After Saying “Yes”, What Comes Next?
Newly Engaged? Check Out These Tips for Getting Started with Your Wedding Plans
Becoming engaged is one of life’s most momentous occasions; and no matter how long you plan to be engaged before walking down the aisle, your time as someone’s “fiancé” will be remembered as only a short time in your life. That’s what helps to make this such a special time; and it’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to cherish this season of your relationship while working to avoid those all-too-common stresses of planning a wedding.
To help you know what to do, when, here are 7 Helpful Tips to keep handy:
- Get Inspired and Get Organized: As soon as you become engaged (or even beforehand if you’d like), start collecting your favorite articles from wedding magazines – and pick up a simple notebook or binder to organize your ideas, brainstormed notes, and vendor contact information. We recommend adding clear plastic business card holder sheets into your binder and keeping a collection of cards for vendors and resources whose services you may want to consider. Do you dig digital? There are countless apps that can help you stay (and keep) organized! Apps like WeddingHappy and iWedPlanner are free mobile apps that provide mobile To-Do lists, RSVP Trackers and Seating Arrangement Charts, as well as Customized Schedules, Spending Summaries and organization of Vendor Contact Information. Check out https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/05/your-wedding-should-be-one.html for a list of handy, easy-to-use wedding planning apps.
- Save The Date and Make Contact: One of the first tasks on your to-dos will be to select a date and wedding venue. While it’s common for couples to book their venue first, it’s often a mistake to assume that you can book other providers somewhat last-minute. Both venues and other wedding-related service providers can often book up a year or more in advance – so start selecting date options early within your planning and make contact with venues and service providers such as caterers, photobooth companies, DJs, bakers, photographers, florists, and rental companies to check their availability.
- Think About Your Guests: While it’s so easy to think almost exclusively about you and your fiancé in those first stages of your engagement, try to start thinking about your guests early on, so that you can begin to consider the entertainment, activities, and the special little touches that can make your special day not only live up to your own dreams, but also go the extra mile in creating lifelong memories for you to share with your guests. The venue that you choose should be the right fit for your guest count, too. While it’s easy to get swept away in the beauty of a gorgeous venue, be sure to think outside the scenery to really imagine how the space can accommodate the size and scope of your wedding. How will seating be configured? Does the venue have more than enough parking? What about venues that are too large? Venues that are too large for the size of your wedding can make it harder for guests to interact with one another and more difficult for photographers to capture all of the special moments of your big day. They can also start to feel hollow and lose the intimacy of the gathering that may be better for the size of your guest list. Of course, choosing a venue that’s too small creates its own set of complications that are nearly impossible to overcome, so when considering the size of your venue, have a Goldilocks attitude: not too small and not too big – you want a venue size that’s just right!
- Think Theme: From colors to music to décor, the theme of your wedding will play an important role in setting the overall look, style, and personality of your big day. Start dreaming about your wedding theme early into your planning process by thinking about what could work best with your selected venue and the season of your wedding day. Discuss this topic in detail with your fiancé to make sure that you each have a say in the theme selection – and whatever you do, stay true to your own personality and preferences. While it can seem fun to take on a big theme based on something you’ve seen online or at a friend’s wedding, in the end, the fun and comfort that you experience from the theme that you select for your wedding day will come from what truly represents you, as a couple.
- Choose Vendors Wisely: As you start doing your research into the right vendors for your wedding, you may feel bombarded with choices. As you weigh your options, be sure to think about a vendor’s experience as a top factor. While you’ll meet with many talented vendors who have great skills in their field, you’ll want to be sure and choose vendors who have an established track record for providing the specific types of services that interest you most. The more experience a vendor has, the more knowledge they bring to the table. You can tap into that knowledge and receive important (sometimes essential) advice, tips, recommendations and options that you may not have considered on your own. Most professional vendors who have vast experience with weddings are happy to share a few “insider secrets” with you and your fiancé, turning your vendors into amazing resources for the planning process while also accommodating your specific requests as they relate to their services.
- Think Day Coordinator: If you’re planning to forgo a full-blown, traditional Wedding Planner, don’t overlook the option of tapping someone into the position of Day Coordinator. Day Coordinators can be someone whom you hire for the job, or a family member who volunteers for the role – either way, having the right person in this position on the day of your wedding will help to take the pressure off of you and your fiancé. During the hours just before your ceremony begins, you’ll be busy – and so will your vendors. There will likely be questions and last-minute needs. Having a designated Day Coordinator helps to ensure that there’s someone available to troubleshoot and maintain order.
- Build A Budget: Doing math isn’t always the most romantic of activities, but it’s important to start thinking about your wedding budget very early into your engagement. Think about what matters most to the two of you and build out your own set of priorities. Consider starting with a “dream list” for all of the things that you’d love to incorporate into your wedding day. Your dream list can be as extravagant and bold as you can imagine. Over time, you and your fiancé can begin to pare down the dream list to focus on what matters most to you both. This will help you to begin to build a realistic budget that is appropriate for you, while working to incorporate as many of your top-prioritized items and features as possible.
While feeling overwhelmed can be common when planning a wedding, being prepared, flexible, organized, and open-minded right from the start can help you to breathe easier and get the most from this very special time in your relationship.
Congratulations on your engagement. We wish you many smiles and unforgettable memories along each step of the way.