Are you getting married? Congratulations! What an exciting time!

Each year, there is an average of 2.4 million weddings in the U.S. You are in good company! Planning a wedding can be exciting and overwhelming.

From the wedding dress to reception details, there are a lot of steps to planning a wedding. Don’t fret! Keep reading our guide on how to plan a wedding to help you get started.

Set a Wedding Planning Timeline

To get started, you need a plan. Determine when you want to get married. You may not be able to set the exact date until you find a reception hall, but this will help you plan.

Which season do you prefer? Have you dreamed of being a June bride? Want a festive, holiday wedding?

This simple timeline will help you plan the main details.

Determine a Theme

This can go hand-in-hand with the season you choose. Do you want a beach wedding? A modern, classic, or vintage wedding?

Outdoor wedding? Try to get an idea of what you want. Check out some magazines, social media, and also search wedding photos to help you spark that creativity and get the theme you want.

This will help you choose the dress, reception venue, and all your decor. Keep your eyes open for inspiration.

Set a Budget

This is not as fun but is probably the most important part of planning a wedding. Discuss plans with both of your families and figure out how much everyone is paying. Then you and your fiance need to determine what you can each contribute.

It may be uncomfortable to have this conversation, but it’s best to set the budget immediately to avoid overspending. Think about this—the average wedding costs $33,900.

Need help? Check out this wedding budget planner to help you break it down.

Pick Your Venue

It’s important to get your venues booked as soon as possible. Some places book for more than a year in advance. However, you need to have an idea of how many guests you want to invite to make sure you find a place that can accommodate your needs.

When you book your reception hall, you can finalize your date.

Book Vendors

Then it’s time to organize and start booking vendors. The average couple uses about 13 various vendors to create their dream wedding. You may want to create a master document to keep track of all your bookings or assign to various people to be in charge—divide and conquer!

  • Photographer
  • Wedding planner
  • Hair and make-up professionals
  • Attire
  • Cake baker
  • Florist
  • Music pros
  • Wedding videographer
  • Caterer
  • Transportation
  • Rentals company (for tables, chairs, tents, etc.)
  • Officiant for ceremony
  • Favors

You want to start with your highest priority (i.e. wedding photos) and book from there.

Shop Wedding Dresses

One of the most popular events in planning a wedding is shopping for the perfect dress. Make sure you do some research ahead of time to know an idea of the style you want.

Take a few other people with you, but not too many. You don’t want too many opinions to make your choice even harder.

Finalize the Details

You will want to finalize your guest list and wedding party. Try to choose your wedding party early—you can enlist their help with tasks such as favors and decor shopping!

Now You Know How to Plan a Wedding

When you are figuring out how to plan a wedding, make sure you set the guidelines early. Set your budget, choose your theme, and figure out your location.

Check out our site for more inspiration for your wedding and married life.

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