The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide

May 27, 2022 | kailey

Image by Jamie Y Photography. Keep scrolling for our ultimate wedding planning guide.

No two weddings are alike, but there are many similarities when it comes to the planning process. Regardless of your wedding size, budget, or destination we’ve rounded up the best practices you’ll want to follow when planning your big day. From hiring your dream vendors down to the last minute details, we’ve got you covered every step of the way. Whether you’re planning your wedding in two months or twelve months, we’ve created this step-by-step wedding planning guide to help you organize your thoughts. Use our guide to make sure you don’t miss any details or steps. 

1. Determine What’s Most Important

You’re engaged, you just followed a bunch of wedding vendors on Instagram, and…now what? After shouting your engagement from the rooftops and celebrating with those that matter most, take a deep breath. You have a long wedding planning road ahead of you. 

We’ve seen many couples rush into making decisions that haunt them later on. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, kickstart your planning process by compiling a list of things that are most important to you and your significant other. These priorities will have a large influence on the rest of your pre-wedding decisions. Then, create a mood board that’ll help communicate your dreams and vision to potential wedding vendors

Must-read blog posts for determining what’s most important:

Image by Paola Lattarini. See more of this real wedding here.

2. Evaluate Your Budget 

You might be wondering why we didn’t start with money talk. That’s because we want to ensure that all of your large wedding choices aren’t solely based on your budget. Dream your wildest dreams, then figure out how to make it happen or where to scale back around the elements you’ve already prioritized.

We often hear that couples don’t know how to get started creating a wedding budget. If this sounds like you, check out our guide for creating your perfect wedding budget.

Must-read blog posts for budgeting:

3. Assemble A Rockstar Vendor Team

Now we’re getting to the fun part—assembling your dream team of vendors. Again, we know it’s exciting to follow all the vendors your heart desires, but you should start with a wedding planner first. They play an important role in every stage of the planning process, including helping you find your vendors. They’ll even help your budget stay on track.

After choosing a planner, a wedding date, and destination then you can hunt down your dream photographer and videographer. 

Must-read blog posts for assembling your vendor team:

Image by Tahnee Jade Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

4. Figure Out The Logistics

Logistics are what make your day run smoothly. These aren’t as fun but you don’t want these details overlooked when your big day arrives. We’re talking about  your wedding day timeline, guest list, and seating chart. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Your vendor team will be able to help with many of these stressful elements

Must-real blog posts for nailing down the logistical details:

5. Purchase Your Wedding Day Attire

A wedding dress, a colorful suit, or even a wedding jumpsuit—no matter what you decide to rock on your big day, shopping is sure to be a good time. Or a little daunting. Because you’ve already determined your vision and budget you already have a starting point. Grab your vision board and head to your local bridal boutique or tailor to get started. 

Must-read blog posts for choosing your wedding attire:

Image by Epic Love Story. See more of this real wedding here.

6. Enjoy Along The Way

No one said wedding planning would be easy, but it can be fun with all of the right resources like this wedding planning guide, your loved ones, and trusted vendors. With all of these tools you’ll limit your wedding planning stress and give yourself the freedom to enjoy the process. Shopping for the dress, taking engagement photos, assembling your registry. Soak it all in! 

Must-read blog posts for enjoying along the way:

7. Plan Wedding Party Festivities

If you and your significant other have decided you want your crew by your side, it’s time to plan the pre-wedding festivities. You’ve probably already asked the gang to be a part of your day, but now’s the fun part—your bachelor and bachelorette party

From the destination to gear, make sure you’re sticking to everyone’s budgets when it comes to these festivities. We know you want to pamper your crew, but this is an easy area to overspend. 

Must-read blog posts for planning your wedding party festivities:

Image by Tews Visual. See more of this real wedding here.

8. Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony

Once your timeline is set and all the larger logistical details are figured out, you’ll be able to focus on personalizing your ceremony. Your officiant, hand-written vows, and music are all opportunities to add personalized touches to your ceremony. 

These special touches end up being some of the most memorable moments from your wedding. Moments that’ll bring tears to your eyes and that you’ll hold close forever. 

Must-read blogs about personalizing your wedding ceremony:

9. Coordinate All The Pretty Details

Have your Pinterest boards handy, it’s time to plan the wow decor for your ceremony, reception, and everything in between. This is where your inspiration photos and mood board play an important role. Your color palette, floral installations, and lighting are just a few of the little details that’ll transform an ordinary space into the wedding venue of your dreams. 

