Pop the bubbly🥂, cue the happy tears, the hugs and the congratulations from your friends and family!!!
The first few moments of an engagement include frenzied phone calls to loved ones and a belly chuck full of butterflies. But once the initial dizziness wears off and the confetti is cleaned from the floor, you may look at your partner and ask, “Now what”?”.
There are a few key things to focus on in the very beginning of your wedding planning phase that will make your process easier in the long run. The order of completion doesn’t matter as much as being sure you cover these basics:
Talk Timeline: When do you want to get married?
Pick your season! Do you want a spring wedding to be reminded of new beginnings? A summer wedding because you and your partner share a love for the great outdoors? Maybe a wedding to surround yourself with the Upstate picturesque fall foliage? Or do you want to celebrate your magical winter engagement with a magical winter wedding? Now factor in your season to create a wedding date that works for you as a couple. If you and your partner are looking to get married during a season that is quickly approaching you may have to work with a longer engagement to get the wedding you want without stressing yourselves out.
Discuss Your Vision
This is the fun part! What are you and your partner envisioning? This is where the two of you bring your ideas together to create the day that will mean the most to you. City vs Country, Barn vs Ballroom, Microwedding vs Large Guest List, Wedding Day vs Wedding Weekend… your options are limitless. Let your ideas flow and see what overlaps between what you and what your partner want for your wedding. You don’t have to get too specific yet but having some general wish list items will be helpful when you start to look for and look at wedding venues.
Determine a Budget
Before you can look at venues and vendors you need to know how much money you’re working with. Whether you and your partner are covering all costs and don’t want to break the bank, or your families are contributing and helping you through the process, it’s crucial to know your limits so you can plan accordingly as you go. Plan before your purchase!
Draft Your Guest List
Who do you want celebrating with you on your big day? Figuring this out in the beginning will save you stress and headaches later on. If you fall in love with a venue just to find out your guest list exceeds their occupancy limits, it’ll cause unnecessary disappointment. Additionally, guest count has one of the biggest impacts on your budget. More guests = more $. Catering, rentals, florals, favors, stationary and guest transportation/ shuttling, all factor into your budget and are all costs that increase with guest count.
Knowing if you have to cut your list at the beginning of the planning process is better than finding out down the line. If you have to say no to children, or to friends of your parents, or to “plus one’s”, it’s easier to have those conversations with people who may be impacted early on.
Hire A Wedding Planner (who will become your therapist, your soothsayer, and your best friend)
You didn’t think I was going to make this whole list and not include this very important piece, did you? If you are getting through these first few weeks of being engaged and you know you are going to need help, there are professional wedding planners out there (like us😉) who can help you. Whether it is creating a realistic budget breakdown for you to follow so you know you have enough money to achieve your wedding vision, or introducing you to the wedding venues and wedding vendors who are the perfect fit for your vision and style – or literally a million other things we do with our couples – having a wedding planner by your side to guide you through the planning process will save you a ton of time, money, and energy. Most couples want to enjoy their planning process, and want to keep their relationships with each other (and each other’s mothers, lol) peaceful. Having a wedding planner to eliminate the noise, focus you towards your tasks and priorities, and ensure you are putting together a wedding that will wow is a fool proof recipe for keeping those dreaded ‘bridezilla’ moments far away.
Congrats again on your engagement, and best of luck as you enter this crazy wedding planning journey. We are here to help, whether you are interested in hiring our services or you just come here to enjoy our helpful wedding planning posts.