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Wedding Planning Checklist! How to start planning your wedding?

Here is your must-have wedding checklist when beginning to plan your special day.

tuscany wedding ceremony

Planning a wedding can be a complex and time-consuming task, but with proper organization and a clear checklist, it can also be a truly exciting and enjoyable process. As someone who is not only a professional in the industry but who as also just planned their own wedding (an eye-opening experience even for me haha). Here is my step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Before listing your tips below, add one last sentence that sums up your paragraph or offers a smooth transition to your listicle.

1 - Have a chat.

First and foremost, have a chat with your partner. While I am sure you have discussed the wonderful idea of marrying one another, you may have never dived into what you both actually envision for this memorable day. A 200+ person party or intimate celebration? City, country or coastal vibes? Formal sit down or standing cocktail? At home or overseas? This chat is not only very exciting and a great way to get you both involved in the planning process, but will also shape all future decisions.

2 - Set a budget.

Determine how much you're willing to spend on your wedding. This will be the foundation for all your planning decisions.

"Trust me when I say, this numer will shape all your future choices and the entire vibe of your day. Making it an essential box to tick early on in the planning journey. "

3 - Create a timeline.

Decide on a wedding date or a range of dates. Keep in mind seasons, and weather patterns (fire & floods), and that popular venues and vendors may book up quickly, so it's essential to secure them early.

4 - Draft a guest list.

Make a list of potential guests. The size of your guest list will significantly impact other aspects of your wedding, including the venue, catering costs, transportation, and even entertainment.

5 - Secure a venue.

Research and select a wedding venue ( and potential ceremony venue, should this be separate) that suits your style/design vision, budget, and guest count. Be sure to consider factors like location, capacity, catering inclusions (do they provide catering or can you bring in your own, and if so what facilities do they provide), sound restrictions (if there are any), decorative inclusion, and of course, available dates.

6 - Research & hire key vendors.

Secure essential vendors such as a wedding planner (if desired), photographer, videographer, caterer (consider, sit-down or cocktail style event?), florist, entertainment, hair & makeup, Celebrant, or Minister. Start this process as early as possible, especially for popular vendors, and remember, nothing is a must, and DIY options where possible are always a wonderful option to help cater to your budget),

7 - Select your wedding party.

Ask friends and family to be your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and other members of your wedding party. This can look however you envision, with a more traditional approach or maybe just your oldest friend or sibling joining you on this journey in a more relaxed capacity. Be sure to communicate your expectations and responsibilities, no matter how few or many.

""At any point in this planning journey, please dont forget ITS YOUR DAY! It look anyway you both envision & should be a relfection of you at a couple, not anyone else."

8 - Save the date & invitations.

Design and order your wedding invitations, save-the-date cards, and any other stationery you need. Save-the-dates are best sent out well in advance, especially for destination weddings or dates that may cause a lack of accommodation (public holidays, etc.). This will give your friends and family time to plan ahead, book accommodation, and flights, or simply save that special date (an easy & affordable save-the-date option that I used is ).

9 - Wedding attire.

Begin shopping for your wedding attire (dress/suit) and those of your bridal party. Especially post-pandemic, size orders, alterations, and fittings can take time (on average 6-9 months), so plan ahead. For those wanting to organise hair & makeup, this is also a great time to begin organising a trial appointment with your chosen vendor, now that you have an idea of your attire for the day.

10 - Obtain necessary permits and licenses.

Ensure you have all the required permits and licenses for your wedding, such as council or park licenses, marriage licenses, alcohol permits, and any venue-specific permits. This can often be an important step in ceremonies in locations such as National Parks and public spaces.

11 - Organise transportation.

Arrange transportation for you and your guests, especially if your wedding involves multiple locations or a destination venue.

12 - Create a wedding day timeline.

Develop a detailed schedule for the day of the wedding, including hair and makeup appointments, photography sessions, and the ceremony and reception timeline. This can be refined closer to the date with the help of your venue and photographer, though it's great to get a general concept together to assist your other vendors in their planning.

13 - Plan & finalise details with your vendors.

Work with the necessary vendors, including the florist, caterer, venue, and hair & makeup artists to finalize your vision for the day, review contracts, and make any necessary last-minute adjustments.

14 - Rehearsal.

For those with a more traditional ceremony or larger wedding party, a rehearsal the day before the wedding is a great way to bring together your wedding party, iron out any specifics for the day, and maybe even include an intimate dinner with close family and friends for a relaxed evening.

15 - Enjoy your big day!

You're done! Now it's time to relinquish control, relax, enjoy the moment, and let your chosen vendors and wedding coordinator handle the logistics.

""No matter what the weather delivers or hick ups occur, slow down, soak it in and embrace this truly magical day with the person you love"

Remember, your not alone, wedding planning can be overwhelming, so don't hesitate to seek help from friends, family, or a professional wedding planner if needed. Stay organized, stick to your budget, and keep communication open with your partner throughout the process to ensure a wonderful and memorable wedding day.


Wedding Planning Checklist x Zoe Strapp Wedding Photography
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