Whether you start planning your wedding the second you get engaged or opt to wait a few weeks as you practice introducing your boyfriend as your fiancé, there really is a right way to kick off the process—and it’s not by heading to the bridal salon to try on gowns! Instead, there are a few questions you’ll need to answer together before you get down to the wedding details that will help set you up for success. With more than a decade of weddings under her belt, Aimee Dominick, president of A. Dominick Events, has a set of five tried-and-true questions you’ll want to discuss ASAP that are guaranteed to make the whole wedding-planning process a little bit easier.
1. What is your budget?
“Whether or not you have a planner, you can’t make any decisions or hire any vendors without knowing what you want to spend,” says Dominick. Discuss what is realistic, based on what you’re able to contribute (as well as what any family members may be chipping in), and use that overall number to help guide you as you start to check off big-ticket items like venue rentals and catering.
2. What is your vision?
This is a fun one! “Compile images and inspiration that speak to the look you’re hoping to achieve,” Dominick suggests. These could be pictures from wedding websites, home-decor or fashion magazines, or destinations you really love. “We pride ourselves on creating an event that is authentic to the couple, so defining how you see your celebration early on will help dictate the details that are included throughout the planning process.”
3. What are your priorities?
In addition to how you want your wedding to look, you as a couple (and also as individuals within the couple) will have things you care about more than others. “Ask yourselves questions about what matters most, whether it’s a specific live band or photographer, as well as what matters less. Knowing where you’re comfortable spending less (such as choosing simple save-the-dates instead of an elaborate design) will allow you to budget more money for the things you really care about,” Dominick explains.