The morning after. With the sun shining through your windows, you roll over and kiss your fiancé (!!!) good morning. You can hardly believe it. You’ve been anticipating this moment for a while and you can’t believe it finally happened. With a smile you can’t wipe off your face you head to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee. While it brews, you start picking up the empty bottles of champagne you drank last night in celebration when you look at your phone and see a million congratulatory texts and Instagram comments all wanting to know the same thing – when’s the big day?

You’ve barely been engaged for 12 hours and the whole world wants to know when you’re getting married and if they’re invited. How do you even answer that? While you’d love to say yes, you can’t even comprehend how to start planning a wedding let alone deciding who gets invited. Between setting a budget, choosing a date and deciding what you should tackle first, you’re wishing you could open another bottle of champagne, climb back into bed and blissfully hideout until magically it just plans itself.

Surprisingly, that’s not going to happen. Climb out of the bed, go get a manicure for all of the ring pictures you’re about to take, drink one more glass of champagne and let’s get to planning. It might feel overwhelming now, but planning your dream day is just a matter of walking through the five phases. Here’s how to plan your wedding like a pro.

Get Organized. It’s about more than knowing where everything is. Organization for your wedding is about determining the kind of wedding you want to have, talking about expectations with your fiance and family members, setting and allocating a realistic budget based on style, location and priorities, and finalizing a guest list. It’s the foundation for every decision you’ll make while planning and should never be overlooked. After all, a well built home is only as strong as its foundation.

Find Your Vendor Dream Team. Only once you’ve laid the foundation can you focus in on researching, meeting with and hiring your vendor dream team. Finding the perfect vendors is about more than budget and style. It’s about trust and connection knowing these are the professionals that will execute the vision you have for your perfect day.

Focus on the Details. Many couples make the mistake of focusing on details before anything else. While the details make your day, it doesn’t matter how many cool things you’ve pinned on Pinterest if they don’t fit your overall vision and you don’t have an experienced and trusted vendor team to bring them to life.

Finalize Your Plans. As the big day gets closer, you’ll want to focus your time on finalizing existing plans. Check and double check every detail. Check in with vendors regularly to ensure they have everything that is needed from you. Leave no “i” undotted and no “t” uncrossed.

Relax Into Your Day. With a few weeks left before your big day, all the major tasks should be handled. During this phase, turn everything over to your coordinator and direct your energy to enjoying these last moments of engagement. Spend time with friends and family, celebrate a little more, drink an extra glass of champagne, head off to the spa and relax into your day so you can be fully present and enjoy every moment.

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