Post # 1
Okay, so I’m engaged and it’s wonderful, but now what? I am dreadful at organizing things! What’s the best way to start? Agree on a date? Book a venue? Get guest numbers? I have no idea!
Oh, and we are thinking summer 2013.
Post # 3
Get an idea of guest numbers. We got ours pretty exact, but not completely.
Then go venue shopping. Have a few dates in mind; being flexible about dates normally pays off. I had several months that we both agreed would work, our PREFERRED days, and we decided to find the best venue available on one of them.
After that, the things that book quicker in most areas are photographers/videographers, caterers (sometimes), officiants, and of course ordering your dress.
Good luck and happy planning! I do recommend that you be as organized as you possibly can. I created a notebook with tabs for each big thing and a giant expense spreadsheet. It REALLY helped!
Post # 4
In my opinion, the first thing to do is get a general idea of a budget.
Look at pictures in magazines, blogs, etc. and get a general idea of what you want.
Make a preliminary list of people so you know about how many you’ll have on your guest list.
Then you can start getting more specific. You can research venues in your area, talk to planners if you want one, etc.
Also, before you get too bogged down in details, you should decide what things are most important to you. If you know now that there are 100 people you MUST have there, be firm about that before you fall in love with a venue that only holds 75. If you have a certain date that is important to you, don’t pick a photographer who is already booked for that date.
Post # 5
Get a budget (online budget calculators are really handy) and an idea of your guest numbers (doesn’t have to be concrete, but at least have a sense of whether you want to have 50 people or 200). I assume you’ve already got a feeling about church/garden/beach etc, if not, decide 🙂
Check out venues, be flexible on dates.
Enjoy looking at pretty pictures online and in magazines 🙂
Don’t go crazy, don’t let it take over your life, don’t make promises to people you can’t keep (“of course your crazy great aunt will be invited, MIL”), don’t try to please everyone (impossible) and mostly take lots of time together to remember why you want to be together forever 🙂
Post # 6
@Jezika: Definitely first step is a rough guest count to have an idea of what your max possible number will be so you can venue shop. Then make a priority list of wedding dates – when you visit/contact venues, let them know 1) how many people you imagine you’ll have & 2) what day(s) you’re interested in!
Post # 7
As others have all said, some need to be done off the bat:
1) Establish a guest list. We started with a “dream list” from us, and both sets of parents.
2) Establish a budget. If the budget is too low for the guest list, start chopping.
3) Find venues that fit your budget and guest list.
4) Find a selection of days that work for yourselves and any major “Cannot get married without them there” VIP’s, and find a date that a venue you love is available.
Easy peasy, right?
Post # 8
I say tentative guest list, budget, venue. Just take it one step at a time, and it won’t seem so overwhelming.
Post # 9
Budget and Guest List come first….
Then venue & dress – also keep in mind any ideas for theme (if your want one) and colors.
Colors and theme are important to consider because if you like browns and pinks but the venue is a strange green gold color they won’t work…. just something to keep in mind.
I also recommend having a good convo with your fiance about what is most important to you (music – party, being with family, church wedding, photos to remember your day, your dream dress, etc) this plays a role in how you divy up your budget – to me and my fiance the local (being big enough to support our large families), getting married in the church and the photos that we will use to remember the day were our most important dreams for our day. (I also suggest the dress – because we had started purchasing things based on our colors and what I envisioned but I then went out and bought a vintage looking dress and had to rethink a bunch of things to go with my dress!)