Congrats! Now you are engaged and filled with emotions! So, what do you do next? There are a few things that you will want to do to kickoff the wedding planning process.
Celebrate, Celebrate, Celebrate! Don’t jump into wedding planning without taking the time to bask in the glory of being a fiancé and really savoring the moment. Go out to dinner with friends and family, take lots of photos to reflect on later. Show off your ring!
After a couple of weeks (maybe more), there are a few things you and your partner will need to figure out before anyone (even a certified wedding planner) can assist you.
1. Discuss a Budget – It’s very important to set a realistic budget based on family contributions and/or how much you and your fiancé can spend from the very beginning. Your budget sets the tone for EVERYTHING.
2. Determine Your Guest Count – You need this to know what size venue to look for and how many people your potential bartender and caterer will serve to provide a quote.
3. Select a date (plus a few backup dates)
Tip: Make sure you are in full planning mode at least a year from the timeframe that you want to get married.
The three steps mentioned above sets the tone for wedding planning. You will find yourself not able make decisions and constantly making costly changes if you don’t narrow down your budget and guest count.
You won’t be able to research venues, vendors, or hire a wedding planner until you know how much can spend and what your guest count is (don’t forget to include the plus 1’s). Selecting a season or month to get married in is also essential to venue and vendor availability.
You also need to determine how much of the planning process you want to manage and when you want to do hand it off to a wedding planner. I say “when” and not “if” because even if you do the heavy lifting portion of the planning, at some point you WILL need to hand off the responsibility of executing your wedding day so you can relax and enjoy every moment.