He proposed! You’ve posted on-one-knee photos to Facebook and changed your status to “engaged.” You’re so excited, but now the dust has settled. There’s an entire wedding to plan.

In the midst of other life responsibilities, planning a wedding can be overwhelming. There are numerous tasks and preparations to be made. However, the process can be broken down into bitable chunks.

As you take baby steps to move forward, consider the following tips as your guide to the critical first steps in planning a wedding.

  1. Take Time To Dream

Maybe you’ve been planning your ideal wedding for years but maybe not. Either way, there will be endless varieties and styles to choose from. Before making any decisions, it’s a great idea to take a step back and start dreaming.

Pinterest will be your best friend in gathering inspiration. But don’t stop there. Start scrolling wedding blogs, romantic movie scenes, moving love songs, or even creative wallpaper. Keep an open-mind and start visualizing the wedding of your dreams.

Do you see candles in a mansion or sunset in a lighthouse? Will it be glamorous or simplistic? Where do you picture yourself? How intimate would you prefer?

At this stage, everything can be modified. So you might as well dream big and exotic before tailoring it to your budget. Decide on the most important and satisfying elements of the wedding, and move forward from there.

  1. Set a Timeline

Now that you’ve begun dreaming, what season are you visualizing? Would that season make sense for the location you have in mind as well? How much time do you think you’ll need to plan everything? Do you want a long engagement or a short one?

With a big picture view of the ideal wedding scenario, design your timeline. Once you tell people you’re engaged, their first question will be “Great! So, when’s the big day”? While there are many elements to consider before committing to a specific day, it’s best to figure those out as soon as possible.

Think about holidays and big family events you’ll want to avoid scheduling conflict with. Think about how much time you’ll need for the level of extravagance you want to create. Think about where you’d like to go for your honeymoon and the ideal weather or tourism conditions of that location.

  1. Start Budgeting

It’s a great time to start having all of the awkward conversations and get them out of the way. Find out how much different family members are willing and able to contribute. Take a bird’s eye view on the possible revenue sources available to you. Then start calculating.

Once you get a rough total to work with, many other decisions will become easier. You can then decide where you want to allocate these dollars. This will especially help to decide on the size of venues and guest lists.

Remember to determine the most important factors. Do you care more about an extravagant party to remember or would you rather pay for an intimate exotic wedding?

The idea is to get ahead of the game with a big picture perspective. These are your first steps. Once you’ve dreamed up the ideal scenario, you can begin to work backwards and take informed steps to create a magical day.