Your beau popped the question and you said yes! Congratulations! I know the feeling of being recently engaged. The BF and I got engaged back in October and I’m still on cloud nine. But now that you said yes, you’re wondering now what? Where do you start? Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be hard. Whether you plan your special day in four months or two years, what’s most important is to remember why you’re doing it in the first place. But here are 10 Things to Do When You Get Engaged to help you get started.
- Call your parents (or your best friend, or whoever is most important in your life). They may already know if you have a more traditional beau who asked for your hand but let them know that you said yes before putting it up on social media. There are some events in life that need to be shared with family first before Facebook.
- Pick a date (or a season or even just a year). One of the first things you’ll get asked is if you’ve set a date so you’ll want to think a little bit about when you’d want that date to be. If you have a special date in mind that means something to you, then go for it. If you have no idea when you want to walk down the aisle, think about your favorite time of year or for the budget conscious consider the off season (January – March) when things can be considerably cheaper.
- Set your budget. With things like Pinterest available at our fingertips, we sometimes get all these elaborate ideas of what we want our special day to be without factoring in the cost. Set a budget and stick with it. There’s absolutely no reason to go into debt for a wedding. If you have to, push back the date to save more money and whenever possible pay for everything in cash. You’ll feel like you’re going broke but it’s better than starting marriage in the negative.
- Work on your guest list. This goes hand-in-hand with your budget and will actually drive that number. The number of people you invite to your wedding will directly impact how much you spend. If you really want an inexpensive wedding, consider a smaller guest list (25-50 people tops!). You’ll have some hard decisions to make, but in the end it’s not the quantity of people, it’s the quality.
- Start thinking about your wedding party. These are the folks you want standing beside you on your special day. Don’t think that there’s a special number, that it has to be even, or that the genders have to match up. I was in a wedding where there were nine bridesmaid and groomsmen, whereas in my wedding there will only be three on each side. Another recently engaged friend of mine is switching up the genders and will have a guy on her side and a woman on her fiance’s side. It’s whatever works for you.
- Consider hiring a wedding planner. We all think we don’t need one, and depending on the size of your wedding you may not. But wedding planners can get you discounts and offer you piece of mind. Even if you only hire a “Day of” coordinator, you’ll be saving yourself lots of stress. If you live in the Washington, DC metro area, consider Elle Nicole Events or Jayne Heir Weddings. I work with the ladies of these two companies often and they are awesome. I couldn’t recommend them more.
- Research ceremony and reception venues. They can be one in the same or two entirely different locations. If you are considering a religious ceremony, get in touch with your church to find out what the requirements are to get married there. If you’re thinking destination wedding, figure out where and what you have to do to tie the knot.
- Start thinking vendors. And I’m talking about the “must have” vendors”. If there is a florist or DJ or stationary vendor that you need to have for your wedding, contact them now to see when they are available. If they are truly someone you want to have, you may want to consider working your wedding date around their availability.
- Find your dress style. When it comes to wedding dresses, it’s important to find a style you love but that you’re also comfortable in. When you first go shopping try on every type of style, even ones you don’t think you’ll like. You never know. That dress you thought would be hideous may end up being “the one”.
- Relax! For however long your planning takes try to stay relaxed through it. There are times when you’ll have your bride-zilla moments and that’s okay. But remember what I said earlier – what’s most important is to remember why you’re doing it in the first place. Your wedding day is just that – a day. ONE DAY. Yes, I know you’ll want it to be perfect, but being stressed out about it will not make that day go well and can put a strain on your relationship.
Hopefully this list of 10 Things to Do When You Get Engaged will help you get started on your wedding planning path. Congratulations! You’re in for a lot of fun ahead.