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You’ve got the ring, but now where to begin the actual wedding planning? We’ve enlisted the help of local wedding planner and florist, Allyson Burden of Allyson Whitney Designs, to share her advice on how to kickstart the planning process. Read on for her first five steps every newly engaged couple should tackle!

(guest post by Allyson Burden of Allyson Whitney Designs)

The First 5 Steps in Wedding Planning

Photo // Chloe Photography

1. Hire a Planner

I always recommend meeting with a Planner first. A professional and seasoned Planner will help advise what is in their best interest based off of important planning factors such as; 1) budget, 2) estimated guest count 3) design and overall aesthetic. For the couples who choose to have a lengthy engagement we encourage starting the planning at least one and a half to two years out minimum. For other couples they wish to marry within a year and a half out so we encourage the planning to begin immediately as most venues and vendors fill their books more than a year out. This will help couples secure the venue and vendors they aspire to have most as well as make the necessary planning steps to plan the larger details out correctly and financially.

2. Set a Budget

I believe couples should always start by determining their overall design and aesthetic as this can greatly determine budget. Small and intimate, large and lavish or destination followed by guest count management and then the importance of vendor selection.

3. Create a Guest List

I challenge my couples to truly ensure their guest count is what they want to commit to financially. Take the overall budget, divide it by the amount of guest you are looking at inviting and ask yourself if you truly have it in your financial comfort to pay that much per guest. A lot of couples believe when they break it down by guest, that they are only paying for food, cake and beverage when in reality the budget is the overall amount it is costing to host and entertain this many guest in many different ways for the celebration of your wedding – a different perspective that a large number of our couples have found extremely helpful when making that early decision in their planning. A large lavish event sometimes ends up feeling like a chore rather than a celebration for their wedding day.

4. Book a  Venue

Here’s our list on what a couple should consider when booking a venue:
1.) Cohesive design and aesthetic to which they are looking to have for their wedding
2.) Consider the age of guest they are inviting and the distance for them (parents, grandparents and others), location!
3.) Venue capacity vs estimated guest count
4.) What the venue amenities include and how they can be a wonderful team for them as a venue, including vendor policies
5.) Cancellation policy due to covid and or other pandemics

5. Choose Your Bridal Party

We believe this should be a decision made early on as it will impact the overall wedding budget with floral, attire, plates and other needs. Choose those who encourage you, support you, and love you to stand by you on your big day. Choosing your wedding party should be an easy decision. If it’s a tough one or you just don’t get butterflies about it, it’s probably a no. This is a vital decision as they will be with you during the entire planning process, and the entire day the day of the wedding. Choose those who choose you. Good vibes only!


Thanks to Allyson for sharing her expert advice on how to kickstart the wedding planning process! Whether you’re wanting more information on how to tackle wedding planning or want to book her services directly, you can connect with Allyson Whitney Designs via her Brides of Oklahoma vendor profile here!