(Closed) Wedding Planning – Where to Start?

posted 5 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
1347 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Guest list is the right place to start, that way you can find a venue with enough space/without a huge minimum. 

I’d start looking for a venue as soon as possible, because that can take a while. Once you’ve got the venue, look at caterers if they are not included, then all other vendors- photographers, officiant, stylist ect. It’s easier if you book the venue first, that way you can give the caterers/photographers/celebrant a rough idea of where they need to travel to.

We booked everything about a year in advance, and we had a 19 month engagement. It took us a good 5 months to find a venue we really wanted, and then we booked the caterers, then photographer, then celebrant and lastly a hair stylist. 

Post # 4
410 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I’m not getting married until July next year and I’m trying to do as much as I can as early as I can. We got engaged in October and we already have our venue and celebrant and are meeting with a photographer on Saturday. 

Where we live there’s really only three months of the year to get married because of the weather so venues fill up pretty quickly here. Not to mention because its the nice time of the year it’s when ALL events are on – the races, defence balls, weddings, gala events, etc. So when we started asking about 2015 nobody was surprised. 

Then next was the celebrant for us since there’s only about 23 in our state. So once again, they book up quickly too. 🙂 

Do lots of research at this point. We have looked at centrepieces, invites, decided a theme, already met with the bridesmaids twice to chat, etc. 

Post # 5
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I am getting married August 2015 – and practically I have everything booked (venue, church, photographer, catering, music, transport, flowers, grooms clothes).  i live in a place where you have to book well in advance to get what you want. I have now started looking for a wedding dress and if i find one, I will get it even though there is a year and a half left.  All that is left is the dress and bridesmaids and small things like souvenirs and invites, of which I already checked and told me to order 3 months in advance.

Post # 6
439 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER! Best decision I ever made. We are getting married in August and bring our planner on board has been a huge life saver. He is helping us stay in budget and has saved us as much money as his fee was. 

Post # 7
702 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Venues can book up as far as two years around where I live along with photographers and DJs. It all depends on what you want. I have a semi short engagement (9 months) we were able tobeget everything booked. Once you a venue things get easier.

Post # 8
5950 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Daisymh:  Very good question.  Here is where you start.

There are three very important things that you have to do, each is interdependent, and each will determine a lot about how the whole wedding is going to shake out.  Work on these three steps at the same time:

1) Vision.  What kind of wedding are you envisioning and what are the (FEW!) most important things to you and your husband?  I suggest you two make a short list on the few items that are absolutely most improtant to you (example: Saturday night, open bar, designer dress, etc), and then another list on things that don’t matter too much (example: showy centerpieces, live band, Saturday night, open bar, etc).  You’ll need this to remind yourself of why you refuse to stress out over flowers (or wahever was on the unimportant list) later.

2) Guest list.  Sounds like you’ve got a handle on this.  THere is no point in planning other elements if you don’t know how big of a party you are trying to throw.

3) Budget.  What are you realistically able and willing to spend?  Will you have help from others or will you be footing the bill on your own?  The budget will be rough at this stage, but you’ve got to figure out what ballpark you are working with.

I’m sure you can see how each of these items are interdepenent.  If your vision is an elegant evening at a 5 star hotel with all the celebrity trimmings and your budget is $5k, you are going to be in trouble.  If you want an intimate affair, but you have 150 people on the “close family” list you are going to have an issue.  Etc.

After that I think that venue is the first step.  Venue will determine how you spend most of your budget, will set the tone  for the event, will determine the final date, etc.  Once you have the venue a HUGE piece of the planning is done, espeically if your venue will provide the catering, set up, linens, etc.

If you are looking for a good resource because you don’t know where to start, I suggest the book A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene.  Very good stuff.  She has a website, but the book is more of a guide to getting the wedding planning done.  The website is YEARS of content, so I think the book is a better starting point.


Post # 9
265 posts
Helper bee

Wow!  You all are way ahead of me.  I have been engaged since New Year’s Eve.  So far, we haven’t picked a wedding date, but we’ve ruled out this coming summer.  This evening, we discussed getting married this coming fall.  The only preparations that we’ve made so far is that I’ve started pinning ideas on Pinterest.  I know that I want a rustic/vintage wedding, and I think that I want it at a local state park.  If we time it just right, then we will have the beautiful fall leaves for our wedding.  How much in advance do you usually have to book a venue?  I have also looked at dresses, but that’s just been online.

Post # 10
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

1. Approximate guest list

2. Venue 


You may need to adjust #1 and #2 based off each other (some venues only hold x number of people or may have a minimum, etc.). Venue tends to be a good place to start because that also will establish your exact date. Also, do you have any other specific vendors you have your heart set on (such as a particular photographer)?. If so, check everyone’s availability and book those people/places first. The rest of the vendors you can choose based on their availability.  

Also, do an approximate budget. This will affect vendor choices. Seriously, vendors vary soooo much. It is important to know what you can afford. 

Post # 11
233 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

The venue/caterer and dress!  Then the photographer and DJ.  Then start adding other things as you go along!  Try to have fun with the process and not get too stressed out (at least that’s what I’m telling myself too!)  

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