Congratulations on being engaged! I bet you are feeling over the moon with excitement and joy! A million thoughts about your wedding day are probably already starting to creep into your mind. Once your friends and family know, the prying questions will start! The ultimate question of where to start can quickly seem like a very daunting one. Don’t worry, we are going to guide you on what to do first!
1. ENJOY THE MOMENT! Don’t let anyone make you feel rushed into making decisions or start the planning process before you want to! If people start asking questions about details come up with a pre-planned one liner like “we are just going to enjoy being engaged right now” or “we are thinking about an outdoor wedding with rustic elegance but haven’t dived into the details yet”. People will understand and should back off!
2. SOCIAL MEDIA. We all know everyone lives on social media whether it is Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter. Once you have told the most important people in your life about your engagement then why not post a selfie! It’s a fun way to spread the news!
3. RE-SIZE. If your ring is too big or too small go get it re-sized asap! Everyone you encounter will want to look at that gorgeous ring on your finger! You don’t want to risk losing it or vice versa not wearing it because it’s too small! While you’re at it, get the insurance, it’s not expensive and will totally pay for itself if something should happen!
4. TIME OF YEAR. Now that the basics are out of the way, lets dive into the details! Start thinking about what time of year and month you would like your wedding. You don’t need to set an exact date yet just pick the month. Not picking a specific date will help leave you open to more venue options. Especially if you find a popular venue that you are absolutely in love with!
5. VENUE. Start thinking about what type of venue you would like to get married at and/or have your reception at. Does your vision include indoor or outdoor venue, church ceremony or beach ceremony, tropical gardens or a barn, hotel venue or open concept venue. Once you start figuring out what would fit you best then start researching venues.
6. SIZE. The saying, size does matter, holds true for weddings too! Determine an approximate guest count. This is important for several reasons. One you need to know about how many guests you will have so when you start looking at venues you will be able to determine whether or not the venue will be able to accommodate your guest count. Secondly it also has a great impact on your budget which we will discuss next.
7. BUDGET. Did you just cringe seeing that word? While it may not be the fun part it is also a very important part, especially if someone else like your parents are paying for the wedding. No matter how much money you have EVERYONE has a budget! A budget does so many things for you throughout your planning process. It will help you select an appropriate venue and the right venue. It will help your planner keep you within your budget and save you money. If your planner and vendors don’t know what your budget is they won’t be able to help offer cost cutting suggestions and helpful tips. It will also keep you, your spouse and your family on the same page so everyone is happy and knows what to expect!
8. PHOTOS. Find a photographer you love to take your engagement photos! If you think you also will love their style and look for your wedding day talk to them about that when you book your engagement session. A lot of times photographers will offer discounts or have special packages if you do both engagement and wedding day photos with them.
9. GO look at venues! Don’t put pressure on yourself prior to going. Enjoy touring around the different venues and soak up what they have to tell you! Sounds cliché but the “right one” will speak to you! I would highly recommend bringing a list of questions to ask the venues. Feel free to bring a notepad if you are the type of person that likes to write everything down. Nobody will think it is rude! Most importantly enjoy the experience!
10. INSPIRATION. Let your creative mind run wild! This is the fun part! Most people already have a Pinterest account, so start there! Save the pictures that you love and write in the caption what you love about it. This will be very helpful when you go to other appointments like the florist, cake designer, and rental companies. This also could possibly be one of the first things planners ask to see!
11. WEDDING PARTY. Figure out who you want in your wedding party. You don’t have to tell them yet! Things might change down the road either with relationships or with your budget. Plus it’s always fun to do a reveal to those individuals with a fun gift or night out!
12. PLANNERS. The most important part of course! Seriously consider hiring a planner! They are invaluable and will be able to help you with SO many things to make your life easier. Vendor referrals and exclusive discounts alone will make the investment worth it! Plus the hundreds of helpful tips they will share along the way will make you want to hug them!
13. BRIDAL SHOWS. In the midst of the planning chaos get your girlfriends together and go to a bridal show! Obviously it will be fun and there are always opportunities to win something you will want for your big day!
14. BREAK TIME. Did I say take a break yet? Seriously take a breather. Don’t let the planning process take over your life! It will end up making you and everyone around you miserable. It’s supposed to be fun!
15. LASTLY. The saying “take everything with a grain of salt” holds true with this last piece of advice. Don’t feel obligated or pressured to take everyone’s advice that gives it! While the advice openly given to you by friends or family (whether you want it or not) will probably be coming from a good place it may also not be your style, taste, or accurate! Some of it will most definitely be helpful but do your due diligence when vetting the different tips or words of advice given.
Have fun, dive in, enjoy the process and most importantly…don’t sweat the small stuff!