Must-read blog posts for planning your decor and entertainment details:

Image by Jennifer Blalock. See more of this styled shoot here.

9. Create Your Food And Drink Menu

Catering options, reception bar, and wedding cake—our mouths are watering just thinking about it all. Sure food and drinks may seem simple. But don’t underestimate the amount of choices you truly have for each. When it comes to catering you have to hire a caterer, pick your meal style, and decide on what food to serve up. 

Your reception bar is another element that may seem easy but requires a lot of prepping. From stocking to staffing and even decorating, there’s a lot that goes into bringing your cocktail bar to life. To add an extra personalized touch, work closely with your hired bartenders to create a signature cocktail that represents you. Whether it’s one cocktail with your wedding hashtag, two that are named after you both, or even extra options named after your pets, the options are endless.

Lastly, it’s time to talk about dessert. Yes, we saved the best and tastiest for last. If you’ve decided to stick with a traditional wedding cake, you’re in for a real treat. Finding a trusted bakery, scheduling tastings, and designing the cake—the wedding cake process is sweet all around. These details may seem small and insignificant, but are sure to make a lasting impact come wedding day. 

Must read blog posts for ironing out your food and drink details:

Image by Igor Demba.

11. Orchestrate Your Reception Entertainment

Celebrate good times, c’mon! It’s time to celebrate, and for many of you that means dancing. all. night. long. If there’s one thing we can’t stress enough, it’s the importance of a DJ or band to help keep the party going. Music is the soundtrack for memorable moments—like the first dance, mother-son dance, and the father-daughter dance—so entertainment choices shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

Must-read blog posts for orchestrating your reception entertainment:

12. Remember The Last-Minute Wedding Planning Details

If wedding week is getting close, we’re doing a happy dance for you. The day you’ve been preparing for is almost here! But, before your big day there’s sure to be last minute, mini emergencies to take care of. From packing your honeymoon bag to sending those last vendor checks, make sure you have everything crossed off your list so you focus on soaking up those soon to be memories. 

Must-read blog posts for your last-minute details:

13. Check Off Your Post-Wedding To-Do List

You did it! First thing’s first, take some time to enjoy being married. But before jet-setting off for your much needed honeymoon, use this time to clear up any last minute details. From vendor tips to thank you cards, post-wedding tasks are a great way to distract yourself while anxiously awaiting your photo gallery and video sneak peek.

Must-read blog posts for your post-wedding to-do list:

The wedding planning process looks similar across the board. But, lucky for us, every wedding doesn’t. If you’re looking for ways to create a personalized, never-before-seen celebration that authentically celebrates your love, check out our guide for creating a unique wedding

Then, hire a team of talented vendors that can bring it all together.

Image by Lora Photography.

Email [email protected] to advertise on Junebug Weddings


  1. Hi, Thanks a lot for sharing the essential wedding planning checklist that would help in making the day special and perfect. I will share it with others too. It is a helpful checklist which everyone must go through for planning their big day.

  2. Spot on very informative. love it!

  3. This planning guide is really elaborate and specific, definitely going to of great help to many couples and families alike that are planning for a wedding. The best thing to do is to have wedding planning checklist which will list the things to do and help them out.

  4. Thanks for the tip to start by determining venue “must-haves.” My sister wants to find a banquet hall for her wedding. Using your advice should simplify the process of finding one!

  5. Nice blog! Very clear and informative. Thank you for sharing this to us. Indeed, having a wedding planner is important and beneficial to your wedding.

  6. Appealing information! Sounds Good.

  7. Owning a livery service that caters to a lot of weddings, we get a lot of questions about the proper planning of a wedding. Now we have a great place to send them to answer most of their questions. Thank you for the great website!

  8. Wonderful blog, hoping for more of this! This would really help for couples out there who’re planning to tie the knots.

  9. Great content!

    If you feel that wedding planning is best left to professionals, you can hire a wedding planner to take care of all the little details. There will be no need to follow a wedding planning guide, they probably have years of experience on their hands and plenty of connections to make sure you end up having a wedding you’ve always dreamed of. This option is great if you can afford a wedding planner, they do most of the work so you don’t have to stress about it. If there is no room in your budget to hire a wedding planner, however, you will need to do a lot of research and carefully plan out your own guide.

Leave a Comment