(Closed) How do you start planning a wedding?!?!

posted 6 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
3120 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

B. U. D. G. E. T.

Post # 4
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Guest list! Then you can look at appropriately sized venues. And budget too I guess.

Post # 5
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Oh and congratulations!! 

Post # 6
9115 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I picked a venue first (Although mine was outside so I could essentially have “unlimited” people but a more logical route would be to draw up a guest list. From there you can make a budget and work around the people you want to be there.

Post # 7
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

hahaaha, I love @Mars62312 ‘s response! So TRUE! This (IMO) is step one.  I feel like once you know your financial situations, some decisions make themselves and some planning steps may already be crossed off the list.  You can always find fairly helpful planning lists on sites like weddingwire or theknot.  At least it will get you started…..Just think BIG to SMALL.  Pick and reserve your vendors, then worry about details regarding those vendors.  GOOD LUCK AND CONGRATULATIONS!

Post # 8
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

YAY!! Congrats!  The very first thing I did was go to the book store and buy a book.  I think it’s called “The everything wedding planning book”, but they have so manydifferent ones though, and I think they have some at libraries?  This was just to make myself feel better that I wouldn’t forget anything.  Second, was comming up with a BUDGET, how much I have already saved, plus how much can I save?  There are a few different places that tell you what % is basically spent of what.  I went way off from that spred sheet.  So, remember, it’s just a guide.  3rd was gather inspiration, for me anyway.  I’ve noticed in some other post from other bees, that they booked the venue, and a few other things before searching for inspriation for decorations.  I needed a feel for the atmosphere that I wanted first, and got my insiration from various websites, here, youtube, pinterest…

I also have a 3 ring binder with dividers to keep my budget in, a list of my favorite websites, a list of flowers, a punch recipe, ect.    

Post # 9
8576 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I started like this :

– Date.

– Budget [or a general estimate of what we wanted to spend]. Ours is $19,000 total including honeymoon.

– Time. Time can alter what you should offer at your wedding. A morning wedding means some type of breakfast bar. A noon wedding means you could pull off a tea party or lunch hour. Evening wedding usually requires a plated dinner, and sometimes have drinks & dancing.

– Theme/Venue – Whichever one is more important to you. If theme is important, you’ll want to pick your theme THEN your venue that suits your theme. If your venue is important, you’ll want to choose your venue and then figure out a theme that goes well. Or no theme at all.

– Colors.


Everything else has just sort of fell into place..

Post # 10
342 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

BUDGET!! Figure that out and things will start to fall into place. It may require you do some research on local vendors, such as caterers and venues.  Ultimately, your budget will help you determine how many guest you can invite and the number of guest you invite will narrow down venue options. Once you have a venue then caterers might be the next big step.

Best of luck to you.

Post # 11
363 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Budget and guest list are great to start with.  That way, you know what you can spend and how many people your venue needs to hold.  From there, you can start your venue hunt!  Another good thing to keep in mind is that in general (regardless of your budget), your reception will be 50-60% of your total budget.  This includes venue, food/drinks, entertainment, etc.   

Good luck!

Post # 12
3400 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I got engaged this summer & didn’t start planning until a month ago! Hah, it’s definitely a daunting task!

I started by having a tentative budget. My number started at 3k, but when I really started to research, I realized that it would be nearly impossible to do a medium sized wedding for kind of money unless I wanted to get incredibly crafty and ask for lots of help from other (neither of which I want to do!). I realized a better estimate was about 4k for a 90-100 person wedding with my restrictions and vision. I also live in MI, so it’s a bit easier to get away with this kind of budget here.

Secondly, I created a guest list. I divided it up this way: My mom’s side of the family, dad’s side of the family, and my “extras” (such as friends etc..), then I did the same for my groom. So I ended up with 6 groups, and I also prioritized them by MUSTS and WANTS. By dividing it this way, it was sooo much easier to tackle and make changes to in a reasonably simple way. Your tentative guest list basically has to be the very first or second thing you do, because everything else hinges on this count.

