Wedding Planning Checklist: First Steps

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 without getting (too) stressed out. So today I want to share the first steps you need to take with your wedding planning.

wedding planning pdf checklist - new zealand

 

Are you the sort of person who sits down with a clean piece of paper and pen, ready to take notes? If so, you’ll want to grab yourself a copy of our wedding planning checklist above, which covers all the tasks below (plus all the wedding planning to do’s you’ll need to get done in the lead up).  Download a copy of Southern Bride’s comprehensive wedding planning to do list here.

Each of the initial wedding planning tasks has an accompanying article to go with it, to give you a bit more detail 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 diary, my personal favourite is hands-down the little white book

Start compiling inspirational images for a wedding planning vision board

 Sign up for Southern Bride’s free email newsletter + wedding planning course (plus you’ll get emailed free handy templates, like the wedding planning checklist)

When you’re getting serious about setting a wedding date: The Big Three

Lots of people feel overwhelmed about all the work that needs to be done right at the beginning – but you don’t have to be!  All you need to do is take each task one at a time.  Of course when you set out to set a wedding date, you can’t really do one thing at a time… because you need to juggle the big 3:

  1. compiling a wedding guest list,
  2. coming up with a wedding budget
  3. and finding somewhere to hold your wedding

Each of the big three affect each other, so you can’t get away from them… you need a wedding venue big enough to hold all your guests, and the number of guests and wedding venue affect the budget, which affects how many guests you can have and where it can be held… you get the picture.

With the big three in mind, here’s the steps you need to take, to set your wedding date:

  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

  Start researching wedding venues

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

  Compile a guest list.

  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)

wedding planning templates and checklists

Starting wedding planning with a good foundation

Once those initial tasks are underway, 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 a resource like the little white book + wedding planning bundle comes in handy. It’s made up of two parts:

My favourite tools for wedding planning

If you’d like to keep yourself organised, avoid wedding planning overwhelm and to build your wedding planning on a solid foundation, then I recommend the little white book + wedding planning bundle.  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.

wedding planning templates and checklists

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.

The complementary electronic resource is the little white wedding planning pack. 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.

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 for you to get the most use out of these tools.  Grab one, or both of them now so you can record all your thoughts, appointments and information 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.

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