I Just Got Engaged! Where Do I Start?
First things first: CONGRATULATIONS! I know that this is an absolutely exciting time for you and your love! But now that you’ve got a ring on your finger, you’re probably wondering, “Okay what’s next?” And unless you’re well versed in the wedding planning, you probably may not know where to start. And that is okay! We’re here to help get you going in the right direction.
1. Take a little time to let it all soak in.
Don’t feel like you have to dive into planning right away. Take a few days (or weeks, if need be) before you start diving into planning to just let the fact that you’re marrying the love of your life really soak in.
2. Choose your wedding date.
Once you start the wedding planning process, choosing your wedding date is one of the most important things to start off with. It’s from here that everything falls in to place. Your date will determine which venues and vendors you’ll be able to use, based on their availability.
3. Set your budget.
Oh, budgets. Budgets are so important–they help to keep you on task (and help maintain your sanity) throughout the planning process. When you have a good idea of what you can and want to spend your money on, it can simplify your decision making process.
4a. Select Your Venue.
If you have a dream venue where you would like to get married, you will want to be in touch with that particular venue ASAP. A lot of venues (especially the really popular ones) book up pretty quickly, sometimes years in advance. Other things to know:
•Some venues may offer reduced rates for weddings that take place during the week or during the “off season”. Off season is typically considered to occur during the winter months.
•Once you’ve booked your venue, your venue coordinator can direct you to different vendors. And these vendors are usually vendors that have worked at your venue so they will be knowledgeable on the logistics of the space.
4b. Select your coordinator/planner.
Coordinator will literally make your life so much easier. Whether they are a full-service coordinator, month of coordinator, or day-of coordinator, they will help you navigate through the planning process. Coordinators can help you find your vendors so you don’t have to start from square one, they know the things to ask and look for, they take the load off of your shoulders and on the day of your wedding, they will be the one to field all of the questions and concerns so you won’t have to.
5. Pick your bridal party.
Think of how many of your loved ones you want standing by your side on the wedding day. These should be people that you know and love and will help make your day (and the days leading up to it) as fun and relaxing as possible. Asking early helps to ensure that they can make the commitment if they choose to accept your offer.
6. Start searching for your vendors.
The sooner you try to book your vendors the more likely they are to be available for your wedding date. There are so many vendors to consider: photographers, videographers, DJs, florists, cake artists, stationers, furniture rental companies, officiants, photo booths and tuxedo and dress shops just to name a few. Once you have an idea of the direction you want to go with your wedding, then you will have a clearer picture of which vendors you will need.
7. Gather inspiration.
Putting together Pinterest boards and looking through Instagram for inspiring photos are a couple of different ways you can start to shape your vision for your wedding day. When explaining to your planner or your family and friends your wedding day vision and different design elements you wish to incorporate, having these inspiration photos are really helpful to have on hand to show what exactly you’re hoping to achieve.
For more engagement session tips, head on over to Engagement Session Planning Resources!