You’re Engaged!!! YAYYY!!! You either weren’t expecting it or you’ve been waiting way too long for it, either way you got asked the big question and you said yes. Cue the fireworks and confetti - You are getting married!
The first few moments of engagement bliss 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. Some of these happen before others for different couples so the order doesn’t matter as much as being sure you cover these basics:
Discuss general timing on when you would like to get married
Do you dream of having your wedding at a summer camp? If outdoor activities are a priority then you will be looking at May-October here in Upstate. Do you love one season over another? If snow is your thing and that ring just got on your finger then you will be looking at a one year engagement to have your wedding next December-February at the earliest. Or do you have life obligations like med school or military service to work around? You may need to focus on a shorter or longer engagement to manage adding a wedding to an already busy lifestyle.
Discuss the general vision you have for your wedding day/weekend
Indoor or outdoor? City or country? Barn or ballroom? Wedding Day or Wedding Weekend? Where you live now or where you have deeper roots? This is the fun stuff! 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.
Discuss who is paying for it all
This isn’t always a super fun conversation but it has to be had. There are a lot of expenses to pay throughout the planning process and it’s very important to know how much you have to budget for your event. Maybe the funds are coming from you or maybe there are people in your families who are contributing, but it is critical to have a solid idea of how much money you are working with before you start in on anything else.
Draft a rough guest list
Guest count is a major factor to consider for several reasons. First there are some venues that have capacity limitations and if you are expecting 250 guests you can rule out the intimate spaces that simply don’t have room for that many people. Also guest count is the one thing that will have the biggest impact on the cost of your wedding. More guests means higher counts for food and beverage, more tables and chairs, more centerpieces, more seats on the shuttle buses, and more invitations and wedding day stationery. You will have to cut your guest list off somewhere, whether you decide on no “plus one’s”, no children, no one outside of immediate family, or no one from your parents’ list. Getting that mapped out in the early phase of wedding planning is going to save you time and energy later on (and if you are saying no to any type of guest like children or parents’ friends it will be a lot easier to have that tough conversation with those impacted now so you can get it behind you when you get deeper into your planning).
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 you - 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 wasted 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 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.
Check out other related posts for more Pro Tips!