Now that you’re officially engaged, it’s time to get to work on planning your dream wedding. With so much to do, it can get overwhelming. There’s no need to get stressed out. Here are ten things to think about before planning your wedding.

Getting Organized

The first step to planning your perfect wedding is to organize a list of everything you need to get done before the big day. Luckily, you can find many great wedding checklists online you can print out. These checklists will help keep you on track with the most important tasks to be done at each stage of the journey. It’s also a good idea to get a binder that you can keep important documents, checklists, contracts, receipts, and wedding inspiration ideas so you don’t lose them.

Considering Your Budget

You’ll need to determine how much you are willing to spend on your wedding, reception, and honeymoon. Weddings can be expensive and it’s easy to let expenses get out of control. Focus on the most important items you will need to have such as your venue, the officiant, wedding attire, rings, and license first. Make a list of high priority items and shop around to get the best deals. About 33% of retailers have the necessary mobile technology to show their consumers available inventory online. By shopping with these types of retailers, you can know the best fit for your budget before you buy. Determine how many guests you can afford as well as the size of your wedding party.

Settling On A Venue

Before you can set your wedding date, you need to be able to choose what type of venue you would like to have. Around 40% of brides and grooms consider unusual venues and themes to reflect their unique personalities. Also, consider which season you would like to get married and a range of potential dates. Be sure to book venues for your wedding and reception as soon as you can to ensure it’s available on the day you want. Consider hiring a wedding planner before you engage in any wedding activities to help make the process less stressful.

Hiring Wedding Vendors

You will need to consider what vendors you can afford for your wedding such as photographers, caterers, florists, and musicians. You will also need to select a wedding cake as well as food for the reception. Remember to consider whether or not you will have an open bar at your wedding and what types of drinks you will serve. Between 71% and 73% of millennials drink wine, liquor, or beer, making this a key point for many of your guests. Many vendors will provide tasting samples to help you select what kind of drinks, cake, and other menu items you would like. Keep in mind that many of these types of vendors have schedules that are booked at least a year in advance so you’ll want to snatch them up as quickly as you can.

Acquiring Your Marriage License

Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding how and when you can get your marriage license. Some states will allow you to walk in to apply while others will require an appointment. It can typically take up to six days to receive a license so make sure to get one in plenty of time before the wedding. However, licenses do have an expiration date so you won’t want to get them too far in advance. Check with your local courthouse to get the exact information you need.

Selecting Your Wedding Rings

Almost a third of people who buy jewelry are willing to pay over $1,000. Although the price tag may seem hefty to some, many people will pay it in order to get the perfect rings. If you’re concerned about the cost, evaluate how important the style of it is to you. The solitaire style, for instance, has been the archetypal ring for over 130 years. It has just one diamond set on an elegant band and makes a great alternative to rings with multiple (and expensive) diamonds. When looking at rings, you should also consider purchasing jewelry insurance to protect you if the rings get lost or stolen.

Selecting Your Wedding Attire

This means finding the perfect dress for brides and the best fitting tuxedos for the grooms-to-be. Search through wedding magazines to get inspiration on the types of dresses you might like and take pictures with you when you go try on dresses. Bring a few friends that you trust to help you make the right decision. You will also need to plan for accessories such as shoes, veils, and jewelry. If you are having a bridal party, you will need to figure out what types of dresses and tuxedos you would like for them to have.

Be sure to schedule last-minute fittings about a week before the wedding. You can always cancel if things still fit perfectly but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You may also want to pick out special outfits for you both to change into at the wedding reception and intimate items for your honeymoon.

Making Time To Relax

Weddings are highly stressful, which can cause a number of stress-related issues. Those issues can include anything from sickness to acne flare-ups. Acne alone affects more than 50 million people, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Book a massage or spa treatment the day before to help you relieve stress and look amazing for your wedding photos. Have a bachelor and bachelorette party the night before to help you settle any pre-wedding jitters.

Making Plans For Your Dream Home

After the honeymoon is over, you’ll need a place where you can live happily ever after as husband and wife. Nearly 84% of people who buy real estate make another investment in real estate in the future. Consider whether you would like to receive gifts or cash that you can use as a down payment on your dream home. Planning your financial future is an important aspect of spending the rest of your lives together.

Planning Your Honeymoon

Consider where you would like to go for your honeymoon and what your budget will allow. You may need to purchase airline tickets, book hotels and transportation, and get your passports updated. You may also need to schedule appointments with the doctor to receive vaccinations or other shots you may need, depending on which location you decide to visit.

It’s important to keep the big picture in mind when it comes to planning your wedding. It’s easy to get lost in and stressed out over minor details that won’t matter 50 years from now. Your wedding is a once in a lifetime event. Enjoy celebrating your love for one another in the presence of your family and friends and make memories you and your partner can share for years to come.

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