When planning a wedding certain aspects must come first. These things don’t have to be completed immediately, but they should be started at the least. These are the factors that take more time to complete and are often adjusted before the big day. 

Estimate the budget. This will come in handy when planning the later steps of the event, and will keep things realistic for everyone. Planning the budget as soon as possible will prevent the disappointment of downgrading things like the dress, food or venue to fit the remaining funds.

Settle on a date. Most likely the chosen venue will determine the date, but it is also necessary to work around the schedules of family, friends and the wedding party. The event time should also be determined to ensure the preferred official is available to oversee the proceedings.

Pick a venue. The venue must be chosen early as reservations are filled fast. The reception may take place at the same or another venue. If the reception is off-site, it must be booked as well, along with guest travel plans between the two sites.

Start the guest list. The catering arrangements and the venue seating must be planned around the number of guests. It will also affect the final budget, so it may be best to reduce the guest list by removing those who have to pay extra travel expenses to attend.

Decide on the wedding party. As soon as news of the engagement spreads, close friends and family will be curious to know if they will be involved in the ceremony. It’s best to make final plans well before alerting those chosen so as not to offend others.

Choose the food. Once the guest count has been established, the caterer should be chosen and alerted with a rough estimate for the actual guests attending. The cake should be chosen early as well, so it’s good to begin tasting with final ideas in mind.

Have attire prepared. Everyone in the wedding party should try on their clothing months before the ceremony is to take place. The bride should be browsing dresses eventually picking and fitting the right one. The groom and wedding party should make all arrangements to have their clothes ready. Due to diets, stress or miscommunication clothing often needs to be altered repeatedly before the wedding so this part should be completed within weeks of the wedding, at the latest.

Hire a photographer and videographer. It’s smarter to view the portfolios of numerous photographers before choosing. Depending on the preferred style or the wedding date, only some will be a good match. It is important to check the photographer’s client ratings as he or she will be responsible for sealing the memories of this important day.

Find the music. Some couples prefer a live band while others like to create their own playlists of contemporary music. In either scenario, this information needs to be finalized and reiterated before show time. If a live band is performing, it is a must to audition and look around. If a DJ will be playing from a personal playlist, he or she must have the music media in addition to backup copies.

Book the honeymoon! After all of the wedding plans, this step is often cause for relief from the stress. Couples should take time to discuss their favorite destinations and make any necessary arrangements such as updating passports or vaccinations.

For the newly engaged, the excitement of the engagement may take some time to overcome. Once it has settled, excitement may turn to intimidation at the thought of planning the wedding. As long as it’s taken step by step, there is no reason to be overwhelmed.

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