January 10, 2022

How to Plan a Wedding: 5 Important Decisions

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You’ve got some big, exciting things happening in your life. Trying to figure out how to plan a wedding is a monumental task, but you’re in the right place.

The wedding planning process is thrilling- and terrifying. It’s a period of endless decisions, and each little choice feels so. stinkin’. important. After all, you only get to have your wedding day once, so you want to create the day of your dreams. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. The good news is that I’m here to walk you through it. Let’s talk about five of the most important decisions you’ll make in regard to your wedding. 

1. Budget

Your wedding budget dictates almost all of the choices you’ll make throughout the planning process. It helps you decide whether you’ll be inviting 100 people or 300. It also helps you narrow down your venue, by having realistic expectations about what you can spend.

If you need a resource to walk you through setting a budget, I recommend my Wedding Budget Guide. It suggests every item you need to include in your budget and breaks each line item down by average percentage. You’ll be able to build a budget that makes sense, no matter how much you plan to spend!

2. Guest count 

Guest count impacts several aspects of your budget, including how much you spend on catering and what size venue you book. You don’t have to go crazy picking a super specific number (“We’re inviting 185 people, and that’s final.”) but you do need to have an idea of what size wedding you two are dreaming of.

Don’t be afraid to do something more nontraditional, like having an intimate, private ceremony with your closest family and friends and then hosting a large reception where everyone is invited. At the end of the day, the only two people you need to focus on pleasing are you and your fiancé. 

Whether you want a secluded elopement, wedding on the beach, or celebration with 500 of your closest friends, your job is to invite the people you’ll be happiest to spend the day with! 

3. Date

Choosing your wedding date is a quick way to establish your wedding timeline! Of course, the weather plays a major role in this decision. Winter weddings are cozy but summer weddings are cheery. There’s no one right choice— it’s all about what matters to you!

Choosing a date around a holiday can make your wedding day feel especially memorable. Just remember that fewer people may be able to come, depending on their own traditions and celebrations. 

4. Location & venue

Real estate isn’t the only thing that’s about location, location, location. Where you choose to have your wedding impacts a number of smaller choices. It directly affects all of your design choices, from the centerpieces to the color of the bridesmaid dresses and even the style of your wedding dress.

Start by narrowing down the city you want to get married in. Are you two opting for a hometown or a destination wedding? From there, you can choose your dream venue (that’s within that wedding budget you’ve established, of course!).If you’re choosing an outdoor wedding venue, I always recommend having a backup plan, just in case the weather isn’t in your favor.

5. Non-negotiables

Don’t forget to sit down with your fiancé and discuss the must-haves of your wedding. Whether he wants a specific song at your reception or you want to wear your mother’s wedding dress, it’s important to make sure you two are on the same page. Knowing these non-negotiables at the beginning makes it easier to plan around any specific requests.

Planning your big day shouldn’t paralyze you with fear. They say life is about the journey, not the destination. Of course, your wedding should be a day you never forget, but why not enjoy the process that gets you there?

My team and I have served over 700 couples throughout the past decade. Thanks to this experience, I know a thing or two about how to plan a wedding. If you want a comprehensive guide that walks you through everything you need to consider between now and “I do,” you’re going to want my How to Plan a Wedding Resource Bundle + Community Pass. 

This bundle includes seven guides that range from a professional checklist + timeline to vendor interview questions. You’ll also have access to ten instructional videos and the Chancey Charm private wedding planner Facebook group of other newly engaged couples AND expert planners.

It’s time to plan the wedding of your dreams. You’ve got this!

Sarah Chancey & The Chancey Charm Team


How to plan a wedding | 5 important decisions

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Chancey Charm

Behind this blog is a team of experienced wedding planners, in destination wedding locations across the country. With over 200 published weddings and editorials under our brand, we’ve served 750+ happy couples since 2011. We’ve been named a top planner by Southern Living Magazine and featured on Martha Stewart. This is our place to trusted planning advice with YOU, so you can plan without the stress.  Our founder, Sarah Chancey, also has a heart for educating new planners, so you’ll be sure to see some of her content here as well.  Cheers!

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