You just got engaged! Congratulations!
Before you dive into endless Pinterest boards, searching #weddinginspiration on Instagram, or googling wedding planning lists, read below as I share some advice on what you should do after you say yes!
The very first thing you need to do is simply CELEBRATE and enjoy some time with your significant other! I know that you’re both feeling quite emotional and excited and probably just a tad stressed at the thought of planning a wedding. It’s ok to take a breath, have some wine (or beer) and just savor the moment.
As a couple, you should discuss how you are going to SHARE THE NEWS of your engagement. Assuming you’ve already immediately called your parents, decide if you’re going to share the news with your friends and other relatives in person, through an email announcement or URL, or are you going straight to social media? Whilst there are no set rules for announcing, your parents, grandparents, and best friends should probably be told before announcing to the whole world.
Whenever I’m approached by a couple to plan their wedding, one of the first things I like to know is what are their priorities when it comes to the wedding day. It’s YOUR day and every vendor that is hired, every detail that is selected, and how the day itself flows should be based on what your vision for the day is and what is important to you. Whilst you and your partner may have different ideas in your minds, I suggest you MAKE A LIST OF YOUR PRIORITIES and putting it together is necessary to find a solution and creating that joint vision for the day. Your priorities dictate how the budget is spent. If having a particular photographer is important to you, then their availability may determine your date. Similarly, if you always dreamed of a particular venue, then that capacity would shape your guestlist.
Now that you’ve celebrated and announced the good news, now on to something that’s not always fun but necessary – DECIDE ON A BUDGET. Don’t worry I’m dedicating an entire blog post to helping you set a wedding budget. It’s very important to talk about finances together before putting any other plans in place as all the other wedding planning decisions will be based on the budget. Weddings can be quite costly and although talking about money can often be difficult and uncomfortable, having a good financial plan is important for not just the wedding but is a good start for your marriage. This budget is a guide and can always be modified to better suit your needs, tastes, and of course guestlist but should be based on what you can afford.
Now that you have an idea of how much you can afford to spend, it’s time to CREATE A GUESTLIST. This is just a first draft and it’s important to give you an idea of what size venue you will need. In doing so, you may realize that the budget may need to be adjusted or you may need to adjust the first draft to suit your budget. It’s always a good idea to create ‘guidelines’ for both you and your fiancé to follow. For example, only children of immediate family members, or no school friends that you haven’t spoken to within the last 2 years. Also consider that if your parents are paying for or contributing to the wedding, they may expect to be included in guest list discussions. Just remember, on the wedding day you want to be surrounded by the people who meant the most to you and you want to celebrate with.
Now that you know your priorities, it’s time to CHOOSE A DATE. For many of you, this may be a milestone date that holds significance – such as the anniversary of your first date or parent’s anniversary date or simply a combination of digits you like – 4/3/21 or 2/2/22. For others, the date may depend on vacation time from work, season/weather conditions, or if you’re saving towards the wedding, a date by which you would have saved enough to cover costs. Whatever you need to consider in deciding on a date, I would suggest that you come up with a second and third choice to be safe. Based on your priorities discussed earlier, the venue that you decided you absolutely MUST have, for example, may not be available for your first choice but hopefully would be available for your second or third.
It may be time to stop going it alone and to bring in some professional help – HIRE A PLANNER! Take some time to decide whether you want to hire a full-service planner to help you tackle all tasks in the planning process and coordinate from start to finish or if you have the time to do the leg work of the planning but wish to hire someone to keep things on track, tie up loose ends and coordinate on the day. Your wedding planning process should be as stress-free and as enjoyable as possible. This means choosing a service and a wedding planner that best helps you achieve that. If you are interested in learning more about the services I offer please click here.
And remember that planning your dream day should be a great journey with your loved one. Taking care of yourself during the wedding planning process is essential for your health and happiness. Check out my post on Practising Self-Care During Wedding Planning here.