Engagement season is upon us! If you’re sporting some new bling on your hand, stick around to hear the first 5 things you should do after you get engaged!
Ok obviously the first thing you should do is tell people 🙂 Let others share in your excitement! This one’s a given so I’m not counting that. Let’s chat about the wedding-related things that should be at the top of your to-do list after you get that bling.
Start talking about a budget.
I know, it’s really uncomfortable to talk about money, but it’s important that you have a good idea from the get-go of what you want to spend on your wedding and where that money is going to come from. This is the first thing you should do because it should inform all of your planning decisions.
If you need some help with this, here is some good advice from Every Last Detail Blog – do keep in mind though that different geographical areas are going to have different averages so set your expectations accordingly.
Start creating a guest list.
Do you want to invite a lot of people? Do you want a more intimate celebration? Who are the people who absolutely HAVE to be there? Who are the B-listers (don’t feel guilty about this!!!)? Your budget will likely play into this. Your food and beverage bill is going to be the highest expense of your wedding so the reality is that the more people you invite, the higher your budget needs to be. If you are also wanting to go all out on your dress and florals you may want to consider a smaller guest list so less of your budget will be going to food and beverage and you’ll have more wiggle room in your budget for attire and decor.
Decide on a general time of year that you want to get married.
Don’t get specific on your date yet – planning will be much smoother if you start viewing venues with a general set of 2-3 ideal months in mind and then you can decide based on your desired venue’s availability. So think about what season of the year you want to get married. Think about the weather at that time of year – does that work for your vision? Will you be happy taking photos in the midst of that weather?
Decide on a general location for your wedding.
This one is very closely related to the one above and should be discussed simultaneously. In other words, do you want to get married where you grew up? The city you currently live in? In another country? Don’t get your heart set on a specific venue yet (unless you already have a dream venue and you KNOW it’s in budget). But go ahead and narrow down where you’re going to start your planning. This may influence your time of year decision and may also impact your guest list and budget.
Decide what elements/vendors are most important to you and your partner.
And finally, there are a lot of things that you can include on a wedding day – start deciding where your priorities are for those things. I would encourage you to rate each of the elements on the list below on a scale of 0-3. How these things rate should help you in eventually divvying up your budget and, more importantly, not wasting money on things that are not of value to you. Aside from yourselves and the rings there really isn’t anything that you are required to have at a wedding so tailor your day to your tastes!
Signs/Other Non-Floral Decorations
Welcome Gift Bags
Rentalware (linens, place settings, chairs, etc) – this one is sometimes necessary if your venue and caterer don’t provide these elements; but you can still differentiate this in your budget if you want more unique pieces vs. if you want the basics
0 = We don’t care at all about this and, therefore, don’t need to incorporate it into our wedding
1 = Not a priority; if there’s room in the budget maybe we’ll include it
2 = We definitely want this element in our wedding but the quality isn’t necessarily as important as other elements
3 = This element is very important to us; this gets priority in our budget; we would be willing to cut out other things to make sure we get what we want with this