January is the time of year when we tend to get an influx of new readers, (WELCOME GUYS!) fresh from engagements over the festive season.

So first up, congratulations!

Weddings are awesome, we love every last bit of them, from the style to the food, to the music to the honeymoons. So whether you’re eloping for two or planning a huge celebration for 400, you’re in the right place.

But we know your initial steps to wedding planning can be daunting. Every year we tend to put together a guide for the newly engaged, but because we’ve already got a pretty good one of those (if I do say so myself!), this year I thought we’d do something different.

I’ve put together a list of 10 posts from the Bridal Musings archives that I think are particularly helpful for the first few weeks of wedding planning. These are the posts I send my friends when they get engaged.

They tell me they find them super helpful – so I hope they come in handy for you guys too…

Photo by Emily Sacco Photography via Bridal Musings

1. 10 Things Not To Do When You Get Engaged

This started out as a fun, light post, but I’ve sent it to a bunch of friends after their engagements and they’ve told me I should have sent it sooner!

A rundown of how to make the most of your newly engaged status, and why you shouldn’t dive into wedding planning too soon.

2. The Step-by-Step Wedding Planning Timeline

This post has great tips from wedding planning experts about how to get organised with your wedding planning, with advice on budgets and inspiration. But our favourite thing about this post, is the timeline checklist.

Whatever timescale you decide on for your wedding, it’s always a good idea to map out a plan of action, to help you prioritise, be decisive and stay on top of everything that needs to be done.

3. Free Downloadable Budget Spreadsheet

This one is invaluable. Whether you’ve got a bottomless flow of cash for your big day (lucky you!) or you’re on a tight budget, it’s important to keep track of your spending on your wedding, and identify which areas you want to focus your cash. And make sure you haven’t left anything out!

This spreadsheet will help you do just that.

Photo by Navyblur via Bridal Musings

4. How To Find the Perfect Venue

This is another oldie, but a goodie! Wedding planner Always Andri shares her best advice for finding your perfect venue and the questions to ask once you get there.

Definitely one to read before you start your venue search!

5. How To Plan a Wedding without Losing Your Identity

It might seem frivolous or indulgent to think your wedding has to be a reflection of your identity – it is a party at the end of the day. But as an occasion that takes so much of your time, thought, and money, your wedding should really be a day that feels ‘you’.

Yet all too often, family, tradition, expectations and budgets cause you to change your plans and make compromises, and the next thing you know, you’re planning a cookie cutter celebration that doesn’t feel anything like what you both originally had in mind. This post sets you on the path to avoid all that.

6. The One Tip to Save $1000s on your Wedding

Okay so this one is maybe going to hurt. But the single best way to save cash on your big day, is to cut back on your guestlist.

This post gives helpful, practical tips on who to cut from your wedding guestlist, and how to do it.

7. How Much Does a Wedding Dress Cost?

One thing you’ll discover very quickly when you start looking for a wedding dress, is that while bridal magazines, blogs and Pinterest are filled with gorgeous dresses, it’s much harder to find the pricetags.

There’s nothing quite as heartbreaking as falling in love with a gown, only to find out it’s double your budget, so this series breaks down wedding dress price ranges designer by designer.

Whether you’re on a budget, looking to blow out a little, or splurge a lot, these posts are essential reading.

Photo by Marilyn Bartman Photography via Bridal Musings

8. Tips for Finding a Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer is so, so hard! Your photographer is easily one of the most important elements of your day – your photos, along with the memories, are the prime thing you have to show for your wedding afterwards.

I was so overwhelmed by the choice of talents on offer, but eventually I had to make a call, and I was so happy with who we booked in the end! As part of my Real Bride Diary series, I put together a few tips that might help you with finding the perfect photographer.

9. How To Create a Unique Ceremony

This post was such a lovely one to share. Professional celebrant, Natasha Johnson of Engaged & Ready shared her insights in what makes a ceremony unique and special.

Certainly one to read before you make too many decisions about how you say your ‘I Dos’.

10. What To Do When Wedding Planning Gets Overwhelming

Last, but most certainly not least, I have a feeling this post will come in handy for almost every engaged couple at some point down the line.

No matter how organised you are, how creative you can be, how much vision, money or time you have to plough into your wedding, no matter how awesome your partner is, or how great your family and friends are, there will be a day, a week, or if you’re lucky, just a moment, when you think you want to sack the whole thing off.

This post is for then. And you will come out the other side. And you will have the best day ever!

Photo by Sarah Kathleen Photography via Bridal Musings