When attempting any task, it's a good idea to start at the very beginning. In my job, there is a prescribed place to start - all tasks begin with A (for airway, incase you're wondering). In weddings, the prescribed start is not one thing, but a combination of date, location and budget.
Some people will tell you that you must begin with one of these things. For example, you must know what your budget is before you can look at venues. Whilst this is obviously true, working out what your budget is when you have no idea what things cost is actually really difficult.
We started with location. And by that I don't mean venues. We had a much bigger issue to consider - which country should we get married in? We don't have a permanent base currently, and hadn't decided if we were staying in Kiwi Land or going back to Britain. As people who travel a lot, it wouldn't surprise anyone if we decided to get married overseas - the world was our oyster, as the saying goes.
I don't like oysters. And I didn't like making such a big decision. In the end, it came down to two simple things - who we wanted there, and my religious beliefs. Most of our friends and family would have travelled a short distance to be at our wedding, but we felt asking people to travel to the other side of the world was unfair. We looked seriously at a european ski resort wedding, but that would mean my grandparents couldn't come, and we would have to have a civil ceremony. That was a deal breaker for me - I've always wanted to walk down the aisle, and repeat those well known words.
So it was back to sunny Blighty. Decisions came easily from here - our family are all "up north," so we could go all old-fashioned and get married in my parents village church. Father Nick said he'd be delighted to marry us. The earliest we could realistically arrange a UK wedding for was March 2013. And now we did need a venue...