The First 5 Things To Do To Start Wedding Planning

The journey of planning your dream wedding is exciting, and we are here to guide you through it. As experienced wedding planners, we understand that getting started can feel overwhelming. There are so many moving pieces to consider! That’s why we’ve compiled the first five essential steps to help you start your wedding planning adventure with confidence and ease.

Make A Guest List

Your guest count is the most important factor for your overall wedding budget. Your costs will all depend on the number of guests! This is because every piece of your wedding is based on the number of people who attend. From rentals (like tables, chairs, and linens) to florals (each table will have its own centerpiece and decor) and, more importantly, food. It will also determine your venue since most will have a capacity limit.

Sit down with your partner and discuss the people you want to invite. This initial conversation will help you align your priorities and manage expectations.

Once you have a rough draft of the guest list, organize it into tiers: must-haves, nice to have, obligations, and those who are unlikely to attend. This will give you a clear idea of who you want to celebrate your special day with. Additionally, it will help you gauge the final number of guests who will attend.

And don’t forget the plus ones! Your friends will be in various stages of relationships, so consider who gets a plus one and who doesn’t.

This is also the stage where you decide whether you want kids at the wedding or a kid-free event. While children are not a large additional cost, you will want to keep this in your final guest count consideration.

The First 5 Things To Do To Start Wedding Planning

Talk To Stakeholders

Once you have a guest list, it’s time to bring in the stakeholders. Stakeholders include anyone who is financially or emotionally involved in the wedding planning process. While your partner is the main one, it can also include parents who are contributing financially. These can also be your VIPs on the wedding day.

If there are financial contributions involved, have an open discussion about expectations. Will they have a say on the guest list? Decision-making along the way? It’s important to clarify any decision-making authority and make sure everyone is on the same page.

The First 5 Things To Do To Start Wedding Planning

Make A Budget

Once you have an approximate guest count and understand any financial contributions from parents or other stakeholders, it’s time to establish your overall wedding budget! Consider factors such as venue, catering, attire, decorations, and entertainment. You’ll better understand your financial boundaries by allocating funds to each aspect of your wedding.

[Learn More About Making a Wedding Budget For Your DIY Wedding]

How to make your wedding day budget, featuring a wedding at Lake Creek Lodge

Pick A Location

While you don’t need to stress about choosing a specific venue at this stage, it’s important to narrow down the general location or city where you want to host your wedding. Research and explore different cities or areas that appeal to you and your partner.

By narrowing your focus, you can begin reaching out to potential venues in those locations. This step will help you gather information on availability, pricing, and other important details.

If you are looking for more guidance, we can help! Inside our course, Design Your Wedding Day, we walk you through how to finalize your venue, step by step.

How to make your wedding day budget, featuring a wedding at Lake Creek Lodge

Pick A Season

And finally, determine the time of year you want to get married. Keep in mind your preferred time of year, weather conditions, and any significant dates or family commitments that may affect your choice. Additionally, think about whether you’d be open to a Friday or Sunday wedding, as this can offer more flexibility and potential cost savings. Providing venues with this information will help give you the most information about their pricing and availability!

How to make your wedding day budget, featuring a wedding at Lake Creek Lodge

Start Wedding Planning Today!

Starting your wedding planning process with these first five steps will set you on the right track to create a memorable and joyous celebration. Remember, throughout your planning journey, continue to communicate openly with your partner and stakeholders. By establishing a solid foundation early on, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the other aspects of wedding planning with confidence and excitement.

And if starting to plan your wedding is getting overwhelming, check out our course, Designing Your Wedding Day! In this course, you will learn how to design, plan and organize all of your details. It’s all the perks of a professional wedding planner, but with you in the driver’s seat.

Mickey & Phill’s Wedding Vendors

Planning: Ponderosa Planning
Venue: Lake Creek Lodge
Photography: Kayla Cindy Photo
Floral Design: Brier + Ivy
Catering: Bowtie Catering Co.
Rentals: O’Brien Events
Table Settings: Curated Event Rentals
Entertainment: Flip Flop Sounds
Hair: Makeup Mafia Weddings
Makeup: Kate Hana Artistry
Cake: Crumb Cakery
Photo Bus: Bend VW Photo Bus
Dance Floor: Central Event Rentals

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  2. […] Planning a DIY wedding can be an exciting and fulfilling experience! But when it comes to the budget, there are a lot of things to consider. It’s one of the first steps in wedding planning! […]