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You're Engaged! Now What?

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

You've got the bling! You soaring on cloud nine, absolutely twitterpated and then reality sets in...I have to actually plan this wedding. Where do I even begin?

1. Celebrate

This moment is fleeting, soak up the excitement with your "fiance" ooh-la-la now we're feeling fancy! Don't jump in straightaway to plans and details. Linger in this moment for a few days. Share your special news with those close to you, settle in to this new reality and just BE engaged! Savor this moment with your special someone and those close to you. This can include getting a manicure for those sparkly ring pics, taking some cute selfies or professional engagement pics, and even throwing an engagement party. Then when you're ready use one of those sweet selfies to share your big news to the rest of the world and let them join in the celebration!

2. Set the Date

This is time for you and your fiance (still so crazy to say that word isn't it?) to sit down and begin communicating about your plans for the big day. Remember, this isn't about the wedding...this is the beginning of your marriage, the beginning of your lives together. The most important thing for you to do in this whole process is to communicate. Discuss any ideas and plans with each other, make sure that you are on the same page before you put your plans into motion.

One of these important questions to discuss is when would you like to get married?

This is important because you need to make sure you and your fiance can find a time that works best for you, your jobs (taking time off for honeymoon) and any family conflicts. Another reason this is one of first things you need to decide is that you will need this information to see whether the vendors you are interested in are available at that time. It's best to get this figured out early on, especially if your date is during peak wedding season when vendors are being booked very quickly.

3. Plan Your Wedding Budget

Money talks are never fun; however, as we said before, the wedding planning process isn't just about the big's the beginning of your lives together. Getting into the habit of talking about your finances early on will set you up for success (both financially and in your relationship). Make sure to include the key stakeholders in the wedding, so if the bride's parents are paying they will be involved in this conversation as well.

This step could be discussed in tandem with the date, because depending on your budget it might be helpful to select a date farther out, which would give you time to save for wedding you've always dreamed of.

When planning your budget you can create a simple one via Excel or Google Spreadsheets. It is also possible to buy a template off of Etsy or use the one that your wedding planner will provide you. Once you have your template you then have a space to keep track of how much you can spend on each category and a running list of expenses. It is important to understand your financial situation and what your spending priorities will be.

Quick Budget Breakdown

  1. Venue and Catering: 40% of budget

  2. Photography and Videography: 15% of budget

  3. Music/Entertainment: 10% of budget

  4. Flowers: 10% of budget

  5. Decor: 10% of budget

  6. Beauty: 5% of budget

  7. Cake: 3% of budget

  8. Other: 7% of budget

4. Start Your Guest List

Your budget influences your guest list and vice vera. The more attendees to your wedding the larger the venue needed, more food from your caterer, florals for centerpieces, chairs/place settings, wedding favors, etc. Thus, you need to decided how many people can attend your wedding, while keeping to your budget. You might find that you cannot invite as many as originally planned, or you will need to raise your budget.

Another factor to keep in mind is your venue's capacity. Try to keep your guest count several guests below the limit in order to allow for ease of access and flow between wedding activities. This will give your guests sufficient room to breath, greet one another, and dance.

5. Find a Wedding Planner

Unless you are DIY-ing your wedding (which kudos to you if you are!), this will be one of the best steps towards taking your wedding vision and dreams and making them a reality. Ask family and friends for any recommendations, browse wedding websites like The Knot, or check out local planners on Instagram.

A good wedding planner is worth their weight in gold, not only for their expertise in planning and styling luxurious events, but also in utilizing their knowledge and relationships with vendors.

Wedding planners will take the weight of planning out details and sticking to the budget, allowing you to revel in your bridal glow and enjoy this time as a bride to be! Your wedding planner will be your best friend in this process, facilitating relationships to key vendors, interacting with them and scheduling meetings, all the while helping you stick to schedule and keeping you from overlooking any key preparations.

You will be able to utilize their expertise and knowledge in creating an unforgettable event. Your planner will be able to provide you with ideas that you might not have come across on Pinterest and be able to bring these unique ideas to fruition. They will also be able to assist you in addressing any sticky situations or unexpected problems. A seasoned wedding planner will know how to address any concerns and carry through with your plans for your perfect day.

When the big day comes your wedding planner with be with you each step of the way, communicating with vendors, coordinating logistics and making sure that everything flows smoothly. The only thing you will need to do is just be a bride and enjoy your special day.

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