virginia weddings

Ten Steps to Simplify Your Wedding Planning

Written By: Elisa Yu-Shan Lion / Edited By: Angela Crockette & Renee Eder

Valentine’s Day is over, and so is “engagement season,” the period between Thanksgiving until now when 40% of all engagements occur.  If this was the year when he popped the question and it was everything you dreamed of…now what?

Before the proposal, you were convinced that finding the ideal mate was the hard part. Now you’ve come to realize that wedding planning can be overwhelming. Never fear! We’ve compiled a list of steps you can take to streamline the process and simplify your wedding planning:

Step 1 – Set a date: You may have an idea of where you envision yourself walking down the aisle or what you want your cake to look like, but until you decide when you’d like to get married, you can’t commit to anything.

Step 2 – Set a budget: Whether you’re dreaming of a lavish hotel soiree or an intimate garden affair, figuring out your priorities and setting a budget will help you determine how much to spend to make it happen.

Step 3 – Determine head count: One way to determine headcount is to decide how much money you can afford to spend per guest on food at the reception. To prioritize your master list, determine the must invites, the should invites, and the could invites. 

Step 4 – Hire an event planner: If you aspire to achieve your wedding vision with your nerves and sanity intact, a professional wedding planner with a keen eye for design and detail is the wisest investment you can make. Read our blog post on this topic to find out why!

Step 5 – Get inspired:  Take your family traditions and values into account, and use them as inspiration for your wedding colors, theme, style, and more.

Step 6 – Select your venue: It is important to book your ceremony and reception venue early on to ensure availability. Other determining factors include location, cost, guest capacity, and alignment with the ideal look and feel you have for your wedding. 

Step 7 – Select your wedding pro team: Hiring professional vendors will save you money and grant you peace of mind. Event planners have access to an extensive pool of vetted vendors.

Step 8 – Select your attire: Selecting your fairytale wedding dress is what you’ve always dreamt of. Enjoy the process, and choose complementary styles for your wedding party’s attire.

Step 9 – Send your invites: Save the Date cards and official invitations set the tone for your wedding. They give your guests a glimpse of what is to come during your big day.

Step 10 – Enjoy: Relish this uniquely romantic period of your life when your significant other is the center of your world. Relax in knowing that your professional event planner has your wedding preparations under control. Your dream wedding will be unforgettable!

For the next several months, I will be sharing planning tips, wedding protocols, wedding trends, and share valuable expertise from top wedding pros in Virginia. I will be walking along you, as you start your wedding planning process!

Let the 2021 Wedding Season BEGIN!

NOTE: Are you ready to start your wedding planning journey; and not sure where to start? Unsure when you should send your Save-The-Dates? Undecided where you should take your engagement photos? Looking for the right wedding pros? RELAX! I am here to help! Please email me at (please write BLOG QUESTION on your email subject) your questions. I look forward to reading your messages and answering them in future blog pieces!

Photography courtesy of Sanaz Fahimi from Butterfly Photography.

The author: Elisa Yu-Shan Lion

Elisa’s passion for event planning and design grew out of her love for big family gatherings. From organizing family celebrations in Honduras during her youth, to planning corporate events for large organizations in Washington D.C., Elisa’s experience and passion led her to launch a full-time career doing what she loves most. Elisa finds great satisfaction in making her clients’ wedding dreams come to fruition. With 20+ years’ experience in the event industry, she takes particular care in understanding her clients’ dreams for their event and strives to deliver the exceptional wedding experience they envision. A unique personality trait that defines Elisa is how much she truly cares about her clients and is completely invested in giving them her complete focus and attention. She limits her full-service event calendar so she can give her full attention to each event and goes the extra mile to ensure that her clients are thrilled with their event. From the very first email to assisting clients with every last detail, Elisa sets the standards high at providing an exceptional customer service experience. What really makes Elisa’s heart hum? She loves spending time with her family (she has a son and 3 foster daughters and 3 foster sons), her partner, Will, and her three dogs, Kahlua, Bailey and Brandy. She loves to cook, travel, movies and the outdoors. She is detail-oriented to a fault, and truly enjoys bringing families together in marriage, and making her clients dream weddings a reality. She looks forward to learning more about you, and your vision for your next event!


  • Hi,
    I like the way you simplified the wedding planning step by step, especially the third step i.e. “determine the head count”, because it directly impact our pocket. Although it’s superb but if you don’t mind can i suggest you something, like you can also include “HONEYMOON ideas”. Anyways i love the idea of explaining the wedding planning step by step. Wish you all the Best for your journey.

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