Congratulations if you have recently become engaged.    No doubt you are eager to get started on planning your wedding?  Before you go rushing off to look at venues, or dresses,   I would like to suggest some essential steps that you need to take before actually starting to plan your wedding.

Type of Wedding

The first thing I urge you to do it to sit down with your partner and discuss the type of wedding that you both want.  The essential issues you need to discuss are:

  • Ceremony – religious, civil or symbolic
  • Type of venue for your wedding reception
  • Where?  Do you want a destination wedding or a wedding weekend, or would you prefer to have your wedding close to home.
Starting to plan your wedding

There is so much more to consider, but first of all you should at least agree these key elements and then work from there.  You can’t start to plan your wedding until you know what you are planning.

If your parents are going to be involved, then you should also have a similar conversation with them.  It’s really important that there are not going to be any misunderstandings – or arguments – further down the line.  Once you and your fiancé have a clear vision for your wedding, then start the conversation with your parents.


Who is going to be funding your wedding?   Will it be entirely down to the two of you or will either or both sets of parents be making a contribution?  It’s rather important that you have this conversation right at the start so that you all know where you stand and what the expectations are.

It also then allows you to set a total budget for your wedding.  You can’t realistically start to plan a wedding without knowing how much is available for you to spend.

Wedding budget

Guest Numbers

Finally, before you can even start looking for a venue, you need to decide on guest numbers.   This should not be a guess; instead you need to write down all of the names on a list.   If the list becomes excessively large, then you might need to divide it into those who will definitely be invited and those who you would like to invite if space, and budget, permits.  Don’t forget to ask your parents for their assistance with building the list so as to ensure that no important family members are omitted.

Once you have an approximate number of likely guests, you use this as a basis for your venue search….   Don’t choose a venue that can’t accommodate your likely guest numbers and equally don’t choose one that is far too large as you will lose all atmosphere and intimacy.

Wedding Guest numbers

Once you have an overall vision, a budget and an approximate number of guests,  you are then ready to start planning your wedding.

If you feel that you would like further advice on either these initial steps,  or more generally on starting to plan your wedding,  you can contact me either via email at or via the Elegante by Michelle J website.

If you are planning a destination wedding, then head to my recent blog post on planning a wedding in Italy.

And you might also be interested in tips for choosing an Italian wedding venue