The Checklist Before the Checklist | Where to Start When Wedding Planning

Congratulations, you’re engaged! But what does that mean now? Depending on how long you plan to wait until the wedding, you might have a while to think about planning your wedding or barely any time at all. No matter what, you have to start somewhere. Before you start with your big checklist of booking all of your major vendors like your venue or photographer, there are some very important preliminary details to consider first. Keep reading to see what you need on your checklist before the checklist!

  • Do your research and get inspired
    • Before you start stressing about all of the details and everything you have to do, it is nice to spend some time just perusing the internet and wedding magazines for inspiration.
    • Pinterest is an obvious place to start, but that’s definitely for a reason – you can find some great resources and you can save everything you like

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  • Decide on your budget
    • This number has to be tentative because it will fluctuate, but make sure you have a certain range in mind. This way, when you make all of your decisions from now on, you can have your budget in mind to figure out the best options based on your preferences and what you can afford
    • Decide what’s important to you: not only is having a budget important, but making sure to split that budget according to your wedding needs is equally important.
  • Plan the wedding place
    • And no, we don’t mean the venue… yet. This city you choose is the first thing to consider. Maybe you have always wanted a destination wedding, but weren’t sure where. Maybe you or your partner are from a different city and decide that their hometown would be the perfect place for your wedding.
    • For most people, your wedding city might be a given, however if that is not the case for you, make sure you make that important decision as soon as possible so you can get started on the real checklist.


  • Choose your wedding date
    • Choosing your exact date would be ideal to get done right away, however if it is too early, that’s okay. Just decide what time of the year you would like to get married during and some possible date options.
    • Obviously something to consider is what weather you prefer – depending on what city the wedding will be in, each month will vary differently when it comes to weather.
      • If you want a summer wedding and your wedding is somewhere with extreme heat, it might make more sense to have it in early or late summer when the sun is not at its strongest, like the middle of summer.
      • If you live in a colder climate, mid-summer could be perfect.
      • If you want a winter vibe without the risk of a snowstorm, maybe choose early winter, when the snow has started to fall but it is not the dead of winter.
    • Also consider when the sun sets and the itinerary for your event. Think about what you want the lighting to be outside from outdoor pictures beforehand and for the evening’s events throughout the night.
    • If you are on a tight budget, choosing a month that is not as popular can also be a way of cutting costs, so that is something to consider.


  • Pick the theme or look of your wedding
    • Your decision making process when it comes to the actual checklist later on should be in line with the theme or vibe that you want to portray for your event, so deciding on this right away is very important.
      • Your food, flowers, centerpieces, etc. will all tie in to create your perfect atmosphere for you and your guests.
    • It is best to do this right away, as choosing your theme could also relate to your location. For example, if you want a more rustic country theme, then you will definitely have to choose the location accordingly.


  • Put together a tentative guest list
    • Knowing an approximate number of people is crucial in order to make further decisions in your wedding planning process, especially when it comes to the venue decision.
    • Also included in this point is picking your bridesmaids and groomsmen! Make sure to do this early, especially the bridesmaids since they can hopefully help you when it comes to the actual checklist later on.

Once you’ve done all of that, you’ll be ready for the actual wedding checklist and all of the big stuff! No matter whether in between early planning stages or late ones, you can use Wedding Wire’s checklist planning tool to stay organized and on track. Good luck!

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