Okay, after you show off your new bling to every single person on the planet, it’s time to actually start planning! So often people ask me, what is the first thing I should do? Of course my response is, buy my book, Weddings Unfiltered. While I’m kind of kidding, I will give you a shortened version of things to check off in the first month or 2 of being engaged. ps. It doesn’t hurt to enjoy your engagement for a bit…especially around the holidays. Get through all the family crap, let everyone admire the sparkle, relax, drink heavily and then start planning.
The first thing you want to focus on is realizing the type of wedding you actually want. For example; have you always dreamed of a traditional wedding, which is usually held at a banquet hall, country club or hotel? Would you prefer a destination wedding? All of your closest family and friends celebrating on a beach. Perhaps a daytime lunch or brunch might be more your speed? Cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception is another option or do you like the idea of a unique site? These venues can range anywhere from barns, mansions and libraries, to an amazing restaurant you love. The options are endless.
Choosing your idea of a dream wedding can help with the next step and that is to create a budget. Depending on what type of ceremony/reception you want can also determine the amount of people you will invite based on how many a specific venue can hold. This is a great start to planning that budget. But please keep in mind that you should also consider the things that are most important to you…ie…photographer, flowers, bar and maybe cut back on things that might not be that essential…like chair covers or something. Your budget will also most likely change to fit your needs and wants. Regardless of budget I feel you can still have the wedding of your dreams…you just might have to get a little more creative. Which leads right into the next step, create a guest list. Jot down a tentative list of friends and family while getting help from your parents on both sides. The first question a venue is going to ask is how many people and what date are you looking for. Which leads right into the next step.
You’ll want to choose your date and time of the wedding, as well as, book the ceremony and reception site. I feel like these all kind of go hand in hand. If you want a particular venue, you will need to see what dates they have available. If you want a specific church you’ll have to see if you can coordinate the church and reception site with date… it becomes a bit of a juggling act but again, there are a lot of options out there, so don’t stress too much about this. However, the sooner you book, the easier it will be to coordinate.
Next you’ll want to decide if you need to hire a full service wedding planner. This person will be with you every step of the way. They will help with flowers, and linens and food selection and everything in between. Now there are also Day Of Coordinators (DOC’s) but you would meet with them about 3 months before the wedding typically.
You’ll also want to choose your bridal party, which is super fun! I would suggest to ask your closest family members or friends and leave it simple. I wouldn’t worry either if it’s not an even count on both sides. Don’t ask someone because your fiancee has 6 people and you only have 5. It’s ok. Include people that know you and your fiancee well and have been a part of your life for a long time and will continue to be part of your life well after the wedding.
And finally plan an engagement party. This is completely optional but if you are going to celebrate your engagement, now is the time to do it!
Here is a quick checklist to get you through the first month or two of your engagement.
– Vision the type of wedding you want
– Create a budget
– Hire a full time wedding planner
– Choose date/time
– Create a guest list
– Choose a ceremony and reception site
– Choose wedding (bridal) party
– Host engagement party
Congratulations to you all that have gotten engaged and best of luck with the planning! Pick up your copy of Weddings Unfiltered today to guide you through the entire planning process!
And if you’re looking for a day of coordinator, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.