summer weddings can prove handy for availability if you’re planning to host a multitude of guests during the designated months of relaxation.

After the ‘when’ comes the ‘where.’ When considering a venue, what do you envision? Are you getting married in a church, temple, or other house-of-worship? Do you see yourself getting married in an event hall, historical location, or a loved one’s home? Maybe you see yourself on a beach, mountainside, or even a cornfield. Whatever your idea might be (and don’t worry, there might be a few), don’t be afraid to follow it.

Keep in Mind: Venues that also include accommodations (hint, hint, like The Burgundy House) can take the logistical stress out of planning transportation, so you can spend more time sipping mimosas and less time stuck in the back of a car on your wedding day.

Time of year and venue are interchangeable depending on importance to the couple, but the date your venue will be available will be the ultimate deciding factor. Once that date is confirmed, tah-dah! You have a target due date.

Create a Pinterest Board for Your Wedding

According to Wedding Wire’s 2019 Newlywed Report, 64% of soon-to-be brides and grooms use Pinterest for inspiration.

Not only can you consolidate your ideas, but you can also organize them into sub-boards for other things you have in mind (think dress, favors, colors, cake, etc.). What’s exceptional about Pinterest is the algorithms. Pinterest continuously updates your main feed, so new ideas and pins will pop-up.

In a day and age when knowledge is at our fingertips, so too is inspiration.

Consult Friends Who Went Through the Wedding Planning Process

The best source of information is often the people who have already gone through it.

When I was planning my wedding, I must have messaged all of my married friends over a dozen times. I’d ask about pricing, vendors they used, best places for hair and make-up, everything!

Apart from the friendly knowledgeable advice, value will also come from what they would have done differently and how you can apply that to your own nuptials.

Purchase a Wedding Planning Binder, Book, or App

Depending on your level of organization, using a wedding planning binder, book, or app can be immensely helpful for your planning process. I found that the most significant value came from the excellently-thorough checklists.

A physical planning source can keep you on track and provide reminders for important things that you might not have thought of otherwise (like transportation—who knew you had to figure out a way to get from your bridal suite to your venue **insert big sigh**.)

Visit the wedding planning section of your local book store for a variety of planning guides or check out wedding planning apps like The Knot, Zola, or Wedding Wire.

Build a Starter Budget

To give yourself a framework or an idea of how much you’d like to spend, write out a starter budget.

You might want to put more importance on the flowers rather than the cake. Or you’re willing to spend more on the photographer and less on the invitations. Just as with the time of year and the venue, knowing what’s right for you can help you narrow down your decision making.

But keep in mind, this is a starter budget. Unless you’ve fully priced out every vendor in the area, your budget is bound to change. Email the vendors you’re interested in, set up meetings, and update your budget along the way.

Knowing where to start when planning your wedding can be confusing, but with the steps above you can be off the ground in no time.

Be flexible, stay positive, resist the urge to say, “Screw it! We’re eloping!” (though elopement is also excellent an option), and remind yourself that all of this is about you and the person you’ve chosen to walk through life with.

The Burgundy House offers a unique and intimate setting to help you celebrate the next chapter of your love story. The Burgundy House also offers three luxury accommodations for all your wedding needs. Click here to schedule a walkthrough with our Wedding Specialist.

Photo by Mateo & Co.

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