Just Got Engaged? Here’s How to Start Planning for Your Wedding

Close up of a wedding table with small branch in a glass tumbler with white doves hanging from stems.

You said yes! They said yes! Now what?

Well, first things first, if you haven’t already, you’ve got to celebrate! Happy occasions like this one deserve to be marked. So, pop some bubbly and gather your nearest and dearest for a toast. Once you’re all partied out, it’s time for the planning to begin.

Sure, some people revel in the idea of planning a wedding. But for others, it can be an overwhelming concept. One thing is certain, it should be a bit of craic.

Here’s how to get your planning off on the right foot and ensure you get hitched with as few hitches as possible.

Pinterest to Your Hearts Content

A boho summer wedding may have always been your dream, but try to begin your research with an open mind. Buy (or borrow) a stack of wedding magazines and spend a cosy evening browsing with your other half. Pinterest is also a fantastic source of inspiration. Set up a board and start gathering pins - you’ll quickly start to see a theme emerge.

Battling the Budget

Once you’ve pinned down a look and feel for your wedding, next comes the challenge of making it a reality. And it’s best to get the numbers bit out of the way at the beginning so you know what you have to play with! Do a little Googling to see the average cost of things like venues and flowers and use that as a guide. 

Getting a Handle on Your Guestlist


Ah yes, the dreaded guestlist. It can be a minefield to navigate. Start by writing out absolutely everyone you can think of who ideally would attend – your dream list, basically. You more than likely will need to whittle this down somewhat. Start by determining your non-negotiable guests. These should include immediate family and the bridal party. Then add in friends, distant relatives and colleagues. Don’t forget plus-ones.

To keep things under control, it can be helpful to set some rules e.g. first cousins only, no cousins at all, or no friends you haven’t spoken to in the last year. If requests from parents are stressing you out, there is a tradition that could prove useful – each member of the couple get half the numbers to work with and the remaining half is split evenly between each set of parents.

Remember, if trying to please everyone is making you anxious, don’t be afraid to put your foot down. It is your wedding after all.

Vetting the Venue


The venue should be next on your list. You’ll already have an idea of the vibe you’re after from your initial research, so let that be your guide. Start searching online and whittle it down to your top five. You’re unlikely to find a price on the venue’s website, so once you have your five picked you can request their brochure. Armed with the pricelist, narrow your choices down to three venues and pay them all a visit to figure out which one feels right.

Determine the Date

Finally, you’ll need to work with your venue to pick a date. Before you settle on it, double check with your bridal party and family that it suits them too – the last thing you want is someone cancelling a holiday on your behalf.

Once you’ve got the venue locked down you’ve got a huge chunk of planning in the bag. Plus, you’ll have an answer for all those ‘Have you set a date?’ questions!

Thinking of Taking Out a Wedding Loan?

To help you plan for the big day, AIB offer loans from €1,000 with a loan decision in just three hours*. You can apply online for a wedding loan through AIB Internet Banking and the AIB Mobile App. You can also book a branch appointment or phone 0818 724 725 if you’d like to speak to someone in person.

* 3 hour loan decision applies to fully completed new personal loan applications processed within 3 hours 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri excl. bank holidays. Loans from €1,000-€30,000. Excludes applications: to restructure or clear existing AIB credit facilities; received through Branch and referred to a lender for review, from customers in financial difficulty; for Student and First loans; applications through Business Centres; or where total borrowings exceed €100,000 (excluding Home Loan debt up to €600,000).

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.