The First Steps

You Said Yes! Now What?

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Congratulations! You just said yes to marrying the man of your dreams. Once the proposal night comes to an end, don’t rush to do everything at once. Wedding planning takes a long time, and you need to make sure to plan a proper schedule…which also means you can’t just do the fun stuff first.

The first thing to do is think about your wedding vision. You most likely already have an idea of whether you want an indoor or an outdoor wedding, destination wedding, or a big or small ceremony. Once you have a list of the things you absolutely want for your wedding, create a budget that will allow this to happen while also staying within your means. If you already know where you want to have the ceremony and reception, go ahead and set those costs aside as non-negotiable. If you are unsure, look at similar venues to get an idea of pricing. Also factor in where you and your bridesmaids will have a bachelorette weekend and where you and the girls will get your hair done the morning of the wedding.

Who will help you with planning? Both you and your fiancé’s mothers will beg to help, so set aside some tasks they can tackle. Obviously you will want to choose your maid of honor fairly soon. She will be your number one person until you say “I do.” You won’t be able to clarify all of her responsibilities right off the bat, but you can at least give her an idea of what she will be helping with and what she won’t need to be involved in. It is also a good idea to hire a wedding planner either for the planning process, or simply just the day of the event. Wedding planners are experts in all things weddings, and they will take a huge amount of stress and responsibility off your shoulders. Even if you decide to go with a single day planner, you will be in much better hands than if you tried to control things completely on your own.

Before you jump to a wedding date, make a list of key people that need to be available. After you see which options your ideal venue has open, check with your officiant to make sure he or she is available to do the ceremony. Check with the most important people like your potential bridesmaids, groomsmen, family, and close relatives. Your worst nightmare would be booking the wedding on a date when your bestie is out of the country!

Everything is centered around your guest list. The number of guests you invite determines your reception costs, invitation costs, food costs, and everything in between. You’ll want to get this part out of the way early on. See Questions to Cut Your Guest List in Half to narrow down your list if it becomes too long.

You will feel so lightweight after completing these tricky tasks first. Once you finish these logistical items, you’ll be on your way to try on wedding dresses and taste wedding cakes!

Kate Wilke is the senior digital content producer at 301 Digital Media, and she's the editor of, and When she's not paddle boarding or skiing, she's informing someone about global warming (or cats) over a local double IPA. Follow her on twitter — @Kate_Wilke