So you've decided to get hitched. Maybe it was a romantic proposal under an endless blanket of stars, perhaps it was just a mutual realization while you were hiding under an actual blanket while listening to murder mystery podcasts - regardless of how you reached this point, it's now time to start planning your wedding.
But where do you start? There are seemingly endless options spilled out across the Internet and the choice paralysis feels like it will overwhelm you. Making it through wedding planning is about breaking down the process so you don't curl up into a ball because words have no more meaning after you've been staring at napkins for a week.
1. Start with the Big Picture: What is your planning timeline? What is your budget? What will your guest list look like? These are all questions that you should be able to answer without knowing anything else about weddings and will greatly inform the sort of event you're going to plan (these three question also feedback into one another: bigger guest lists tend to require bigger budgets and short engagements will make for smaller budgets). This is also a stage where you'll want to loop in all your Boston wedding stakeholders - people that might want to have a say in the guest list or hand you some nice bricks of cash to help build that budget (but navigating those VIPs is for a different part of this guide).
2. Get Organized: Planning for a wedding is like preparing for a polar expedition, you need to have you maps and supplies ready before you step out onto the ice. For wedding planning that means finding the right combination of tools (apps, spreadsheets, binders, notebooks, corkboards with pushpins and red string that you have left over from when you were too into that murder mystery podcast). There isn’t a one size solution for this, it’s about knowing what generally works best for you when it comes to organizing.
3. Break It Down: Once you have an idea of your direction and a plan to get organized, it’s time to start breaking down your tasks (and our wedding planning timeline is a great guide for that). When do you want to start shopping for wedding dresses? Who is going to take point on finding bakeries? Part of why wedding planning can be so intimidating is that there are a lot of little pieces that are all together in one big pile - pulling it apart into little assignments and pieces is a great way to take away a lot of the intimidation factor and show yourself you’re making progress toward your New England Wedding.
How are you planning to tackle your wedding? What’s the best way you’ve found to get started with a big project?
Ryan Richardson is a wedding and engagement photographer serving Boston and beyond; including Cape Cod Weddings, New England Weddings, Massachusetts Weddings and Rhode Island Weddings.