Searching for a wedding to-do list turns up masses of lists telling you how to plan your wedding on a budget, how to DIY your big day, and all the things that you don’t think of to do. And it’s rare when you see a list telling you where to start – with the basics. You have just got engaged! Your big day might be years away, or right around the corner, but either way that urge to plan has kicked in. But you don’t start with the seating plan, you start with the five basics and build from there.
Start compiling a guest list early on – this will change over time, but you’ll have an idea of numbers pretty quickly. This is great for when you start looking at venues because you’ll be able to discount the too big or too small straight away. Also, work out your potential wedding parties, this might not stay the same, and you don’t have to ask them right away, but figure out how many you want on each side and go from there.
What are your colours, or your theme, going to be? You don’t have to have a theme, but it makes things easier to figure one out early on. A ‘themed wedding’ does sound like a medieval or Star Trek wedding, but it can also mean a loose 20s feel, an outdoor ceremony, and even if it’s going to my traditional, religious or not. Colours are good to nail down early on, but don’t be so fixed on them that you won’t budge; if you love a venue that would clash with your colours then be prepared to be flexible.
Time to think of dates. Again, if it’s years away then pick a year and season, and over time you can narrow that down to a specific day. But remember that venues fill up very quickly, so the earlier you book, the better.
Your venue is crucial. Are you having a religious wedding or a civil ceremony? Do you want a castle or a town hall? Whatever you want will be perfect, but as with colours, don’t set your heart on somewhere so completely that if you can’t book it, you’ll be crushed. Have a few options and stay open-minded. You need to think about location too, if it’s tucked out of the way, or you’re going from one venue to another you’ll need to think about wedding car hire, or is everything in one place? Is there any major players (guests) who can’t travel large distances?
How are you funding the day? Yourselves? With help from family? Start saving and budgeting straight away. Obviously the longer you have to wait, the longer you have to save and to spread out the costs. Stick to the plan and everything will work out fine.