When it comes to the steps of planning a wedding, the first thing you're going to want to do is determine your budget. That's the one thing everyone is afraid of. "Oh my goodness, am I going to spend my life savings?" No, you don't have to. "Oh my goodness, we only have $10,000. I'm so embarrassed. No one's going to want to work with me." Absolutely not true. But you have to have a range, a number you don't want to go over. There has to be something. You really can't do anything without that number. I would say that determining your budget would be your biggest factor.
Once you've determined that budget, at that point, you're going to want to select your location. Once you've selected your location, at that point, you will probably have your date determined. Take that date and tell the world, whoever you want to invite, let them know. Decide if you're going to send out formal "save the date" cards. That's a nice way to let people know, "Hey, save this date. Don't go out of town. Don't make plans. We really want you to come and celebrate with us. It's really that important to us." "Save the dates" are a great tool. You don't have to spend a lot of money, you can do them yourself at home or use a company online, not terribly expensive but such a great way just to let people know so they make sure they can be at your big day.
After that is done, I would definitely take a step back and really stop and think, do some research, how do I want my day to unfold? How do I see things happening? What do I want to see? What do I want to eat? How do I want to feel? What do I want to hear? Really use your sense and bring those into your day. It needs to be as personal as it can be. It doesn't need to be a vision of something you've seen. It's not you at all. Yes, take some elements in to spice it up if you're more conservative and you want to break out of the box a little bit. Make sure it feels like you. It does no good to contact a vendor when you don't know what you want. I know there's a big rush to get the best photographer, to get this or to get that but try to hold off until you know what you're looking for.
When it comes to selecting your vendors, make sure you do your research. I know that it can be time consuming and people can say, "Oh, but they seem so nice", or "they had such a great recommendation from so and so". That may be true but you need to find someone who fits you. Once you've met with vendors, selected who you're going to use, at that point, you have another little break to stop and think, "What do I want to eat? Do we want a full buffet? Do we want stations? Do we want a plated dinner? When it comes to your rentals, you can take a little time and dig through the wedding magazines and find the latest and greatest.
At that point, you do have a little bit of time so take that time, really establish your vision and where you're going. In regards to your vendors, rip out pictures of everything you like and things you don't like. A lot of brides have pictures that they love and don't give planners anything that they don't like. Give ideas of likes and dislikes , have some freedom and some room to move within what you like & don’t like... if they're allergic to something, put it in. You have to know those things.
Pictures of Likes and dislikes are a good thing. Pictures are a really good thing when it comes to your food and your caterer. Did you see something displayed in a unique way? If you want to try that, take it to a caterer, can they do it? Big, big thing is with flowers. What type of bouquet would you like? What type of centerpieces are you looking for? Pictures are a really good thing so make sure you do your research, do your homework and bring them to ensure you get exactly what you're looking for.
Once your vendors are selected at that point, you look at invitations. Again, bring in, what do you like... colors, textures, what are you thinking? How will your vision play out through your invitations? Once your invitations have been selected and they're out, at that point, you're really close. Get ready, try to relax, try to enjoy this last month. Enjoy everything that comes with it, the good and the stressful. Your responses will be coming in like crazy, make sure you manage those and get that information to your caterer, that's the biggest thing.
At that point, it is normally turned over to whoever will be directing your wedding, whether it be someone at the locations, the venues you've chosen or whether you hired a professional. At that point, your job is really done, it's turned over. Get ready for your big day.