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Planning a Wedding -- Getting Started Without Getting Overwhelmed
2/21/2012  •  Comment
By BettyG

The Ring

Congratulations! He popped the question, you said "Yes!," and now you're engaged. It's time to start the wedding planning.

Many brides-to-be feel a little overwhelmed at this point in the process; I know I did. There's so much to think about: when to get married; where to hold the ceremony and reception; who to invite; what vendors to use; and so on, and so on. . .

One of the first things to do is to regain some perspective.  It's a big day, but it's one day in your future together.

Just like with any other big project, break your planning-related tasks down into manageable chunks. Being reasonably well-organized is the key to staving off wedding stress. I opted to use a three-ring binder with folders for all of my wedding-related miscellany, and this approach worked well for me. Personally I'm also a big fan of checklists, so here's one to start you off:


  • Let everyone know the good news! There are many ways to do this--telling them face-to-face, placing a notice in the local newspaper, mailing out announcements, or sending an email, which is what I did.
  • Get together with your fiancé and decide on a budget. If your parents or his parents have committed to providing financial help, include that in your budget. This step may have been the trickiest part of the planning for me, since weddings tend to be expensive.  But I found many ways to keep costs down, which I'll tell you about later.
  • Once you've determined how much you'd like to spend, select a rough date for your nuptials, usually about a year away for a traditional wedding. You won't be able to finalize the date until you secure your venue.
  • Consider hiring a wedding planner. She can help guide you through the sometimes-overwhelming process of planning the big day, saving you some frustration. Is that expensive? It certainly can be. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. And if you're going to hire a planner, get the most out of it by engaging one early.

There's much more to think about as your wedding gets closer, but this is what I focused on first, and it definitely helped keep the stress at a minimum.

Tags: wedding planning, engaged