Okay, I can’t start this blog without first saying congratulations!! A whole new chapter of your life is about to begin and we couldn’t be happier for you! Once you’ve celebrated your new engagement and basked in it for a bit, you will eventually be ready to start planning the day you have dreamed of since you were a little girl! But… where the heck do you even begin?? Planning a wedding, especially at the beginning can be super overwhelming, so we are here to make this a little easier for you. In this blog, we are sharing the first 8 things to do when you start planning your 2024 or 2025 wedding!

outdoor Michigan wedding photos
Photo taken by Bailey Morgan Photography

8 First Steps to Planning Your Dream Wedding Day

1. Take Some Time to Enjoy it

I know it might be tempting to jump right into wedding planning but I highly recommend enjoying it for at least a few weeks. Wedding planning can be super stressful so take this time to enjoy it with your new fiance before things get hectic. 

bride and groom giving speech at their wedding reception

2. Consider the Date You Want to Get Married

Determining the time of year you want to get married should be one of your first tasks as wedding venues get booked up quickly. Do you want a warm outdoor summer or spring wedding, a colorful fall wedding, or a cozy and intimate indoor wedding? Once you have decided on the time of year, think about the specific dates you would be interested in.

3. Discuss Your Budget

I know, this one isn’t too fun but it’s necessary before you start inquiring about venues and vendors. When considering your budget think about things like how big you want your wedding to be and what is most important to you on your big day. 

4. Start Researching Wedding Venues

Once you have your budget set and roughly the size of a wedding you want to have, you can start looking into wedding venues. This should 100% be one of the first things that you lock down because people often book their wedding venues close to 2 years in advance. Your dream wedding venue will get booked out quickly so start researching, taking tours, and getting quotes.

barn wedding reception space

5. Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner

While a wedding planner is not a necessity, it can be a major help and stress reliever. So, if that is something you want to do, start looking around and reaching out to different wedding planners. Get a feel for how much you want to spend and the different styles of wedding planners. See who you mesh well with and who you are okay working with for 6 months to well over a year. 

6. Hire Your Photographer/Videographer

If you have locked down your wedding venue, finding a photographer and videographer should be another one of your first tasks. Wedding photographers/videographers get booked up fast and if you have someone specifically already in mind, reach out to them ASAP. Your photos and video are the things you will cherish the most after your wedding day so hiring someone you trust and love is soooo important! 

black and white portrait of bride and groom

7. Think About Colors, Flowers, Decor

If you haven’t done this already, create a Pinterest board and start saving photos of your dream colors, flowers, and decor. This will make it so much easier when it comes to deciding on these things. See what you are naturally drawn to and make sure it ties in well with your venue. A Pinterest board is also a great resource so be able to share it with your wedding planner. 

8. Take Your Engagement Photos

This is such a fun time in your life, so an engagement photoshoot should definitely be a priority. The photos are perfect to use for your save-the-dates and official invites. I would recommend using the same photographer for your wedding and engagement photos because it gives you a chance to get to know them and for you to get comfortable working with them in front of the camera.

Ready to Start Wedding Planning?

Obviously, there is a lot more that goes into planning a wedding than the list we have shared above, but the hope is that this will help you get started and give you the confidence to plan the wedding of your dreams. Overall, just try and enjoy the process and we are so excited for you and this next chapter of your life! 

Start by Booking Hilltop Memory Makers to be Your Michigan Wedding Venue

Consider Hilltop Memory Makers for your big day! Hilltop Memory Makers is a West Michigan barn wedding venue that offers it all and more. With five different ceremony sites, beautiful views in all directions on the 5 acres of property, and access to all the facilities and amenities, Hilltop Memory Makers is the perfect Michigan barn wedding venue! 

We currently only have a few fall wedding dates available for 2024.

outdoor Michigan wedding photos

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