How to Prepare for a Wedding




You might think that planning a wedding is all about the dress, the venue, or other big-ticket items. But actually, there are some very important things you need to take care of before you start focusing on those big items. I’ve put together this list that every bride should take before planning her big day:

Decide on a wedding date and location.

Before you start planning your wedding, you’ll need to decide on a date and location. If you want it as close to the winter solstice as possible, that would be December 21st. For a springtime wedding, May 15th is the last day of spring.

Because we’re not big fans of summer weddings (they’re hot and crowded), we recommend looking at our “Other” section below for more ideas.

Create a guest list.

When you think about it, the guest list for your wedding is one of the most important things to stress over. It can be hard to figure out who you want at your wedding, especially if there are people in your life who don’t know each other or have never met.

There are a few different ways that couples choose their guests for their big day, so we asked our friends what they did and came up with a few quick tips:

  • Create an online guest list spreadsheet. This will help keep track of everyone and make sure no one gets left off!
  • Ask family members politely but firmly if they would like to attend. They may decline because they don’t have enough money or time, but it doesn’t hurt to ask! You can also offer them a gift card as an incentive—that way they’ll feel less obligated when making their decision!

Determine your budget.

Next, you need to determine your budget. This can be done by adding up all of the costs for the ceremony and reception and dividing them by two. Or you can use a wedding planning calculator that takes into account things like guest count and how many days you want your wedding festivities to last.

If you’re getting married at a venue that provides or rents out chairs or tables for your guests, that cost will already be included in what they charge for their services (or if it’s not included, then make sure to add it to your calculations). However, if you’re renting them from another vendor—say from Amazon—then make sure to factor this into your final total as well!

Find your wedding venue and confirm the details.

Now that you’ve chosen a date, it’s time to find your venue. If you’re having a destination wedding, you can skip this step; otherwise, you’ll need to start by looking for venues in your area (or online). Once you’ve narrowed down your choices and decided on one or two places that fit your vision for the day, book it!

The last thing to do here is to confirm all of the details with the venue: number of guests, food options, music selection, on and so forth.

Select your vendors.

At this point, you should have a good idea of what kind of wedding you want to throw. Now it’s time to start looking for vendors who can help you make your dream wedding come true.

  • Bands, DJs, and musicians: These are the people who will be playing the music at your reception. Hiring them is important because they’re the ones that keep people on the dance floor throughout the night!
  • Caterers: A caterer supplies all of the food for your reception (and sometimes also provides linens). You’ll probably want to hire one early because they take a while to plan out menus and select ingredients—so factor this into any timeline estimates you made earlier. It’s also possible to choose both a caterer and a venue that offer some common services together like tables and chairs or rent china plates from them directly instead of having to do so yourself beforehand since they’ll likely know exactly what goes at each place where guests sit down during their mealtime sessions (such as bread baskets near bread plates next).

Book the photographer.

So you’ve got your venue, DJ and photographer booked. What’s next? If you’re going to have a wedding photographer on hand to capture all of the joyous moments of your day, now is a good time to lock them in.

You’ll want to check with your venue about whether or not they have their preferred photographers—one that has access to their photo archive for example—or if another company works with them regularly. Then go ahead and book yours!

Your photographer will likely give you several great recommendations for other vendors who can help make sure everything comes together on your big day (like lighting designers or florists) but know that it’s OK if those aren’t who end up working with them after all; as long as someone else can handle those jobs just as well or better than anyone else at the same price point (and preferably lower), then go ahead and hire them!

Select your wedding party.

Once you’ve made your way through the process of narrowing down a guest list and booking your venue, it’s time to select who will be standing by your side on the big day.

You could ask one or two close friends or family members to be at your wedding party, but this is more of a fun thing than anything else because they won’t have any responsibilities—other than maybe throwing some rice afterward.

