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What Your First Month of Wedding Planning Looks Like in 2023

Whether you're planning a small wedding in the UK or a huge wedding abroad, this is what your first month of wedding planning will look like

Bride and groom kissing with the bride's hand in focus showing her halo engagement ring
Unsplash / Alba Rebecca

Bride and groom kissing with the bride's hand in focus showing her halo engagement ring
Unsplash / Alba Rebecca

Just got engaged? Congratulations! Feeling overwhelmed? Don't be - we're here to help, because we know it can be tricky to work out where to start when planning a wedding.

Before you rush ahead to the main wedding planning checklist, we're going to guide you through what your first month of wedding planning is likely to look like. Whilst every couple's experience of starting wedding planning will be slightly different, there are a few things you'll want to get in order before the real planning begins. 

Along with expert advise, here at we've got everything you need to kick-start wedding planning from expert wedding planning articles and dreamy wedding stationery, to a marketplace packed with suppliers and venues ready to book and a free wedding planning app for all your wedmin needs - what more could you want?

Where to Start When Planning a Wedding: Your First Month Guide

As you dive head-first into the world of wedding planning, here's where we think you should begin... Whether you're wondering where to start when planning a small wedding, how to begin planning an enormous celebration, or want some advice on organising a destination wedding, we're on hand with all the advice you'll need.

Where to Start When Planning a Wedding

1. Announce Your Engagement

Possibly one of the highlights of starting wedding planning - announcing your engagement and coming up with that all-important social media engagement caption is 100% the first thing you should be doing.

Start by telling your closest family and friends, and once that's all taken care it, it's time to let the world know.

2. Buy a Wedding Planner Book

A woman holding a white wedding planner and a rose gold pen

Let's be real, can you even plan a wedding without a wedding planner book? We think not. Even if you don't plan on using it for any major planning for a while, it's the kind of wedmin accessory that gets you totally pumped for wedding planning. 

3. Book an Engagement Shoot

What better way to dip your toe into wedding planning than reaching out to wedding photographers about an engagement photo shoot. Not only do you get to buy an engagement shoot outfit, but doing this also gives you a chance to put some feelers out there in the wedding vendor world.

This will likely be your first time dealing with wedding suppliers and you never know, the photographer who snaps your engagement pictures could end up being the person who captures the wedding day itself. 

4. Plan the (First) Celebrations 

Be sure to take full advantage of your newly engaged status by popping some Champagne with family and friends to celebrate your huge news. Are you even engaged if you aren't planning the engagement party of the year?

To help you on your way, here's some engagement party ideas for the best way to kick off your wedding planning journey in style. 

5. Sort Your Engagement Ring Insurance

A man kissing a woman's hand as she wears a diamond engagement ring

Before you start any planning, you need to tick off a other few must-dos. Other than celebrating, your engagement ring is the number one thing to be looking out for. You want to call your insurance company and either get separate jewellery insurance or add the ring to your home contents insurance.

If your ring needs resizing, head to a jewellers who should be able to do the job for you. We know, we know. Of course you want to wear it and show it off - but it is worth it falling down the kitchen drain? For those with rings too big, you can also try a ring size reducer until you can get it adjusted properly.

6. Get Used to Your New Accessory

Speaking of your engagement ring, having this new blingy accessory on your hand is going to take some getting used to, in all the best ways of course. It'll take some time to adjust to the rock on your finger - don't underestimate the power of a gorgeous ring. 

7. Get Used to Your New Title

Along with the new piece of jewellery on your finger, you're now a fiancé - that's huge! And be prepared to accidentally refer back to boyfriend, girlfriend or whatever you used to call each other back before you made this massive commitment. 

Like Beyoncé but with an 'F' - it has a nice ring to it doesn't it?

8. Make a Rough Timeline

We're not talking full Monica from Friends organisation here, we're just suggesting you and your partner make a rough decision about which year you'd like to get married in. 

Without wanting to panic anyone, venues and suppliers like photographers and celebrants can get booked up years in advance so you'll want to give yourselves a reasonable timeline that you'll be able to stick to. You don't need to rush into anything as there will always be amazing wedding suppliers available - but it's worth discussing timelines. 

Much like the point above, we'd recommend you sitting down with your partner and families and working out whether you want to fit in a wedding in 2023 or wait until 2024 or 2025. This decision is going to affect how quickly you need to start planning and booking suppliers.

As you make these decisions, be sure to check out our list of wedding dates you may want to avoid if you're not keen on a sporting event clash or bank holiday.

9. Develop a Pinterest Addiction

Who are we kidding? As if we haven't had a secret wedding Pinterest board for years! For those who haven't (we commend your restraint), now is the time to start looking at Pinterest and real weddings for your big day inspiration.

Before you set anything in stone and rush into any decisions, take in as much inspiration from what's out there as you can. Deciding what you do and don't want is only possible if you do your research. It's also worth reading up on the biggest wedding trends to see if you want to incorporate any in your own day. 

10. Talk About Your Vision

A bride and groom at their wedding standing with their backs to the camera holding up the bouquet
The Kensington Photographer

Before things start to get serious and you have to start properly planning, have some fun with your partner talking about what your visions are for your wedding. This could be around how the wedding looks and what style you want, or what food you absolutely need to serve your guests.

