Now that you’re engaged, what do you do now? Soon after you get engaged, all the excitement sets in! You run to the book store, buy every wedding magazine on the shelf . You look at the checklist, the planning timelines, budget recommendations and you feel that you need to get everything done as quickly as possible! It happens to all of us. That would be the best thing to do if you are planning to get married in the next 6 months. But if you’re not, there’s no rush.
Wedding planning happens kind of like a roller coaster. You do stuff for a few weeks, and then you have a break. A few weeks/months (depending on how long you have until your wedding) later, you have more things to check off your list, and then you have another break. And there you have it- a really fun, pretty, and happy roller coaster ride known as planning your wedding.
But there are 5 things I believe you need to get done first:
1: Set a budget
You really shouldn’t do anything before you decided on your budget. Everything you do planning-wise from here on our reflects your budget. It’s a tough conversation, but it needs to be discussed and decided on before anything else. Figure out who is contributing, how much they can contribute, and what your total budget will be. Then you can move on…
2: Choose 2-3 possible dates
To Be safe choose 2-3 possible dates to have your wedding. Think of what time of year you like, the weather, work schedules/vacation time, holidays, and yes, even football (or whatever sport your fiance is crazy about) schedules. Then choose your #1 preferred date, and have a #2 and #3 available in case your preferred date isn’t available. Heads up: Some venues even book up to a year and half in advance! (Here are some other tips to keep in mind while picking a date)
3: Start your guest list
This is another tough item. Of course, you want to invite everyone and their uncles to your wedding. I’m warning you. You’re going to list everyone you know, friends you haven’t seen in years but still “know” thanks to Facebook, coworkers you don’t even like, and I’m sure your mom will want her friends to be on the list too. But in reality, the more people you have, the more you have to spend. This is why you do your budget first.
Example: You want to have 200 guests. Your budget is $30,000. This means that you will have $150 per guest. And that’s not including flowers, dress, and all your other vendors.
So starting your guest list and knowing your estimated count early on is imperative. And keep in mind- nothing is set in stone. Guest counts normally go down by the time the wedding day comes around anyways. And believe me… it gets really easy to cut those people you haven’t talked to in forever. But it’s crucial to have an estimation of how many people you’re planning on so you can make some decisions!
4: Decide on your wedding’s style
Vintage, modern, classic, eclectic, punk, rustic… there are SO many styles. Most styles also coincide with decor and details too. But none of that has to be decided on right away. Just know the general “gist” of the style of how you want your wedding to be. Once you know that, it’ll be easier to decide on your venue. Which brings us to…
5: Decide on your venue
Once you’ve laid the “foundation” for your wedding, you can start researching and touring venues. When you’re researching and you’ve found one you like, I recommend emailing or calling to find out if they have any of your possible dates available. If they do, then go ahead and schedule a meeting to tour the venue! Give yourself a few weeks to tour all of your possibilities,, crunch numbers, envision and dream of your wedding, and then pull the trigger on your venue! Once you have your venue booked (meaning deposit made) and your date secured…you are well on your way to getting married!