Help! Where do I start?

Now that you have had a few weeks to bask in the glory of your recent engagement, it is time to start making some plans. When you start to think about the seemingly countless decisions that lie ahead, you might feel overwhelmed. You are not alone. We get emails from many brides just like you. It’s natural to have a mild panic attack. After all, how many of us have ever had to throw an elegant dinner party for 100 of our friends and family?

To start, make a list of each of the major elements you want to incorporate into your wedding. Once you organize the planning process into bite-sized pieces, you will find that they are perfectly manageable. Most wedding planning guides and bridal magazines have month-to-month wedding planning checklists. These will help since they will likely cover details that you may not think of on your own, like breaking in your wedding shoes before the big day (thanks, Martha Stewart Weddings!).

The first big task is setting a budget. This is important because it will set guidelines for when you shop for vendors. Without a budget in mind, it is easy to fall in love with a magnificent reception site or a couture gown that you may realize you can’t afford. It is better to have an idea so that you can rule out vendors that are clearly too expensive before you meet with them.

Setting the budget can be a delicate situation. You will need to sit down and talk with your fiance to figure out who will be covering what. If your parents are helping, make sure you discuss exactly which parts of the wedding they will be paying for and be upfront about the level of involvement you want them to have. If you talk about it early and make sure everyone understands his or her role, you can avoid awkward moments later. And with everything on your plate, trust me, you do not need the drama!