Welcome to the new brides that don’t know me yet! Let me first introduce myself. My name is Mary. I am a current bride getting married in September this year. I am planning the wedding pretty much alone and have learned SO much since starting to plan over a year ago. We are having a “destination” wedding in California (where I am from – we currently live in New Zealand)! I’d love to get to know you and would love to see you on my Facebook page Mary Taylor Weddings. My posts are designed to be interactive so I can actually talk to the brides that are reading my blogs. I cannot wait to read your comments! If you’re already keen to start looking at decor, gifts, outfits, and more join me in my group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals.
Now, onto the MOST IMPORTANT topic (yes, I said it. This, this is the most important topic of the entirety of wedding planning)….. Where the heck do you even start?! You’ve got this gorgeous ring on your finger and you’re sitting there dreaming about the future. Maybe after a few days (or months or even years) of absorbing the fact that YOU’RE ENGAGED (woo-hoo!) you’re ready to start planning. You’re on your phone or your computer ready to start but have no idea what’s next. You’ll see (or you’ve seen) in my other blogs that I am pretty straight forward. I love lists. I love organization. So, here’s your first list.
These are the first things that you should do (in order) when you’re ready to start planning your wedding:
- Join our FREE wedding shopping group on Facebook for deals, finds, and inspiration
- If you know you’re going to want extra support and help, check out this blog post about our exclusive group.
- Sign up to our email list to receive our timeline to-do list for FREE or purchase it here. You can sign up to our email list while joining our Facebook group or on our homepage.
- Budget (check out my blog about budgeting). Research average costs of weddings in your area. Look at some potential venues and vendors briefly to get an idea of a realistic budget.
- Get a list of questions to ask your wedding vendors (especially for your venues because there will end up being a TON of questions you’ll want to ask them). Here’s a resource that includes questions to ask and an excel sheet (or pretty printable) to record answers.
- Write a very rough idea of your guest numbers (check out this blog on Who to Invite). Once you start writing down names, you’ll likely realize it’s more than you thought. I always recommend writing your lists in different columns or parts (must invites, really want invites, want but not needed/could live without) and separate them into categories (immediate family members, FH friends, FW friends, extended family, friends of both of you, parents friends, coworkers, and other).
- Venue (check out my blog about what to consider and some questions to ask wedding venues). Look for and book your venue. Do this before getting your heart set on a date. In my mind, date and venue should really be considered at the same time. If you’re really set on a date, be prepared to be told that date is booked for this or next year. If you’re planning far in advance, you may not have to worry about that date being booked. Here’s a blog about things to consider when choosing a date.
- After you’ve got a date, rough draft guest list, and your venue booked, if you haven’t already got a checklist, now is time! Do this before you get too far along in planning. Here is the checklist that I recommend: Click here.
- Start booking vendors (start with photographer, videographer, and then DJ. Next should be caterer, HMUA, etc.). Here’s a blog about questions to ask every one of your vendors.
- If you’re visual like me, start a Pinterest board! Feel free to check mine out here. I have boards such as wedding fashion, decor, bridal shower ideas, and our wedding inspiration vs. what we have actually purchased/are actually doing.
Now you’re off to a great start! Look out for more blogs on other topics such as DIY projects, advice from real brides, money saving tips, and more!
I hope this helped you to feel confident in where to begin your wedding planning process. A few more recommendations that I have:
Mary Taylor <3