3 Key Steps to Start Planning Your Wedding

How to start planning your wedding

Just got engaged? CONGRATULATIONS!

This is by far one of the most exciting times of your life and the very FIRST thing to do is to just enjoy the moment for a while!

Ok, so once it has sunk in that you are going to marry the Love of Your Life, here are a 3 key steps to help you get your wedding planning started the right way.


  1. Decide on what kind of wedding you would like


Sit-down formal event, or casual food truck wedding? Elopement overseas, or local? Church or garden wedding? Big party with all of your family and friends, or small and intimate? Classic modern, or more natural, rustic vintage? There are all kinds of weddings that you can have and nowadays you can do whatever you want.

But don’t rush this step! You will likely find appeal in a lot of different themes, styles, and colours and Pinterest can be great, but wow it can be overwhelming!

Have fun exploring what you and your fiancé like, and only after you settled on the type of wedding, move on to the next step. Otherwise you will confuse yourself, waste time and end up going back and forth on various options.


  1. How much do you want to spend?

Now that you have a fairly good idea about what kind of wedding you’d like, consider how much you can afford to spend on the whole day? You can spend less than $1000 for a simple registry wedding, and all up to tens of thousands of dollars (or hundreds of thousands if you are super keen). The average wedding can cost between $30,000 to $50,000 – I know, this is not very helpful, but every so called survey throws out a different number, so who really knows?

What matters is what YOU want to and can afford to spend. No right or wrong here. Consider your personal circumstances, whether family are willing and able to contribute, as well as what is important to you.

While having a budget in mind is very important, know that most couples spend more than originally thought. As you go along in your planning, you’ll learn more about what certain things cost and you can weigh up what you absolutely must have and what you don’t really need. Be flexible where you can.


  1. Decide on a date and start looking at venues

Finding a venue and setting a date often go hand in hand. Think about when you would like to get married. You might want to consider the time of year or a date that has meaning to you. Most weddings happen on a Saturday, so if you choose to also have a Saturday wedding, know that popular venues book out a year or two in advance, especially in Spring and Autumn. Mid-week, Fridays and Sundays are also becoming more common and those days of the week have the benefit of more venues and other preferred suppliers being available on your chosen date. If you don’t really mind a particular date, find your dream venue first and pick a date they have available.

Got your preferred date in mind? Now start looking for venues. This can be a lot of fun, but keep in mind the style and type of wedding you’d like to have, as well as any budget restrictions. Spend some time researching venues online, their location, cost per head and their offerings. Make a list of what might be important to you for example:

  • Minimum or maximum guest numbers
  • Time limits and Finish time
  • Whether ceremony and reception can be at one location
  • Food options: Sit down, buffet, banquet or cocktail

Once you find a few venues that you like, go and look at them in person.

Don’t get discouraged if none of them speak to you at first. If that is the case, take a break, and continue your search later. Re-evaluate some of your preferences and keep looking when you are in the mood. This is a process that sometimes can take several months.


Our friends over at Wedsites have written a great article on things to look out for and a printable worksheet you can take along to your next venue tour.


Once you have ticked of these 3 steps to wedding planning, everything else will be guided from here. Having a style in mind, date, budget and venue will determine all of your other suppliers. I would recommend to now look for a priest or celebrant, photographer and videographer. Find yourself a good wedding checklist and a budget tracker to help keep organised. There are lots of online sites that provide these for free (e.g. Easy Weddings) and Microsoft Word and Excel have some templates as well.


If you feel like you need some more professional help, consider hiring a wedding planner (like me hehe) who can help guide you more along the way 🙂


Contact me now to find out how I can help you plan your dream wedding!