This is also the point where you start discussing whether or not you want to elope, plan a wedding abroad or have a small, intimate wedding with just a few people.

It's important to have these vision discussions because you and your partner could be on totally different pages and if there's a need for compromise, it's good to have things out in the open nice and early.

11. Talk About the Budget

We're not saying map it out on an Excel spreadsheet to the last penny - but as you start to dip your toe into the world of wedding planning, having a conversation about the kind of wedding budget you could afford is wise. 

While we wouldn't recommend jumping straight to this in your first month of wedding planning, we do have a detailed guide to making a wedding budget that you can stick to and, when you're ready, we'd recommend you start off there.

Whether you delve straight into deep money talks, or wait a while, one thing's for certain, you absolutely can't plan any aspect of your wedding until you know how much money you have to work with.

12. Discuss Guest Lists

Similarly to the budget, this doesn't need to be a final list by any means, but talking through who you really want there over a bottle of wine at dinner is a great way to get an idea of how big your wedding is going to be. It'll also help you to know what style of wedding you can afford.

If you want 20 people there, your money will go much further than if you are planning a do with 200 people. Knowing how many people you'd like to attend your day will influence everything from your budget to your location and theme. A rough guest list is always a good starting point, even if it doesn't go much beyond:

  • Immediate family (around 15 people each)
  • Friends and plus ones (around 25 people each)
  • Colleagues, extended family and others (10 people each)

This equals to a guest list of 100 people (don't forget to count yourselves in the final number too!). 

13. Let The Engagement Sink In

couple kissing in front of a scrabble board at their wedding which reads 'Just got hitched'
Twigs Branch Photography

That's right, our final suggestion for how to wedding plan is to not really plan at all. At least for a little while. Enjoy your engagement! Spend some time just the two of you revelling in your happiness and making up exciting plans for your future together.

Plan a really lovely date night together communicate honestly about exactly what you want to come out of the next few years. If that's planning a wedding, amazing. If that's putting the wedding on hold and building something that excites the two of you - a family, a business, a home renovation - that's great too.

Make sure you're setting aside time for romantic date nights that have nothing to do with your wedding; take time in each other's company as a sanctuary from stress.

How to Start Planning a Wedding Abroad?

A couple holding each other at their destination wedding with camels in the background
Emma-Jane Photography

If you're wondering where to start when planning a wedding abroad, all of the above points are still completely relevant. Along with those pointers, there are a few extra things you'll want to do in the first month of wedding planning. 

14. Book Some Holidays for Inspiration

What better excuse could there possibly be to book some last minute trips than scouting for amazing destination wedding locations?

Whilst not every couple will have budget to jet set across the world, there are a number of cheap honeymoon destinations that could easily double up as a pre-weddingmoon and destination wedding research.

Never has there ever been a better homework assignment than this one!

15. Take Inspiration From Celebrities

No one does a destination wedding quite like the stars do - so look to them for tips and inspiration. From what they wore in warm wedding locations and the style of venue they chose, to what was on the menu and how long celebrations lasted - there's a lot of note-taking to be done here.

Take a couple like Jamie Laing and Sophie Habboo for example - just listening to their Nearlyweds podcast and reading up on their wedding plans will give you instant insight into what planning a destination wedding really entails.

16. Consider Asking for Help

We're not talking friends and family here - although we're sure they will help you out along the way - we're talking about destination wedding planners. Whilst hiring a wedding planner to some, sounds like a luxury they can't afford, when it comes to planning a wedding abroad, hiring a wedding planner can equate to quite the opposite. 

No one knows the art of destination wedding planning like these guys. Their connections and knowledge could save you a lot of money in the long run, and you're much less likely to make wedding planning mistakes with an expert on hand to help. 

How to Start Planning a Small Wedding?

Two brides, one in a burgundy suit and the other in a white wedding dress, holding hands at their wedding with rolling hills in the background
Twigs Branch Photography

As with planning a wedding abroad, all of the information above is completely relevant to planning a small wedding - but we of course have some extra pieces of advice for you. 

17. Research Invitation Wording

A good place to start when planning a small wedding is taking a look at invitation wording examples to help you break the news to your guests.

If you are planning on, for example, having a child-free wedding to reduce numbers or not inviting all members of particular families, looking at some wording examples that other people have used can help you to articulate your invitations in the least awkward way possible. 

18. Warn People!

If you're having an engagement part or you're putting feelers out for the hen do, stag do or sten party, be careful not to give the wrong impression to anyone who won't be invited to the actual wedding.

If someone is invited to your engagement party, or you are talking to a friend lots about your wedding, and then you break the news they aren't invited - it could lead to tension. There's nothing wrong with having a small wedding, we actually love the idea, just be clear with your circle so they don't get any false hope. 

19. Don't Be Pressured

Probably the most important one on this list - do not be pressured to change your plans for a small wedding by anyone. It's your day so stay strong and stick to your guns. You've totally got this!

When you're ready to dive in a little deeper, be sure to download the Hitched wedding planning app and check out our complete wedding planning guide