Wedding Planning Checklist: First Steps

wedding planning to do list - first steps

Today I want to share a to do list that cover the first steps you need to take with your wedding planning. There’s lots to sort out all at once when you first decide to set a wedding date. It can get overwhelming, and fast. If you keep a cool head and work on one thing on the wedding planning to do list at a time… you’ll get through your wedding planning just fine.

If you’d like a free printed copy of the wedding planning checklist, which covers all the tasks below (plus all the wedding planning to do’s you’ll need to get done in the lead up) then you can request a printed copy of Southern Bride’s comprehensive wedding planning to do list here.

Each of these tasks has an accompanying article to go with it, so you can learn more about each aspect. Just click on the task to find out more.

What to do when you first get engaged

Place an engagement announcement in the local newspaper

List your engagement ring on your contents insurance

Plan an engagement party (it’s great practice for wedding planning)

Get yourself a wedding planning book, like the little white book

Start compiling inspirational images for a wedding planning vision board

What to do when you’re getting serious about wedding planning

Determine a budget and consider who is contributing

Start to pin down a wedding theme or feel – this helps determine the types of venues to visit

Decide on a general wedding date – come up with 3 or 4 dates for flexibility

Compile a guest list. Budget, theme and guest list all work together to determine the venues you can choose, so knowing how many guests you have now helps with picking a venue later.

Planning to BYO alcohol? It’s not too early to sign up for a wine plan to soften the blow to your budget (more info in this article on buying alcohol for your wedding)

Starting wedding planning with a good foundation

Once those initial tasks are done, it’s time to begin making some big ticket decisions. It makes the wedding planning process very real when you start making a commitment (both financially and mentally) to things like your wedding venue.

There’s some hefty decisions (and deposits!) to make:

  • Book a wedding ceremony and wedding reception venue
  • Book a wedding photographer
  • Book a wedding celebrant
  • Book a caterer

It’s unlikely you’ve ever had to book these things before – that’s the hard bit about wedding planning. You only do it once!

We all know that your wedding day is a one-time thing. If someone stuffs up, they can’t offer to redo it, get it there the next day or offer a credit. You need to be absolutely sure that the wedding vendors you select are trustworthy, credible and dependable.

That’s where something like the little white book + wedding planning bundle comes in handy. It’s made up of two parts:

Little White Book Wedding Planning Diary

  • The little white book is a beautiful wedding diary and organiser. It helps you countdown to your wedding with all your wedding planning logistics covered: checklists, diary/journal prompts and appointment tracking. It’s a beautiful keepsake that you’ll want to hold onto for years to come.

little white wedding planning pack - wedding planning templates

  • The little white wedding planning pack plans your wedding planning. It’s the foundation steps that you use to build your wedding planning on. You get questions to ask your key wedding vendors (including the venues, photographer, celebrant and caterer), a budget spreadsheet to help keep track of your money, and to help you figure out how much to spend on what. There’s checklists to keep you on task, a wedding guest list tracker to keep your guest names, addresses, RSVPs and more in one place.

Together they form the little white book + wedding planning bundle.  They are designed to help you avoid wedding planning overwhelm, and to help you figure out where to start. By using the questions, checklists and templates in the little white book and the little white wedding planning pack, you will set the stage for an amazing wedding that’s no stress to organise.

The little white book is a beautiful keepsake which you’ll treasure for years to come – whereas the little white wedding planning bundle is the rough workings, the nitty gritty of your planning.

If you’re right at the start of your wedding planning, or have got a couple of things sorted then it’s perfect timing – grab them now so you can record all your thoughts, appointments and information in as you plan. It’s the little details that you jot down with little thought that contribute to your memories of the planning process in the future.

wedding planning checklist

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