Cake, photographer, dress, officiant, venue, music, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flowers, rings, speeches, guest list – whew! That’s just an overview of what goes into a typical wedding. With all of the details, it’s incredibly difficult to know where to start. If you’re planning your own wedding, don’t despair. You only need to get started on the right foot; here are five tips to make sure that happens.

Make a budget

Do not put one foot toward the altar until you know exactly how much you’re going to spend. Pick one figure that you know you’ll be able to afford. From there, start prioritizing each expense.

For instance, if photos of the big day are very important to you, you might want to increase the budget here, and allow a more conservative figure for a less-important detail.

Organize information

If you do your homework, you’re going to find all sorts of brochures, promotions, vendors, and more. You may also find yourself making a lot of notes and lists. It’s very common to start a wedding binder first thing, so you can keep all of this info in one spot.

Use dividers to categorize, so you can monitor progress on each task. One section for food, one for decorations, another for clothing, and so on. 

Decide who you want to invite

Your budget and priorities are a good indication of how many people you can invite. Remember that you can invite a lot more on a budget if you’re not serving an entire meal. However, that can also impact what time of day you hold your event.

Once you have the number, make the list of names. Do not neglect to work with your significant other on this.

Dream a little

Now you can pick a mood or theme. Maybe you want your wedding to reflect your heritage, so you begin checking out Mexican wedding traditions. Perhaps you have certain colours you want incorporating in the decor and flowers, or specific music you want to set the tone.

This can be the fun part of planning. It’s your opportunity to make your wedding meaningful and personal to you and your partner. Think about what special touches you’d appreciate, like a photo booth, a sundae bar, or a special dedication. 

Start making inquiries and reservations

Now we begin to dip our toes into really making things happen. Start out by asking your married friends what vendors they used, and what they thought of them.

Even if they give a favourable review, make sure you check out multiple vendors and venues, just to make sure you’re getting a complete picture of your options. But when it comes to items like a reception hall, try not to drag your feet too much. You want to reserve your date on time.

If you’re not careful, planning a wedding yourself can make you regret ever agreeing to get married. But if you play your cards right, it can be incredibly rewarding. Get the budget right, keep your materials organized, put your personal stamp on it, and talk to a lot of vendors. When you take it to step by step, you’re increasing your chances of wedding success.