Your fiancé just gave you the wedding proposal of a lifetime, and you’re still floating on Cloud 9. Now, you’ve got to start planning the wedding of the century. The question is, where exactly do you start?
A recent study showed that 71% of couples view wedding planning as more stressful compared to other big life events. The good news is, planning a wedding doesn’t have to be a whirlwind of stress—not if you approach it in a systematic and organized way. With the right strategy in place, you can indeed remain on Cloud 9 during every step of the wedding planning process.
Here’s a rundown on how to plan a wedding right, starting with the basics.
Purchase and Insure the Rings
Your wedding rings are the most important objects you’ll have on hand (no pun intended) at your wedding, so don’t rush the process of buying them. Before you invest in both parties’ rings, shop around online and/or offline for designs that resonate with you both. Ask for detailed information regarding your potential rings’ carats, gemstone grades, gemstone types and sizes, and metal types. This information will help you to determine if your chosen rings’ prices are truly reasonable.
Be sure to also insure your rings using jewelry insurance. This type of insurance may make it easy for you to replace your rings if they’re lost or stolen.
Set the Date
Once you’ve picked out your rings for the big day, you’ll need to set the date for your wedding. Consider the month or season of the year during which you’d like to get married (September and October seem to be the most popular wedding months these days), and factor in any family events or major holidays you don’t want to conflict with. Keep in mind that an engagement lasts about 15 months on average, so try to set the date within this time frame.
Establish a Budget
This step is a critical part of the wedding planning process, as it will ultimately dictate the decisions you make regarding the remaining items on this list. Sit down with your and your fiancé’s families to determine how much money everybody plans to contribute to your big day. This conversation might not be comfortable to have. However, it will help you to create a realistic spending plan so that you can celebrate your new wedded life within your means.
Choose the Venues
Before you think about sampling wedding cake or booking a band for your reception, imagine the vibe and style of your dream wedding. For instance, perhaps you’re interested in going barefoot on a beach for your big day, or maybe you love the idea of getting married by candlelight in a beautiful mansion.
Either way, consider how many people you’ll invite to your wedding and whether you want to throw your wedding at home or at another destination. Also, decide whether you want your wedding to be glamorous, rustic, vintage, romantic, classic, casual, or fancy. Then, allow this vision to guide your wedding ceremony and reception venue choices.
Plan Your Decor
Once you’ve solidified your wedding ceremony and reception venue(s), start looking for inspiration for your venue decor. For instance, consider hanging gorgeous floral chandeliers over your wedding reception tables. You can also choose flowers for your reception and ceremony based on their scents. Incorporating your favorite scents into the decor will add a special, personalized touch to your wedding experience.
Solidify the Wedding Party
You enjoyed being proposed to by your fiancé, and now, you can propose to the friends and family whom you want to serve as your groomsmen and bridesmaids. Be sure to ask them for their participation as soon as possible, and don’t forget that they’ll be donating their time and spending their money to help you to celebrate your big day. So, let them know what to expect in terms of attire and bachelor/bachelorette party costs, and give them gifts to show your gratitude toward them.
Find the Perfect Wedding Dress
No wedding planning guide would be complete without a reference to dress shopping—one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process. Consider dress characteristics like hues, trains, necklines, and silhouettes to find the dress that will flatter you the most.
Also, choose a lightweight dress fabric, like organza, linen, or chiffon, if you plan to get married in the summer. You can also use velvet, brocade, or faux fur to stay warm in the winter months or feel free to wear tulle, silk, shantung, or satin in any season.
Don’t forget to buy a beautiful dress for your engagement photoshoot, too. Consider a maxi dress with nude lining and three-dimensional petals for the perfect mix of tradition and glamour.
Nail Down Your Skin Care Routine… Now
Finally, as you work out all of the logistical details of your wedding, don’t forget to start taking care of the one thing that will no doubt show up in all of your wedding photos: your beautiful face. Begin using a cleansing bar each day to remove impurities from your skin, and use an eye serum to decrease puffiness and fine lines around your eyes.
If you do this months before your big day, you can be confident that your skin will have an irresistible wedding glow just in time for all of your wedding photos.
Plan a Wedding for the Ages
As you embark on the process of planning your big day, you may naturally feel overwhelmed by the many pieces you must put together to form your wedding puzzle. Fortunately, the wedding planning process doesn’t have to steal from you the excitement you feel after getting engaged. Rather, it can actually add to your excitement if it’s done right.
Follow the above-listed tips for planning a wedding right this year! With these pointers, you can start your lifetime of marital bliss in the most stress-free way possible in the months ahead.
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.