Sometimes the hardest thing in event planning is the first step.  You have so many ideas, you know your colors, you know your theme and/or vision of how you want your perfect day to look and be.  But how do you implement all of your ideas?  I’m simple! Don’t worry about buying every wedding planning book and every Bridal magazine.. here, find out how to plan a wedding in these 6 simple steps:
1. DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET – As a couple and with your families, it’s important to determine a number that you are comfortable.  Please note that you will likely go over this initial budget so leave a little cushion. Once the budget is established, it will also help you determine the size of your wedding and what types of venues you can afford.
branch alter arbor on the beach for wedding

2. BOOK THE VENUE – This will determine your wedding date! 🙂 Venues book up quickly so it is important to book your venue in the very initial stages of your planning.  Tell your family and friends of this date and send out your Save The Date cards.  For a more detailed checklist on how to plan a wedding see My Wedding Checklist.  Also at this time you can book the Rehearsal Dinner venue.
wedding table under vineyard vines with chandeliers

3. SAY YES TO THE DRESS – Perhaps the most fun part of wedding planning 🙂  Bridal gowns usually need to be ordered 5-8 months in advanced.  So in order to get your ‘dream dress’ this is critical to do early and will prevent you from having to pull a sample dress 3 weeks before your wedding.  Browse Bridal Fashion.  Also at this time have your bridesmaids order their dresses from the same store, see my blog How to order my bridesmaid dresses? and have your groomsmen outfits determined (groomsmen don’t need too much time in advanced).
bride in lazaro 3201

4. BOOK YOUR VENDORS – The vendors that are ‘the best of the best’ book up quickly, so book them in order of importance to you.  You will likely get a list of vendors that your venue recommends and/or has worked with before (this is especially helpful for destination weddings to get this list), but it is important to do your own research as well and read reviews.  Below is a list of vendors to book:
– Food and Beverage (if this is not included in your venue package)
– Photographer
– Videographer
– Florist
– Officiant
– Hair and Makeup
– Wedding Planner
– Band or DJ
– Wedding Cake
– Linens and Other Rentals
– Transportation
– Nanny Service
– Photo Booth
St Regis wedding venue with trees at alter and white and pink flowers at ceremony entrance

5. THE DETAILS – This step I believe so the most special.  The details are what makes you shine as a couple and is an opportunity to show your style and love as a couple. This includes cute ways to ask your sister and friends to be your bridesmaids, making your wedding video, sending your invitations, ordering wedding signs (see my blog Where There’s A Sign There’s A Way), the guest book, fan cards, menu cards, escort cards, bridesmaid gifts, decor to fit your theme, wedding favors and hotel gifts for out of town guests.  Involve your fiance and together book the honeymoon, order your wedding rings and apply for your marriage license.
bride and groom holding just hitched sign

6. DAY OF TIMELINE – Finally, have your wedding planner or hotel wedding coordinator help you determine your ‘Day of Timeline.’  This will help all your vendors to all be on the same page.  Include all phone number and emails of the vendors so on your special day, you can relax and enjoy! 🙂
bride and groom dancing outside on checkered dance floor under chandelier