How to Start Wedding Planning After You Get Engaged

Just engaged? Once the excitement wears off, you might feel overwhelmed thinking about wedding planning and not know where to start. We’re here to help. Make these your first to-dos:

Set Your Budget

Although it’s not the most romantic answer, it’s important to consult with a planner, or someone who at least has experience planning a wedding, to build a complete budget before you start looking at venues,” says Kristen Estela of Lovely Event Planning in White Plains, NY.

Pick a Location and Venue

Simply put, “if you don’t have the venue locked down quickly, you won’t be getting married,” says celebrity wedding planner Brian Worley. “The good ones go fast.” Then once
you’ve got your date set, you can start booking other vendors.

Dream Up Your Vision

Boho glam or rustic elegance? After settling on a style and color scheme, your other choices—from the flowers to the cake—will be so much easier, and the whole event will feel cohesive.

Book a Photographer/Videographer

“These pros can only do one wedding a day and without them you don’t have the memories,” says Worley. Booking an engagement shoot is a good way to try out a potential wedding photographer to see if you get along and you like his or her style.

Choose the Entertainment

Just like your photographer, the band or DJ can typically book only one wedding a day—so don’t delay if you want a particular one to play yours. After all, the dance floor is the heart of the party.

Buy Your Dress

Some women find the perfect gown at the first boutique, while others shop for months. Either way, it’s key to start early—aim to get your order in at least nine months before the wedding so there’s plenty of time for alterations.

wedding planning tips
Marchesa Notte collection

Mail the Save-the-Dates

Send these to your guests six to eight months before the wedding, says Lauren Marrus, CEO of stationer Dempsey and Carroll. (The invitations should go out eight weeks before
the big day.) If you decide to go with a custom-engraved save-the-date, Dempsey and Carroll’s specialty, order them two to three months in advance.