Thirdly, I went internet crazy looking up venues. At this stage in the game, you really don’t know if your venue will include catering and bar service, so it’s best to wait on looking into those things until you’ve found your venue, done a walk-through, and negotiated price. I found my venue first, then set my date after finding what they had available open, and checking to make sure that our immediate families could attend, and our bridal party. I wouldn’t worry so much about everybody else, because frankly, it’s too much of a hassle to coordinate around too many peoples schedules, and people will prioritize accordingly..

My venue provided everything but catering and bar service, so I then went about sourcing catering by looking online, getting references from my venue, and asking at some of my local favorite restaurants. I found a restaurant that would cater my evening reception using their lunch menu, and it was incredibly reasonable! Don’t be afraid to tell them your budget, and then let them decide if they can work within it. You’d be surprised what they can come up with if you stand firm! As far as bar service, I hit craigslist and found a fabulous freelance bartender with 20yrs of experience who was willing to plan my whole bar and serve for 4hrs for a meer $100!

Lastly, attend to the details, and don’t let them eat you up inside! I got my invites for free (literally!) on partypop.com just by seeing a superbowl commercial that advertised it. Granted, I haven’t got them yet, but they really are legit and they print them on 80lb cardstock with matching envelopes and use an online RSVP system (they give you a wedding website) for totally free, and even mail them to you for free!

Just remember, it’s your wedding, and you can omit anything that doesn’t suit YOU as a couple! There are so many things I’m not doing to save money, and my guests probably won’t miss almost any of it! Plus, I did all that planning in a month! It can be done 🙂

Post # 13
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Guest List: I think this should go first. It can always be trimmed later on but it gives you an idea of how big of a wedding you’re planning for. Plus, it’s free and you don’t have to have any of those awkward talks (don’t relax yet, they’re coming). It was kind of a cool bonding exercise for my Fiance and I too.

If you send Christmas cards, this is SUPER EASY. Take your Christmas List and ask yourself, would you want that person on your zombie apocolypse team? If yes, invite them. If no, cut em.

Priorities: Figure out what’s important to you guys. What are things you can waver on and what aren’t? 

It doesn’t have to be a formal conversation, just an ongoing discussion about the things that mean most to you (does he absolutely want cake? do you NEED that $2000 dress and aren’t willing to wear anything else?). Decide on the things that mean most to him and how you two can work into the…

Budget: This is where all of your REAL wedding planning begins. This is what decides between a wedding run by iPod in the park or a 12 piece swing band at the Hyatt. Figure out who is going to contribute and then sit them down and put together your tentative budget.

From there you can just google “wedding calculators” and a plethora of websites will come out. This will give you an idea of how much you can spend on a venue, catering, dj and such.

It’s a lot of work but it’s definitely a start. Congratulations! I wish you both the very best! Can’t wait to hear about it!


Post # 14
1430 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I’d say pick a budget first, then guest list, and then venue. Cause if the place you want is out of your reach financially, it won’t work. If it does work for your budget, but you want 100 guests and it only holds 50, then that’s no good either. So yeah, budget, guest list, and then venue.

Post # 15
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@Ablondesdiylife:  How do you start?

With a big breath. 😀


After that, you start figuring out your busget. Just like a paper in high school, start with a rough draft, and keep on refining that sucker! There are a couple ways I think are useful to figure out your budget.


A: Determine how much disposable income you can collect each month. If you have a rough timeframe for your wedding (a season, or a month) You can add up your monthly disposable income and come up with a rough estimate of your budget. You can refine that based on average wedding prices in your area


B: You can make up a rough draft of your guest list. Figure out your must haves, nice to haves, and don’t really care invitees. Figure out your minimum guest lsit number (must haves only) and your maximum (all persons on your list) and find an average price per head for wedding services in your area. You can price menu and rental items per head, and then price venues to hold that many people. After that, you’ll have to do some research into your non pph wedding items, but it just takes time.

Myself, I went with the “how much can we save” route. It’s working well, so far! And I have a post from jsut a few months ago about freaking out on how to start planning! 

Post # 16
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I have used the checklist on theknot.com to figure out everything that I should be doing and when I should do it. It is a little overwhelming at first, but just pay attention to to the things it is telling you that you need to do RIGHT THEN. It is super helpful.

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