The holidays are a popular time for couples to get engaged. And if you were lucky enough to find an engagement ring under the Christmas tree, you may be starting the New Year with visions of wedding planning dancing in your head.
Although you may have been dreaming about your big day for years, organizing such an important celebration can seem like a daunting task.
So if wedding plans have you feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and read our advice on where to start:
Set the date(ish)
There’s nothing like having a deadline to make you focus! Choosing a date will help you build a wedding planning timeline, and will make it easier to make concrete plans like choosing a venue, booking a photographer, and buying your dress.
Of course, it’s not as easy as simply picking a day out of thin air.
Is your heart set on an outdoor ceremony? Then you’ll probably want a summer wedding. Are you working with a tight budget? Then you may want to consider a winter wedding to take advantage of off-season pricing.
If you’re planning a large event, you’ll need to leave ample time for preparation – and you may want to check with important out-of-town guests to see what dates might work best for any travel plans.
Remember, no matter how hard you try to choose a date that will be convenient for family and friends, it may be impossible to please everyone. In the end, remember that it’s your day so choose a date that works best for you.
Make your guest list
Many of your most important planning decisions will be influenced by the size of your guest list. You can’t host 120 people in a venue that only holds 60!
The number of guests will also be the most important factor in setting your budget.
And even though not everyone who receives an invitation will be able to attend, we recommend choosing a venue that can comfortably accommodated most of your guest list.
Book your venue
Once you know when you’d like to get married, and how many people you’d like to invite, it’s time to start looking for a suitable venue. More than any other decision, your choice of venue will set the tone for the big day.
Save time by doing preliminary research online.
You should be able to narrow down your choices based on location, venue size, food and beverage options, and price. Then, it’s time to contact your top picks to find out about availability and to book a tour.
Once the date is set, the guest list is determined, and the venue is booked, other details – like the style of your dress, flowers, venue decor, and menu selection – should start falling into place.