Wedding Series: The Planning Process

It has been a few months since our perfect day. I still think about it often  and am so grateful for each part of it. It made all of the months of planning and stress and excitement fully worth it. As soon as Riley and I talked through what our priorities with the wedding would be, we jumped right in.

I am a planner to the fullest. In general, my process is to come up with a concept then think through all of the specifics until the concept becomes more realistic. Planning my wedding was no different. Riley and I talk through not only our priorities with the wedding were, but also how we wanted to feel, what we wanted to be incorporated and so much more. This was how our concept was created. I will admit, I wish Parties by Catie-Marie was around back when I was planning our wedding. While making the invitation inserts inspired the idea for the company, I realistically could have done so much more and hope to with my store.

My next step was to create buckets for everything that needed to be done. These buckets allowed me to focus in on that bucket and really think it through before moving onto the next task. The buckets I focused on were:

  1. Wedding Party – who will be in the party and what will we provide?
  2. Invitation List – who will be invited and how will I track RSVPs?
  3. Flowers – what do we want our flower theme to be?
  4. Photography – what parameters do we want the photographer to work within?
  5. Paper Products – what do we need and what can we make on our own?
  6. Welcome Dinner – what do we want this to look like and who’s invited?
  7. Ceremony – how do we want this to feel and who do we want to officiate?
  8. Reception – how do we want this to flow and what food do we want to serve?
  9. Attire – what attire do you and your significant other need? where will you buy or rent these items?
  10. Wedding Website – will you have a website? which one? what information will you provide?
  11. Extras – what are the extras we want to invest in? welcome bags, photo booth, videographer?
  12. Vendors – who are they and what is their information? (don’t forget to consider using Parties by Catie-Marie for your paper products)
  13. Budget – what is our budget and how are we going to track it?
  14. Miscellaneous – What are all of the random things that don’t fit into another category?

Once I figured out the major buckets I started thinking through the task list for each. I wanted to get together as thorough of a list as possible so that I could work from that and only tweak as needed. So let’s look at what my task list looked like. You can also save this graphic and use it as well!

Wedding Planning Graphic2

So now we have our buckets and our to do list. My next step was figuring out the best order to do all of this in. It can be hard to give an exact timeline to do things in because every wedding is so unique. First, I am going to share the general process I would suggest following to plan your wedding!

Wedding Planning Process

Weddings are not one size fits all and there for neither are timelines for planning. However, having a reference point can be helpful. Next up I am going to provide a very general timeline of how to plan your big day.


All of this will help you plan a wonderful. One of the things that tends to be the most important during the planning process is keeping track of the budget. Each couple, each wedding and each situation is different, but staying on track financially can keep a lot of stress out of the process. Heres a form you can use to keep track of line items and expenses.

Wedding Budget Graphic

Hopefully this is helpful when planning your wedding. Like I mentioned before, each situation is unique and not everything is going to 100% apply. Take these, modify them and make it your own. Until next time, friends… CML

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