The Wedding Minefield: How to Start Planning a Weddinghow to start planning a wedding

Congratulations – you’re engaged! Now is a time for revelling in your new-found status as a fiance – but soon, you will need to turn your attention to the real task at hand: you have a wedding to plan! The transition from the heady romance of new engagement to the nitty gritty of wedding planning can be daunting, which is why we have put together a guide to set you on your way.

Agree your budget

From shoestring unions to all-out elaborate celebrations, wedding budgets can vary wildly. At this stage, it will be difficult to determine your exact budget, but you can agree a reasonable figure. By setting a realistic expectation of the money you’ll have to play with, you won’t get carried away with the finer details – avoiding disappointment down the line and providing your initial planning efforts with a clear focus.

Brainstorm your ideas

When the excitement of your news has subsided, set aside an evening with your husband or wife-to-be and tell each other your ideas over a glass of wine or nice meal. Have a pencil and paper to hand, and jot down some of the possibilities for your wedding day.

To be extra organised, try separating your ideas into sections; including location, catering, dress code, entertainment and themes. For some couples, this will be the very first time you have entertained these ideas, which makes the brainstorming stage very exciting and special.

Big or small?

Do you want a big wedding, or a small, intimate celebration? This decision will affect the entire planning process, from the per-head food budget to the size of your reception venue. Take the time to choose a wedding size you are both happy with and remember to be sensitive to your other half’s wishes. To avoid arguments, you will need to accept that an element of compromise is all part of the process!

List your priorities

When it comes to wedding planning, you can’t do it all at once! Accept that you will need to take it one step at a time, so make a list of your priorities and stick to it. Tackle the most time-consuming and pivotal tasks to begin: your reception venue, food and entertainment are all vital to the success of your big day. Once the most important details are decided upon, you can then start filling in the finer details.

Start a spreadsheetThe Wedding Minefield: How to Start Planning a Wedding

It may sound boring, but by keeping a spreadsheet of your ideas, quotes and spending, you can keep on top of your wedding planning with ease and efficiency. Google Drive is a handy tool – simply sign up, set up your document, and share it with your fiance. This way, you can both have constant access to your planning file, from your smartphone, tablet or laptop.