As far as who should be in your bridal party, here are some things to consider:

  • Do they have time? If so, great! They can help you with planning and probably already know what’s going on since they’re close friends anyway.
  • Will their presence make people feel uncomfortable? If someone’s ex-boyfriend is invited but his current girlfriend isn’t, that might lead to some trouble at the reception table…

Start planning your honeymoon (if applicable).

Once you’ve settled into your new life, it’s time to start planning your honeymoon. If you have the funds, consider adding a few weeks to your honeymoon so that you can do some sightseeing around the country. You might want to plan something like this:

  • Three days in New York City
  • Two days in Washington D.C.
  • One day in Boston (if possible)

Buy your wedding dress and book alterations (if applicable).

Once you have a date, you can start looking for dresses and makeup artists like this wedding hair and makeup in Brisbane

Shop around and find a few that speak to you, then have your mom or maid of honor try them on with you. This will help you determine what style looks best on each person, and it’s fun! You could even do an entire wedding theme based on all the different dresses (like “dressy” or “softball game”).

Once you’ve found one (or two) that are perfect for every body type and taste level—and also within budget—you need to book alterations (if applicable). Many bridal shops offer free alterations in exchange for purchasing their gowns from them.

Buy or rent tuxedos/formal wear for the groom and groomsmen.

If you have a large wedding party, renting tuxedos is a great alternative to buying. You can rent formal wear for your groom, groomsmen, and other male members of the bridal party from places like:

  • Men’s Wearhouse
  • Jos A Bank

Buy the bridesmaids’ dresses.

  • Buy the bridesmaids’ dresses.
  • Choose a color scheme for your wedding and make sure that everyone dresses in it. If you have an idea in mind, share it with your bridal party so they can choose their outfits accordingly.
  • Consider the bride’s personality when choosing the dresses for the bridesmaids, especially if there’s only one main dress that all of them need to wear (for instance, matching black dresses). A person who likes bright colors may not appreciate being forced into wearing a dark gown for an entire day!

Send out save the dates and invitations.

Once you know the date and location of your wedding, it’s time to send out save-the-dates and invitations. The process can seem daunting at first, but don’t worry: there are plenty of online resources to help you with both.

To begin with, decide whether or not you want your guests to be able to make a reservation or purchase tickets for their attendance. If so, be sure they are clearly labeled as such (e.g., “tickets” instead of merely “invitations”). If not, then consider whether or not it would be wise for them to include RSVP information; this is entirely up to your discretion—there is no right or wrong answer here! It might also be beneficial if they included directions on how/where exactly one should go once they’re inside where this event will take place; many people enjoy attending events but aren’t familiar with certain places where those types occur regularly–so make sure everyone knows about any road closures in advance (if any). Once these details have been finalized then send out save-the-dates early enough so that nothing gets lost along the way; this includes sending out reminders before tickets become unavailable due dates pass by without being purchased beforehand.”

Create a timeline for planning events, such as showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties, so they don’t conflict with each other or other pre-wedding tasks.

Create a timeline for planning events, such as showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties, so they don’t conflict with each other or other pre-wedding tasks.

For example, if you’re planning to have both a bridal shower and bachelorette party on the same day or weekend as your engagement party, you’ll need to make sure that all of these events are planned out well in advance so that no one feels slighted because their time wasn’t spent celebrating them.

Write vows if you’re not using traditional ones.

If you want to make your vows unique and personal, try writing them yourself. This is a great way to show the guests that this day means something special to you both. Consider including inside jokes, family stories, or even favorite memories together.

With so many details to keep track of, planning a wedding can be stressful–but it doesn’t have to be!

The first thing to do is decide what you want the wedding to look like. Do you enjoy a casual backyard BBQ or a formal ballroom affair? Are there any unique traditions that are important for your wedding, like an exchange of rings or saying your vows under an arbor?

While this may sound obvious, it’s important to determine what kind of ceremony and reception vibe fits best with your personality and style. This can help guide decisions about other aspects of your big day (e.g., budgeting).


The wedding is a big investment, and you want to make sure that you’re doing everything right. These tasks will help you get your head in the right place, so you can enjoy the rest of your planning process.


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