You're Engaged! Now What?!

Episode 1 –First Things First

Hiya! And CONGRATULATIONS! Your sweetheart has asked to spend forever with you and you've said *Um, Duh!*. But now what? Where do you even start with all this planning-a-wedding-business?! I remember getting engaged and thinking “Oh, yeah! This will be a breeze!” And then, just like that, *BOOM* feeling smacked in the face when I tried to ‘get to getting’ on the actual planning piece. As a now-wedding coordinator and designer (Hey oh!), I am always looking to simplify and perfect the planning process for my brides. Below are a few tips and recommendations on where I’ve found is the best place to begin in stress-free planning for your dream day.

1. First things first, take a few days just the two of you to relax and enjoy this new status change. My fiancée and I waited a WEEK before posting anything to social media, and didn’t even tell our families until 2-3 days after he proposed. Trust me, it was killer. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! But really, this quiet time together was SO special to us in the long run. A few days that we could enjoy together celebrating this new step in our relationship before sharing with the world. I highly recommend you begin with this step, as it really starts the wedding planning process off on a good foot.  

2. Second thing is BUDGET. This and only this should be your first to-do (after celebrating your engagement with family and friends, of course!). Pulling together your budget will truly make planning a wedding go so much smoother. Trust me! When building your budget, consider a few things: (1)How much can we reasonably afford? (2)How much do we really want to spend on this event? (3)Which family members will be contributing or assisting? (Side note - It may be a difficult conversation, asking family if they plan to contribute to your dream day. But don’t wait! Ask those key family members from the beginning if they want to consider hosting your wedding, so you know exactly what you will be working with.)

Once you have the total dollar amount you’ll be supplying, we can talk about allocating those funds. Check out next week for the next episode - All About That Budget!

3. Next item to check mark off is the Guest List. Now that you have your total budget amount, you can start working on your first draft guest list. If you are looking to cut costs for your wedding, this is the first place I recommend you start. This also gives you a good base guide line as you begin shopping for your vendors. Many vendors (venue, caterer, baker, etc) work off a guest count, so making this the third step will make connecting and reaching out to those vendors a piece of cake *pun intended.*

4. And finally, the Venue. Once you know how much you have available to spend on your venue and what size you’ll need to prepare for to accommodate your guest list, you can finally start the hunt for your perfect venue! Hand in hand with this step is choosing your dream date. Sit down, the two of you, and choose a handful of optional dates prior to going venue shopping. This way, when you find your dream spot, you have a few dates that could work for your wedding and won’t have to leave disappointed that they’re already booked the only day you’d originally prepared for.

This little checklist is definitely just a recommendation, and is in no way required for you to plan a stress-free, perfect wedding. I have just found that when these steps are followed from the beginning, it has made the wedding planning process so much more enjoyable in the long run. Questions? Suggestions? Comments? Let me know below!

Keep an eye out as the series continues next week with All About That Budget!

 

XO - 

Rachael