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pink and green bridal bouquet with succulents

5 Critical Steps to Start Planning Your Wedding

January 26, 2021

Your engaged!! You’re getting married!!

Pop!

Fizz!

PLAN!

Um, now what??

I know from personal experience that planning your wedding is a daunting task! It’s all very exciting but it can also be somewhat overwhelming. You’re planning one of the biggest milestones of your life and yet you only get one shot at it! By the time you get the hang of it, the planning is over! 

So, where to begin?

There are tons of different ways to go about planning your wedding. And sometimes, the most daunting part is simply getting started. Certain key decisions in the planning process can have a waterfall effect on other later decisions, so it’s important to get those right first!

What are those key decisions? Here are the first five critical steps that married couples recommend you take when starting to plan your wedding! Cheers!

couple popping champagne during winter engagement session outside Union Station Kansas City

0. Celebrate!

You’re getting married, for goodness sake! Before you do anything else, take a moment to celebrate!

You’re going to be married for decades, but you only get to call each other “fiancé” for a short period of time. So after you’ve said “Yes!” take a week or two to soak in this beautiful time in your lives before the planning begins.

intimate summer backyard wedding in Kansas City Missouri

1. Decide your priorities

The very first thing you and your fiancé should discuss when you start wedding planning are your priorities. Really, any part of your wedding can be a priority. Intimate elopement or 300+ guest count? Plated dinner or dream venue? Show-stopping gown or to-die-for live band? It’s entirely up to you and your fiancé what you want to prioritize with your time and budget.

Setting your top 3-5 priorities for the celebration early on will give you a North Star as you navigate the planning process.


blue, green and yellow summer wedding reception decor

2. Draft your guest list

Once you’ve decided on your priorities, you can start to draft your guest list. At this point in the process your guest list doesn’t need to be perfect or complete, but it will help give you an idea of what size of venue you’ll need. Your guest list can also affect key parts of your wedding budget such as florals (for all of your guests’ tables), food, and beverage (to keep the dance floor packed!).


bride and groom portrait on wedding day with long swooping veil

3. Determine your budget

Now that you have a good idea of the size and vision of your celebration, you can start narrowing down your budget! This is where your guest count can really make a difference. And your priorities can help you decide which parts of your celebration you’d like to put for money or effort into.


summer outdoor wedding reception decor at Appleford Estate in Villanova, Pennsylvania

4. Find your venue

Selecting your venue is a huge milestone in the wedding planning process because it will lock in your wedding date! Another reason choosing your wedding venue is a big deal? Its style and design will help inspire so many other planning decisions like your color palette, decor style, wedding day timeline, and more!


blue, green and yellow summer wedding reception decor

5. Secure your key vendors!

Now that you’ve found your venue and locked in your wedding date, it’s time to pack your bench with a team of wedding pros that are going to make your wedding day vision a reality!

But who to book first? Start with the vendors that can only work one event per day. This is typically your coordinator, photographer, DJ/band, and florist. If any of these vendor categories are priorities to you, snatch them first!

If you’re overwhelmed with options for your vendors, lean on the pros you’ve already booked. Your venue and coordinator especially will have recommendations for tried and true vendor pros in your area.


wedding couple walking through tallgrass field in Excello Missouri

Keep calm & marry on.

Whenever wedding planning starts to feel daunting, remember the true meaning of this entire celebration: marrying the person you love! Stay true to your relationship and your priorities, and you can’t go wrong 🙂

Looking for more wedding planning tips & tricks? Check out the Resource Library!

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