I'm new to everything!!

Hi all! I just got engaged last month on Dec 15th, 2012. I don't even know where to begin planning for this wedding. I joined TheKnot to help, but I feel like I am in sensory overload. Any help would be appreciated.

I first started by picking my bridesmaids/MOH (4-5) and the colors for the wedding (pink and gray). What is my next step? I don't have a budget as I don't know what we are looking to do.

I have a degree in history and live in the Royal Oak/Detroit area and want some historical significance in my wedding. 


Re: I'm new to everything!!

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    You should set your budget first.  That way you know what you can afford and what ideas are too expensive.

    We set our budget first.  Then drafted a guest list.  Once we knew how much we could afford and how many people we wanted to invite, we looked for venues that were in our price range and were the right size to accommodate our guests.  Once we found a venue that we loved we put a deposit down to secure our date. 

    For picking our date, we just asked which Saturdays were available in Fall 2013 and then chose the one that worked best for us.  Once you have a venue/date you can worry about the other stuff like photographers, etc.
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    Welcome to the Detroit board! Congrats on your engagement.

    Generally the first thing you do is figure out about how many people you will be inviting, then set a budget that allows you to get to the amount of money you will need to provide them the event you choose. You can decide on the budget first, which is always helpful, and sometimes how long it will take to save that much determines when you plan your wedding for. For example, when I was planning our wedding after our engagement, we pretty much knew it would be about 100 people for both sides of our families & our friends. Then we figured we'd spend about $50-$60 per person FOR EVERYTHING, ie $5000-$6000, not just food and alcohol. So, knowing that food & alcohol take up about 60-75% of the budget (depending on the other stuff you want like transportation, photographer, flowers, decor, etc), we figured our food & alcohol budget to be about $4000-$4500, or $45-$50 per person. That left me with the remaining amount to split for all the other things I wanted.

    We both have kids, and jobs, and mortgages, so we figured it would take about 18 months to save up enough to make all the final payments by our wedding day. We then started looking at venues that presented the type of event we thought we'd want to host for our guests.

    My fiance lived in Livonia, I live in Warren, and we both had family and friends around the general metro Detroit area. It helped us narrow down our search to something on the east side, the west side, or in between, LOL. We ended up with our event being in Livonia, at Greenmead Village, catered by Holiday Market in Royal Oak.

    There is a link at the top of this board, with a pushpin, for "Vendors". Over the years brides have posted their vendors there, who they hired, what the approximate price was, how they graded them on a scale from A+ downward. That's a good place to get ideas too.

    Your budget is driven by how much you can save, but also by the number of people you want to invite. If either of your families have huge weddings, and that is traditional, then you have to figure out how to pay for it, and how long it will take to save. But you can plan any type of wedding you want.

    Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your plans evolve.
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    According to your profile, your wedding is in October 2014. As PPs said, I would focus on budget first, then guest list. But to be frank, this far out, you likely won't finalize your guest list for quite some time. Relationships change and you shouldn't set anything in stone until several months out. Honestly, our guest list wasn't final until 2 months prior.

    But, you need to at least get a rough headcount (and thus a rough guest list) so that you can begin budgeting and looking at venues.

    Once your budget and headcount are set, I tackled venue and photographer first, since those book up. Secured DJ and videographer shortly after. Flowers and cake weren't set until a few months prior. All of my planning was done within a 12 month timeframe, so you have PLENTY of time.

    A final note -- I wouldn't select a Wedding Party until you're at least a year out, if not even closer to the date. Again, relationships change. Most of mine WP were family or childhood friends, so I felt comfortable selecting them 12 months out, but if you have more recent friends you might wait. You never know what your friendship will be in a year and a half.

    Same goes for guest list. Again, I wouldn't consider anything set in stone for awhile, and thus I wouldn't tell people "you'll be invited!" and things like that. Of course, you can tell your immediate family and all that stuff, but friends/co-workers/acquaintances? Just keep your mouth shut. I can't emphasize enough the fact that relationships change and you have a ways to go before the big day.
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    Welcome to the board!

    Personally, I'd set a budget first and then a guest list.  More specifically for a timeline of what to do, I'd recommend the checklist TK uses.  You can access it by clicking on "my knot" on the top menu bar.  I tried to stay on track or be early with things and it seemed to work well.

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    I'd start with a general vision of what you want for your wedding.  Think about a few thing, maybe five that are really important.  When you think about your wedding is it small or really big? Religious or not? Formal or Casual? Simple or elaborate.   Style?  Ask your FH if there is anything that is really important to him with the wedding... certian family members maybe timing, etc.   From there the next step is budget... how much do you have?  How much can you save? Is there anyone that is going to contribute?  From the rough budget then the rough guest list (i.e. 50 people or 250 people) then book the venue and photographer.  Just take it one step at a time and you will get there. 
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