You just got engaged. That’s so exciting! And now the real fun begins — planning your wedding. And while this is definitely an amazing time in your life, it can be tough to know where to begin when you’re planning your wedding. So before you jump right in, here are a few things you need to consider.

Your Wedding Timetable

The first thing you need to decide is how long you’d like your engagement to last and how much time you’d like to plan your wedding. Considering that almost 42% of brides prefer an engagement that’s between 12 and 18 months, it’s a safe bet to give yourself a little less than two years. But if you feel like you need more time than that to plan the wedding of your dreams, by all means, take it! There are numerous benefits of a longer engagement, and having more time to sort out the details of your wedding day is certainly one of them. If you’re unsure of how much time you’ll need to plan your wedding, draft out all of your ideas with your partner and see if you can find timetables for weddings with similar plans. And if you’re really stuck for a timetable, it never hurts to consult with a wedding planner. They are experts at planning, after all.

Your Guest List

Getting your wedding guest list together is one of the most tedious tasks that come with wedding planning. Do your parents get along with your partner’s parents? Is there some bad blood between certain family members or friends? These are all important things to consider when you’re crafting your wedding guest list. But if you want to start a little bit simpler, your wedding venue is a good place to start. If you have a venue already booked, or at least an idea of the kind of venue you’d like to book, start there. How many people will fit inside your venue? Do you have a wet weather option such as a clear span marquee? Will everyone on your drafted list be able to travel here? These are all excellent questions that can help guide you while you and your partner are crafting a list of guests to help you celebrate your special day.

Your Food Selection

Whether you have a giant cake or opt for something simpler like cupcakes, there’s no question that the food you serve at your wedding — especially the desserts — is a hugely important factor to consider in your planning. Even though the catering industry employs over 261,000 people, there are plenty of dietary considerations to make when you’re working out the catering. It might be nice to offer as many options as you want to your guests, but at the end of the day, you still need to honor your wedding budget plan. Fortunately, lifestyles like veganism have grown a lot in recent years. In fact, the number of vegans in the U.S. has increased by 600% over the last three years. So if you want to offer two or three options for your guests to choose from or offer buffet-style dining, that’s likely possible to do within your budget constraints.

Planning your wedding can be hugely fulfilling, especially as you see all of the details start to come together. Just remember to include these three things in your list of considerations to make during your planning process!