First Things First: Where to Start Planning Your Baltimore Wedding

Here are two crucial details that you need to know, going into planning your Baltimore wedding!

Photo Credit Chase Court


First Things First

Where do you need to start with your wedding planning? Based on my experience working with thousands of couples, the two most important things to know—that you have to know before you spend a dime—are how many people you plan to invite, and how much money you have available to spend. Every aspect of your wedding planning is related to those two things: your budget and your anticipated guest count.


The People

Your guest list is the number of people you plan to invite to your wedding. It’s not the number that actually attend. You won’t know until thirty days before your wedding how many people accept your invitation, and, until your wedding day, how many actually attend. All of your major decisions will have been made by then. Your guest list determines how large or small a venue you’ll need, and how much food, drink, and catering staff will be required.


The size and composition of your guest list also affect the time involved in everything related to your guests, from sending invitations to the length of the reception. In a less tangible but equally important way, your guest list affects the energy or, if you prefer, the feel of your ceremony and to an even greater extent, your reception. In general, more guests mean more of everything!


It’s important to know the size of your guest list before you start to look at venues. Do your best to narrow it down to within ten or so guests.


The Money

Your budget represents the total amount of money you have to spend for absolutely everything. That includes your venue, catering, photography, entertainment, decorating, officiant, ceremony music, cake or other desserts, and if you have one, a wedding planner. Knowing what you can spend within a range of a few thousand dollars is enough at the start.


The look and feel you plan for your wedding and the number of guests you plan to invite will drive your costs. Your budget will determine how much you can spend. Bringing these three factors — your guest list, how you’d like your wedding to look and feel, and your budget — into balance with each other will determine the shape of your wedding.


Creating your guest list and determining your budget can be challenging. They sometimes involve hard conversations. The sooner you get them done, the better. Knowing the answers to “how many?” and “how much?” will, I promise, make the rest of your wedding planning so much easier!

David Egan is the proprietor and steward of Chase Court, a historic Baltimore wedding and event venue. Visit, and follow ChaseCourtWeddingVenue on Instagram and Facebook! Send your comments and questions to

Posted by David Egan on 10/16/2018

Category Articles: Event Planning