Lifestyle Photographer Based in San Francisco, California.

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  • Meg Stone

Four Tips to Start Wedding Planning



So you got engaged (congratulations!!!) and now you're wondering where to begin with your wedding planning. I certainly didn't know what the first step should be!

Here are the first four steps I recommend to start your planning process. And don't forget to HAVE FUN! This is such a unique and exciting time, take it all in and use this experience to bond with your fiancé. Happy planning!

choose your date and venue ( and officiant )

This should absolutely be the first thing that you do because it will dictate so much of the rest of your planning.

For some people, getting the exact date is what’s most important to them. For others, it’s having the perfect location and they are willing to work around the venue’s availability. Venues truly do book up a year in advance and picking your venue will help decide your catering needs, floral decor and so much more.

For us, it was tricky. We had a specific date in mind, were set on our dream location AND wanted Mattie’s childhood priest to marry us. Also, because we are getting married in a church, we had to coordinate dates with them as well. At first, we couldn’t find a date that worked for all of the parties involved and we knew we were going to have to compromise on something, which ended up being the date.

It’s important to figure out from the beginning what is most important to you- the date, the venue, the officiant- and nail those down right away. All three have big impacts on your wedding planning- your venue will definitely have specifics about the wedding design and the time of year will certainly guide the vision and design of your wedding as well!


figure out your budget and what’s important to you

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive. It’s important to have a budget in mind and also to think about what your priorities are so you know what you are willing to invest extra money and where you're not. Are florals and decor the most important thing to you? Maybe it’s photography or making sure the food is gourmet?

It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the numbers that vendors are throwing at you. Define what are the most important elements to you and that will really help dictate your budget and vendors.

For us, we really value details that convey us as a couple and our personalities. We decided to invest in small details that tell our story and will (hopefully) make the day feel unique to us!

hone a solid vision for your wedding day.

And this is why Pinterest was created :) There are so many beautiful options when it comes to planning your wedding day that it can sometimes be hard to narrow down exactly what you are looking for.

Pinterest boards are great because you can share them with your planner and vendors to communicate your vision in an easy to understand, visual way. Having visual examples rather than trying to verbally describe what you are looking for is a good way to make sure nothing gets lost in translation.

I recommend starting a secret Pinterest board. Make it secret because otherwise you will 1. Be getting lots of opinions from your friends and family and 2. Will ruin the surprise element for your guests!

Once you start the board, just pin away. Pin anything that catches your eye and inspires you. Then you can go through and start to narrow it down, deleting pins that might not be cohesive. This is great project to work with your wedding planner on and it’s always helpful to have another set of eyes.


stay organized

Thank the lord for Google Docs!! We have been using this since day one of our wedding planning and it has been so helpful! Your fiancé and planner can have access to the Google Doc and it’s a great way to work on the guest list and to do’s. I recommend making a list of immediate to-do's and a list of future ideas that don't need to be completed right away.

Our wedding planner would send us a monthly checklist through Google docs as well as save all vendor contracts. Mattie and I also created a super helpful To Do list, which basically broke down each event (Rehearsal Dinner, Welcome Party, Wedding) and all of the tasks we had to do for each event. It also helped us organize what had already been done and a timeline of what needs to get done in the next couple months.


#WeddingPlanning