Photo by YTK Works
You said YES!!! Congratulations!!! Cue the happy tears, the hugs, the phone calls to loved ones and the pure joy of getting engaged.
Once you and your partner are done reeling and celebrating over the new excitement in your life, you may both be thinking, “now what do we do?”.
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:
Discuss your 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 – time to use your imagination! What do you see for your big day? What does your partner see? Do the two of you have any wish list items that overlap? Are you picturing an outdoor country wedding, a city ballroom wedding, an indoor barn wedding, or maybe something completely different and unique to who you guys are as a couple? Your vision will help you eliminate what doesn’t fit and select what does!
Discuss a Budget & Who’s Contributing to It
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 a rough guest list
Who do you want with you on your big day? Do you want a small intimate wedding? Do you come from large families and need to accommodate 250 people? Figuring this out in the beginning will save you stress and headaches later on. Keep in mind that some venues have occupancy limits and you will have to keep to a strict number if you want your wedding held there. And we can’t ignore how the guest list affects costs. In fact, guest count is the one thing that will have the biggest impact on the cost of your wedding. You have to remember, if you keep adding to your list, you have to increase your counts for food, beverage, rentals, floral arrangements and centerpieces, transportation, invitations and stamps, and so much more. And lastly, if you know you are saying 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 (hi there!) 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.