Have you been dreaming of your wedding since you were little? Whether you’re newly engaged and diving into the planning process or anticipating a wedding soon, you’ll need to determine the overall vision, create a realistic budget, and hire all your help. There’s a lot to be done before you can tie the knot, so follow this thorough guide to help you with the planning process. 

One image of pride and groom at ceremony under curtain of wisteria holding hands for Tie The Knot: Dream Wedding Guide blog post.

Determine the Overall Vision

When you picture your big day, what do you envision? Is it a huge and elegant celebration, or a small and intimate gathering? Does the season inspire the style of your dress or color scheme? Do you have a specific date and venue in mind? All of these are important questions to ask yourself. Choosing a date and where you want to hold the ceremony and reception should be your first plan of attack. If you’re stuck with ideas and need a place to organize your thoughts, create a wedding-inspired Pinterest board. A board will help spark ideas like decor, bridesmaid dresses, cake design, flower arrangements, and venue styles.

Three images: Top image of venue lawn with redwood trees behind it. Left bottom image of bride and bridesmaids holding bouquets. Bottom right image of bride's bouquet for Tie The Knot: Dream Wedding Guide blog post.
Four images: Top left image of table setting and place card. Middle Left image of edible floral appetizer. Bottom left image of customized neon sign with couple's last name. Right image of cake with wooden couple and dog cake topper for Tie The Knot: Dream Wedding Guide blog post.

Don’t forget about creating a wedding checklist or finding a template created already. A checklist is perfect to help you stay on track with planning. From dress shopping, sending invitations, hiring a catering service, booking a hairstylist, ordering a wedding cake, and making reservations for the rehearsal dinner, are all timely matters that a checklist will help you keep track. Not only will having a checklist help you visualize what you’ve accomplished and what needs to be completed, but it will help you avoid any mix-ups.

Three images: Left image of personalized honey jar favors. Top right image of personalized welcome sign. Bottom right image of invitations and wedding program for Tie The Knot: Dream Wedding Guide blog post.

Create a Realistic Budget

Establishing a realistic wedding budget when it comes to paying for the big day doesn’t have to be disheartening. Although you may not want a limited price tag, it’s not something you’ll want to overlook. Your budget should be separated into different categories, allocating a percentage of the budget to each one. These categories could be venue and caterer, photography, and videography, music and entertainment, attire and beauty prep, and decorations. The amount you designate for each category is totally up to you. Some couples will allocate a higher percentage towards the venue or dress, while others prefer the entertainment to have the biggest pool of funds. 

Weddings can add up fast if you’re not smart with your budget. No matter how big or small your dream wedding is, there’s no need to stress over the expenses. To help pay for the big day, choose a safe and less risky loan like a home equity loan. The best part about a HEL is that you’ll receive the money you need in one lump sum, so you can allocate it to different expenses. This allows you to open up your budget a tiny bit and take some stress off your plate. You’ll also have room to pay back the loan over a longer period, which is beneficial if your wedding is a ways away. 

Four images: Top left image of table setting. Middle left image of vendor team at The Maples. Bottom right image of sweethearts table with velour high back chairs and floral decorations on the table. Right image of two tier naked frosting cake decorated with clay elephant couple and real flowers for Tie The Knot: Dream Wedding Guide blog post.

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