Your wedding will likely be the biggest party you’ll ever throw—and figuring out how to plan a wedding step by step can feel pretty daunting at first. Whether you have over a year or just a few months to plan your big day, focus on one task at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. If you’re in a time crunch, go ahead and delegate some of these responsibilities to family members and friends—they’ll likely be glad to help you as you navigate this process. If you find wedding-planning checklists a bit overwhelming, here’s a list of the basic steps you’ll need to complete to ensure your big day is a success. Of course, there are more tasks you may want to tackle, but we’re just talking the must-dos here.
Ready to go into planning mode? Here’s how to plan a wedding step by step.
Step #1: Set a Budget
First things first—you’ll need to figure out how much you can spend on your wedding. It might not be the most fun part of the process, but it’s a task that really needs to be completed first. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a venue, vendor, dress, etc. and realize it’s completely out of range. So sit down with your parents or other potential contributors to come up with a total budget, and then divide it up by vendor or service accordingly.
Step #2: Get Inspired
One of the most fun parts of planning a wedding step by step is gathering inspiration. Think about how you want your wedding to look and feel. Are you going for a super-classic and formal vibe? Or perhaps an event that’s more relaxed and rustic? The choice is yours, but it’s a good idea to start perusing Pinterest, Instagram, and wedding websites to start considering color schemes, décor ideas, and more. We recommend starting this process early on, but kicking it into high gear once you’ve selected your venue and set a date.
Step #3: Start Your Guest List and Pick Your Wedding Party
While you don’t have to have a final guest list until a bit later, when thinking about how to plan a wedding step by step, coming up with an estimated guest count early on is important. There’s a big difference between a 50-person wedding and a 300-person wedding, particularly when it comes to your venue options. So before you start browsing wedding venues, get an idea of how many guests you’ll host. You'll also want to use this time to choose the people who will stand beside you on your big day—your wedding party. So go ahead and select your bridesmaids, groomsmen, groomsladies or bridesmen and ask them to take on this important role.