Tips + Advice

Newly Engaged? 5 Tips Before You Start Planning Your Wedding!

February 10, 2020


I'm a California wedding and engagement photographer. The blog has past weddings, planning advice, photo education and more!

Hi, I'm ashley.

Are you newly engaged? Here are 5 tips to know before you start planning your wedding.

The feeling, “where do I even start” can be paralyzing. Avoid that by reading the tips below on what to tackle first and find your planning flow!

First things first, ENJOY it. Revel in your engagement for a couple of weeks and soak in all the feels. Planning will be there when you are ready.

One: Find your budget and write your dream guest list.

Chunk out your guest list Into  A-B-C lists. Brutal right? Totally. But the majority of your decisions will be made depending on your headcount. Once you know your headcount, you can decide your budget. The two go hand in hand, and it’s the information you’ll need when you first talk to a wedding planner.

Two: Get inspired.

Figure out how you want your wedding to look and feel. Think about your guest’s experience. Reflect on the details you liked as a guest at weddings you’ve attended. Were there things that made you feel loved and valued as a guest? What about those things stuck with you?

Three: Pick three things that are the MOST important to you and your fiancé.

That could be entertainment, photography, food, or drop-dead gorgeous florals. Whatever those three are, identify, and focus on them throughout your planning.

Four: Find the venue and choose your date.

Go wedding venue shopping with a few dates in mind, or a particular month. Depending on the length of your engagement, prepare to be flexible. Venues start booking a year+ out.

Five: Research vendors that have competitive availability.

Such as Coordinators, Photographers, Caters, and florists. These vendors also come with a higher price tag. Consider these early in your planning process to allow time for your budget and research. Research vendors that are experienced. Get referrals and only book vendors you are comfortable with and trust.

As you begin your planning journey, I hope these tips and recommendations come in handy.If you have questions or comments, I would love to hear. Please email me ( or write in the comments below.

If you loved this, chances are you’re engaged and planning a wedding or engagement session of your own! I think you’ll LOVE my engagement session guide jam packed with EIGHT helpful tips all about preparing for your engagement photos! The best part? It’s FREE!

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I'm Ashley, a California wedding and engagement photographer. The blog has past weddings, planning advice, photo education and more!




Head into your engagement shoot prepared and nerve free with these 8 tips!