Where To Start Wedding Planning For The DIY Bride

I recently got married in January and the day was amazing. After getting married, I decided to begin a series here and on Youtube, sharing everything I learned from planning my own wedding. Yes. I planned my entire wedding without a wedding planner. 

I did all of this in 10 months. It was an expedited planning process but it was successful. I’ve decided to share what I did and learned throughout the process to help other DIY brides have successful wedding days. 

So if you are a new bride keep reading to find out where you should start in this process. 

You’re Engaged! So What Next….

It’s such an exciting time! First, take a moment to breathe and enjoy your new title as fiancee. Fight the urge to jump straight into wedding planning and just enjoy being newly engaged and what that means. I believe that is my biggest and only regret, that I didn’t make time to have fun and enjoy being a fiancee. 

Now that that tip is out of the way, let’s start with the first steps. After your proposal and enjoying your fiancee title a bit, it’s time to have some conversations with your future spouse. Some of the things you two should be discussing should include topics around wedding dates, wedding budgets, wedding size, and wedding themes. 

When Are We Getting Married? 

You should talk about when the two of you actually want to tie the knot. Would you like to get married right away or would you like to get married in two years? Go ahead and have that conversation first so you can know what your wedding planning process will look like. What time of the year would you like to get married? Would you like to have a winter wedding or would you like a summer wedding? 

wedding planning

What Is Our Wedding Budget? 

The budget is your guide for your wedding planning journey. You and your spouse need to discuss how much you’re willing to spend for the big day. At this point, if you’re unfamiliar with weddings, it may be a good idea to research the average cost of weddings in your area. Of course, your budget can be smaller or larger than the quoted average. This is only to give you a reference so you’re not going into this blind.  

Now’s the time to think about what parts of the wedding are important to you. Is it important to have a large guest size? Are you interested in fog machines and cold sparklers? What are your absolute must-haves for your wedding day? Factor these things into your budget.

Your budget will help you determine many things. When and where you’ll get married? Seasons can definitely impact the costs of venues. How many people you will invite? Your guest size will definitely impact the costs of catering and the bar (if you’re having one). What type of decor you will have. The type of decor you have can significantly increase your budget so be prepared when you begin this decision-making process. 

You’ve Decided The Budget, So What Next? 

Now that you’ve made some big decisions, it’s time to make even more big decisions. Surprise right?! Now it’s time to begin your venue search. It is important to jump right into the venue search because that is how you know your official wedding date. 

Find a Venue

Many brides have an idea of the date they would like to get married, but sadly, many other brides probably have the same date in mind. So venues will literally be first come (aka deposit paid), first served. You don’t have a wedding date until you have a wedding venue secured. 

So, the quicker you begin your venue search, the quicker you have a wedding date. Things to consider when venue hunting are the cost and what’s included with your booking. For instance, how many hours does your reservation include, or is the catering in-house or will you have to find a caterer? 

There are so many questions to ask on your venue visit and so many things to consider when choosing the perfect venue. I have a post that will discuss some important things to consider, to help get you started on your venue hunt, you can read it below. Comment below if you’d like me to share a list of venue questions for you to ask on your next tour!

Read: Four Major Things To Consider On Your Venue Tours

After Finding a Venue

After you have finally found the biggest piece of your dream wedding (and your budget), it’s now time to move forward with other parts of your vision for the big day. The venue really seals the deal for many aspects of your day. It allows you to have an official wedding date and to know what your event space will truly look like. 

Secure Your Other Vendors

I would suggest securing all other vendors that you will need for the day since you now have a wedding date. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to have the vendors you want because you waited too late to book. 

Vendors you should book as soon as possible: 

  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Catering (if not included with venue)
  • Makeup and Hair 
  • Cake/Desserts
  • Wedding Decorator/Wedding Planner (if needed)

These vendors are going to be receiving emails from other planning brides just like you, inquiring about their services. So you want to make sure have your deposits ready when you do reach out and inquire about services. 

Choose Your Bridal Party

Who you choose, or if you choose anyone, to stand beside you on your wedding day is a very important decision. It can be fun but it can also be intense, especially if you’re trying to choose between a lot of friends or family members. There are so many things to factor into your decision-making process and I will have more on this topic soon. But for now, I will say choose those who will be and have been there for you when you needed someone the most. You’re going to want some of the most dependable, self-less, and fun individuals along for this wild ride. 

When it comes to proposing to your squad, I have a video filled with gift ideas and I’ll link it below. 

Now you’re officially in the wedding planning flow. You’ve booked your venue. You’ve contacted or at least have a vendor wishlist. Your budget is understood. And the girls are in formation. There are still many things to come in this wedding planning process. But you’ve knocked out the major tasks now. I’ll have more posts to help you through the rest so don’t worry. I’ll also be sharing video content on my YouTube channel. So subscribe and bookmark this site so you can come back for more wedding planning deets. 

For now, enjoy the process first and foremost. You’re only going to be a bride once, and I’m claiming that for you! And remember, yes you are a DIY bride, but you don’t want to get overwhelmed and forget to ask for help. The most important part is that you and your significant other get married. The other stuff doesn’t matter as much. 

So tell me, what’s your biggest stressor for the wedding planning process?

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