Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now that you’ve got the guy and the ring, along with the congratulations from family and friends you’ll start to get asked, “So, when’s the big day?” While you should take a moment to bask in the joy of the moment, you’ll quickly want to transition into wedding planning mode so all of the important people in your life can start planning and making arrangements. So, where do you start? Here’s a list of the first things you should do when planning a wedding.
1. Take a Moment to Enjoy Being Engaged
Yes, this is number one! Once you start planning, there will be plenty of time for coordinating and stressing about the details, however, its really important to enjoy being engaged too. Be sure to take the time to enjoy this season of your life and focus on what’s important, your marriage and the life the two of you are starting together!
2. Determine Your Budget and Guest Count
Prior to discussing with both of your parents, you and your fiancé should discuss the type of wedding you want to have – big or small, just close family or second cousins too. Once you have an idea of the type of wedding you want to have, discuss budget and expectations with both sets of parents to get everyone on the same page. Having a budget and guest count is important when starting to reach out to all of your important vendors including venue, caterer, cake, etc.
3. Research and Visit Possible Wedding Venues
Once you have a budget and a guest count, you can start to research and schedule visits with venues in and near your desired location for your wedding. Based on your guest count, many venues offer various pricing options or rooms to accommodate the needs of your wedding. When reaching out to a venue to ask for information, include your guest count along with a tentative date, month or time of year. Be as specific as possible, however, it’s not necessary to have a specific date picked out. Venues will respond with packages and pricing for the time of year and let you know their available dates. Prior to booking, take a tour to ensure that it meets your vision and be sure to get all of your questions answered.
4. Book Your Venue
Once you tour venues and find the right place, book it! Its important to book your venue first to lock in your date and begin to build the rest of your wedding around the venue. Your wedding venue will have an impact on every other decision you’ll make. Don’t believe us? If your wedding is at the beach, the type of dress you wear, the flowers you select and food you eat may be different than if you choose a ballroom downtown. However, booking your venue is the first important decision you will make that requires a deposit, so you’ll want to be sure you’re certain.
Once you have your venue booked and a date in place, you can start contacting other vendors to ensure their availability. Many venues have a preferred caterer list that is approved to provide food at the venue, so you’ll want to start with that list if required. Plus, you can schedule engagement photos (perhaps at your venue!) and start to design save the dates to get your special date on the calendar for loved ones.
There will be plenty of decisions to make when you start planning your wedding, and everything can quickly become overwhelming. However, if you focus on getting things done in a systematic way, you’ll start to check things off your list in no time!