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15 things to do to kick-start your wedding planning

Written by Katie Byrne, published 15th feb 2017

You've popped the cork, taken the ubiquitous ring selfie and told your friends and family. You're engaged! Now here's what's next...

Newly engaged? Congratulations!

So - you've said 'yes', taken a selfie with your engagement ring, shaken off the champagne hangover... And now the real fun begins: the wedding planning!

Print out a copy of this list, sit down with your fiancé and work out what you need to do before you can start the countdown to your wedding day.  

#1 Work out how soon you want to get married

It doesn't have to be an exact date - this will generally fall into place once you've booked your venue - but have a rough idea of when you want to say 'I do'. Do you want to get married before the end of the year, or are you happy to wait a bit longer? 

12 important details to remember when planning your wedding

#2 Decide on your budget

You and your partner will need to be up-front with each other about this: how much can you afford to spend on your wedding, and is there any potential for your families contributing anything towards the cost?

7 ways to max your wedding budget

#3 Make sure you've told people that aren't online

We're thinking the grandparents who aren't on Facebook or perhaps didn't catch your announcement on Snapchat; yes, they've almost certainly heard the news from your family already but if you're close, you should really make an effort to visit them or at least call them so you can tell them your big news yourself. 


#4 Draw up a list of venues you want to visit

Whether you're basing it on location, recommendations or a more quirky quality (such as that incredible light-up dancefloor you've heard about...), research is key to this. Once you know how much (roughly) you can spend, as well as how much 'wiggle room' you have, you can start looking at venues. Budget, guest-list size and venue all link seamlessly into each other: you can't really move any further forward without having at list two ticked off. Which brings us neatly on to...

12 questions to ask before you book your wedding venue

#5 Come up with a rough guest-list

Now's the time to ask both sets of parents if there's anyone they particularly want to see at the celebration.

7 questions that will help you decide who to invite to your wedding

#6 Pick your bridesmaids and ushers

Decide how you want to 'propose' to your girls with our list of suggestions here

#7 Update your relationship status on Facebook

Because it will keep those 'congratulations!' messages flooding through for just a little bit longer.

6 Facebook statuses to avoid when you're wedding planning

#8 Consider engagement ring insurance (and get it resized if needs be)

Because it's always better to be safe than sorry, no?

7 things to never-ever do to your engagement ring

#9 Create a wed-site makes setting up your own wedding website oh-so simple: just sign up, pick a template and you're away! Find out more about it here.

8 things to do with your wed-site

#10 Start browsing Pinterest and Instagram for ideas

If you haven't already, that is - but we imagine by this stage, you're probably knee-deep in thousands of ideas for your dream big day. (And about a dozen other weddings, too!)

15 hidden wedding costs you need to know about ASAP

#11 Research photographers

Much like venues, the best ones get booked up months in advance. Click here for our essential guide to choosing the perfect photographer for you! Also: videographers. Do you want your day captured on film? If so, start researching now! 

#12 Decide if you want to do something to mark your engagement

Such as an engagement party, or booking an engagement shoot. Many photographers offer complimentary engagement shoots as part of their wedding packages, so talk to yours to see what they can offer you. 

5 tips for planning an engagement photoshoot

#13 Talk to recently-married friends and families for their recommendations and advice 

They might be able to recommend a fabulous local cake-maker or florist, or help you steer clear of 

35 super-smart wedding planning hacks every bride needs on her radar

#14 Start looking at stationery ideas

Because once you've sorted the date and venue, you can start sending out your save-the-dates! The sooner you send out your save-the-dates/invitations, the sooner your potential guests will be able to add your wedding to their calendars - click here for four things you should include with your invites.

4 mistakes to avoid with your wedding save-the-date cards

#15 Buy a present for your fiancé!

Because let's face it: he's the best. 

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11 roles to give your friends on your wedding day

Can't fit everyone in as a bridesmaid or usher - but still want to include them? Here's how...

6 wedding details that will add a luxe finishing touch to your day

6 wedding details that will add a luxe finishing touch to your day

7 unexpected wedding day tasks every bridesmaid should be ready for

7 unexpected wedding day tasks every bridesmaid should be ready for

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How to choose your wedding flowers