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image of a red rose with a diamond engagement ring in it, text reads 'newly engaged? want to know what to do first?'

'Tis the season for wedding proposals

So, someone proposed and you said yes. Congratulations! Now you might be wondering what you should do first. Isn't there like a million and one things that need doing? Relax. Take a breath. Enjoy being engaged for a bit. I'm going to take you through a few first steps for your wedding planning journey.

Step 1 - Don't Panic!

Even if there's a very good reason for wanting to get married right away you should still take a moment before booking anything to have 'the chat'. This is the discussion the two of you will have about what you would both like for your wedding ie do you want it to be: big/small, fancy/simple, everyone you know/intimate family group, formal/fun, luxe/DIY, etc. It's important to get this chat done before either of you has your heart set on something the other really doesn't want.

Step 2 - Let's Begin

Once you've had the chat you can start reviewing options. You'll need a vague idea of a budget at this point ideally but if you've decided you're both really flexible on everything, you'll want to start narrowing down. I recommend looking at venues first as so much else hinges on what your venue will provide and what your budget will stretch to (or how long you'll need to save for). In the case of 'options wide open' start with looking at opposites; go to venues at either end of the spectrum. Finding out what you definitely don't want is just as important as identifying what you do want.

Step 3 - What Now?

If you've chosen your venue you should now have an idea about some of the things you'll need in terms of venue decoration, catering, etc. You may also have picked up some preferred supplier details for those extras. Now you need to start a list of everything you need to provide, as well as the bits you need to confirm with the venue. There are checklists you can download from Pinterest go here, which will give you an idea of what you might be looking at, obviously you can also ignore the bits you don't need. I can also help you with this.

Step 4 - And now the planning really gets started

You've worked out what you don't want. You've started creating your checklist of what you need. This is now your to-do list. This is the bit that can feel overwhelming. It can seem like a lot to do, and it can be, but the secret to successful planning is to take one task at a time, by focussing on individual things you make it more manageable. What you tackle next is dependent on your personal circumstance, but I always think it best to start with the thing you least want to do, maybe for you that is working on the guest list or perhaps it's the catering. Alternately you might prefer to start with the quick wins; it's always nice to tick things off the list early on. The choice is yours but don't leave your least favourite task to the last minute and if you need some help ask for it.

Step 5 - Underway

Now you're underway it's a matter of working through the list and ticking things off. The key to a smooth wedding planning journey is knowing your strengths and having your team in place to help with everything else. That might mean bringing in professional help or recruiting friends and family, either way you need people on your side who will help you get things done. You've got your strengths, now make the most of theirs. Got an aunt/friend who always seems to be able to negotiate amazing deals, get her to ring around suppliers for you.

Remember it's your wedding so set the ground rules for your team, but you don't have to be a bridezilla about it! You'll need to keep tabs on your team and what they're supposed to be doing; if they're not getting things done you need to know about it. Most of all remember you don't need to have everything sorted overnight, even if it feels like it. IF you want or need to take your time planning things, don't be pushed into making rash decisions, or booking a date that's too soon for you, postpone or move the date if you must.

You only get to do this once so take regular breaks to review your progress and be proud of what you've achieved. And Happy Planning X