The beginning planning stages of any party can be overwhelming. I think it’s natural to immediately want to jump into the details, choosing invitations and decorations before you even have a theme, or a budget. This is the order that I plan all of my parties and events in, and one that came in very handy for wedding planning as well.
1. Set a Budget: No matter what your event, you can’t start planning until you know how much you can spend in each area.
2. Allocate your Budget: Once you know your budget, you need to know how much you can spend in each area. There are some great charts and graphs that suggest what percentage of your budget you should spend where. I often move things around, but it gives you a good starting points. I used one like this when allocating a wedding budget.
3. Guests: Once you know your budget, you know how much you have to spend on food, drinks, and a venue. This will help give you an idea of how many people you can invite.
4. Date: Until you have found a venue you don’t need an exact date, but knowing a general idea of month/time of year is extremely helpful when getting started. Depending on your budget, having an off-season wedding can be great for saving money. Many vendors will offer discounts for weddings that are
5. Venue: Now that you have a general idea of timeline, you can start looking at venues within your budget. If you are on a budget, think outside the box as to venues that you could rent that might not be considered ‘wedding venues.’ I’ve been to some great weddings at a family barn, parents backyard, and museum that don’t always come to mind when first looking for venues. Just keep in mind that if you hold the ceremony or reception somewhere that isn’t used to having weddings, you will need to rent a lot more (think wait staff, seating, tables, linens, dishes, etc).