Wedding planning checklist

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You’re engaged, but there’s a lot to do before happily ever after. Knowing where to start planning your wedding can be tricky. Here’s a list of the top priorities that will get your wedding on track.

The first step, pick a date. You simply cannot get far into planning without a date. Do what works best for you, your fiance? and your wedding.

Make a budget. Sit down with your fiance? and your families (if they’re helping). Figure out who’s paying
for what. Are your families pitching in? Get really clear on your finances before you purchase or reserve anything. Be realistic. It’s OK if you don’t have a fortune.

Get inspiration. Make a Pinterest board or an account on TheKnot. com. Both of these sites will enable you to view a lot of options for themes and de?cor inspiration. Start figuring out what you want your wedding colors and style to be. Are you into vintage revival? Rustic charm? Maybe tomboy chic? By knowing your theme it will help you narrow down a venue.

Pick a venue. This is crucial to book as soon as you can. Venues fill up fast. A few things to think about are food and decorations. Are you getting a caterer or do you want the food to be provided on site? Or there’s always the option of getting or cooking the food yourself. How much de?cor will the venue require? A lot of times a “free” space like a church gym will end up being more expensive to decorate. If you’re looking for “free” venues, opt for a friends beautiful backyard or some place that doesn’t require as much sprucing.

Find a photographer. Like venues, photographers get booked fast. Go through Pinterest and The Knot and find what photography style you like the most. Don’t be afraid to shop around for photographers until you find the one that shares your vision.

This is the person you are entrusting to capture all of those wonderful moments on your special day. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend doing your pictures, make sure they’re aware of what you want. A good photographer is crucial.

Find a dress you feel beautiful in. Don’t wait to lose those ten extra pounds before you go dress shopping. A lot of bridal shops make the gowns to order and may require you to order months in advance. If you’re buying a dress off the rack you’ll want to get in line for alterations (unless you’re lucky and it fits perfectly).

Book a baker. The cake, surprisingly, needs to be booked early. You don’t necessarily need to have a design picked out right away, just a reservation. Start taste-testing now.

There’s a lot to do and it can feel overwhelming. Be gentle with yourself and enjoy the planning while it lasts. It will all be worth it in the end.

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