The First Five Decisions to Make When Planning Your Wedding

January 25, 2017

La Vie Photography

Engagement season is in full swing! To help brides and grooms-to-be with the initial stages of wedding planning, we asked Megan from Clutch Events to share tips on the first five decisions you’ll need to make.

Set your budget. The purse strings control most wedding planning decisions you’ll make. As soon as you know your firm budget, enter it into a wedding budget calculator for a breakdown. Your wedding planner can also help to create a custom budget and help you decide which areas are most important to you, and that you’re willing to spend more on.

Decide on your wedding size. Maybe you’re dreaming of a large wedding or maybe a small, intimate affair is more your style. Start by thinking about how many guests feels good to you. 50? 100? 200+? Then, make a guest list in Excel and see where you land! You can cut back the list from there. And, of course, remember to get a list from your parents as well.

The guest count will also help you narrow down which venues will work for you and identify  variable costs. Variable costs to consider (and that are based on your wedding size!) include catering, rentals, florals, transportation and invitations.

Melissa Kilner Photography

Location. Where do you want to get married? Are you dreaming of a wedding close to home or a destination wedding? Consider your wedding vision, planning logistics and guest travel when weighing your options about a location.

Once you’ve settled on the location you can choose a venue. This is an important step as the venue will help shape the style and design of the wedding.

Time of Year. Consider the following when deciding what time of year to get married:

  • Average weather and temperature – especially if you want an outdoor event!
  • What time the sun sets – do you have a full day of light or will it get dark at 4PM?
  • Holiday weekends – these may be dates to avoid because of airfare costs and other travel issues
  • School schedules for guests that will be traveling with kids

If you have the flexibility to choose a season or a preferred month without having a specific date, there may be more availability when it comes to selecting a venue. Perhaps you want to get married in summer, but July is only six months away from when you got engaged. Make sure you give yourself enough time to plan your wedding and enjoy your engagement!

Jenny J Photography

Wedding Style. Casual? Semi-formal? Black tie? Do you have a sense of the style of wedding you’re going for? This is also an important factor to consider when deciding on budget and guest count. A formal wedding will likely increase the cost of the event.

Most importantly, remember that it’s the experience you have and people who surround you that are most significant to planning a wedding!

Thank you, Megan for sharing your expertise! For more wedding planning tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.