How to Seriously Start Planning Your Wedding

A quick shout out and congratulations to all those that have recently gotten engaged. This is a popular time for engagements so here in the wedding world we’re excited to help you figured out how to start planning your wedding.


Most wedding professionals are gearing up for wedding season so the calendars are filling fast. Fall is the most popular wedding season here in Southern California. With that, our inboxes are filling up with hopeful couples looking to partner with the vendors of their dreams for their celebration in the coming year.

For Michelle Isabel & Co, we'll most likely book out 50-65% of our availability by the end of the year. My advice to all the lovely couples out there is to book your dream vendors asap before booking season leaves you with slim pickings.

f you've recently gotten engaged, I want to make sure you start off on the right track. You might be still riding your cloud9 wave of excitement so I recommend taking your time before starting the process. Typically my clients take anywhere from 2 to 4 months before planning. They aren't super eager as most aren't interested in spending more time in their inbox reaching out to people and negotiation contracts. So they take their time.

I wouldn't recommend starting the planning any less than 8 months out from your ideal wedding date.

Whenever you're ready, I want to make sure you know how and where to start. There are so many moving parts to your wedding planning process and I want to help you navigate through them in bite-size pieces.

Goal Setting

If you woke up one morning and decided that you wanted to purchase a new car would you head straight to the dealership and sign the dotted line? I’d like to assume that most of you would hop on the internet, do a little research and think about what you need. Perhaps you’re environmentally conscious and would like to invest in something that leaves less of a carbon footprint. Perhaps you’re a momma and need a spacious sedan or SUV. Maybe you’re a busy boss that needs a luxury comfortable car with a remote start-up feature or seat warmers because you're always on the go. The same goes for you when you start you start your wedding planning process. Once you’ve narrowed down what you're looking for, you can start to look into what you need. Here is a list of key factors to help you set some preliminary wedding goals.

  • If you don’t have your heart set on a venue, draft your guest list - this will help you determine the venues you should be looking at.

  • Narrow down your search to venues in the area where you want to recite your nuptials - are you thinking elegant ballroom or an outdoor soiree?!

  • Sit down with your partner to have the budget talk . Figure out who is going to help you with what and open up your wedding savings bank account. Most of our clients open a travel credit card with no interest for one year to help them cover their honeymoon. $85,000 later, you'll most likely wrack up enough points to pay for your adventures.

Wedding Design

If you haven’t picked a venue then you can begin designing your wedding day based on your styles and preferences. If you have chosen your venue, you can base your design off the style of your venue. Chances are you picked that venue because you fell in love with the historic hardwood floors or the European architecture or the perfect garden. Here are a few more tips to help you through your wedding day design. The design isn’t just the way your wedding looks but how it works and how your guests experience it. Everything from the engagement party to the save the dates and to the invitations; it's all part of your story- so you gotta tell it well. The design also serves a purpose when it comes to your actual wedding day in terms of hosting your guests in a positive way- are expectations being met? is the day flowing on time? are their lines at the bar? are your guests being serviced properly? Are guests sitting in the sun on a blazing hot day? Are your guests freezing at night ending the best day of your life early? All concerns can be addressed in your wedding design.


This is the meat of the wedding planning process. After your goals have been set, your budget is in place and your design is mapped out, the rest is all about master planning. But there is A LOT of footwork so be prepared to run a marathon and expect some delays and possibly some detours along your route. Beware of wedding brain and bridal burnout. You can read how to avoid wedding stress here. Don’t let all the details and hardcore planning make you forget why you are doing this and why you are here. Your engagement should be one celebration after another and you should both be able to enjoy every minute of it. If one of you are just not into it, don’t force it. Ask for help.


This = wedding goals + design + planning wrapped into one spectacular day. No matter how detailed you are and how specific you are, it’s just not going to be perfect to the T. Imagine you have 20 plus vendors each with their own staff. While you’ve spent many hours with the vendor going over every detail, their staff certainly hasn’t spent that time with you and well, some of the details may get lost along the way. You may have ordered a navy blue cake with pretty patterns but on the day you may end up getting a royal blue cake with pretty patterns. These are details you should not be worried about. Instead, relax, hire a planner or at the very least a pro Event Manager, listen to their advice and let them sweat it. I understand that you may be in a place where you think that a planner is simply out of the budget so, at the very least, we highly recommend that you hire an event manager or wedding coordinator.

In Summary

Most couples reach out to me once the engagement high has passed and now they are sitting with a mountain of tasks to tackle. It can easily get overwhelming, which then leads to paralysis. Then the stress starts to creep in and your engagement is no longer a fun party but a weight on your shoulders making you wish that you eloped. However, it doesn't have to get to that point. Our clients are on all sides of the spectrum; we help those that want to be super hands-on but just need help getting started so we offer that kind of service. Then we have those bosses that are so busy with social commitments and demanding careers so we offer a partnership with you. And we've even come to the rescue for those that undergo a career change, a cross country move, a family addition, family drama that ends up adding stress to an already demanding time in your life.

If you're interested in learning more about how we can help, fill out the form below. We'd be happy to share the different ways that we can help or we can customize an offering specific to your needs.

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