Congratulations! You’re engaged and it’s time to celebrate the start of this new chapter of your lives! If you’re like most newly engaged people, you’re dying to share the news with all your friends and start wedding planning ASAP! There are so many things to think about, so many people to contact, and so much to get done! It’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed and unsure about where to start. Here is a list of 10 things to do after you get engaged that will help you navigate this incredible season of your lives!
Start by celebrating your engagement with those who matter most! You can host an intimate dinner, throw a party or plan a weekend get away. Then you can share your big news with your family and close friends who will be your support system throughout your wedding planning journey!
Sit down with your partner and family and have an honest conversation about how much you want to spend. Find out how much each party is contributing. After that you can look into the average cost for different vendors, services, etc. Once you have a general idea of what costs to expect write a list of the most important things you want to include in your wedding budget. Ex. 1. your dream wedding venue, 2. an experienced and talented photographer, 3. fresh florals for your bridal party + decor, etc.
This choice matters more than you would think. Why you ask? Well because your venue is literally the backdrop for everything else. Your wedding venue should match the aesthetic that you have envisioned. Pay attention to things like the lighting, and colors. These things will majorly impact the look and feel of your wedding photos. At the end of the day you should choose a venue that feels true to you and your love story.
If you feel completely overwhelmed it might be a good idea to look into hiring a professional wedding planner. They can help you with everything from budget to picking out the perfect wedding decor. They will take on the bulk of the work for you and make sure every detail is perfect for your big day. If you decide a wedding planner is not in your budget I highly recommend that you hire a day of coordinator. I know that a lot of venues say they offer this service but it is not the same thing as hiring someone for this task.
Venue coordinators direct guests to the right location, tell the workers where and how to set up, and they might tell you when to walk down the aisle. When you hire your own day of coordinator they will work with vendors, bridal party, and guest to make sure everything is going as planned. They correct the little mistakes that would otherwise be left unfixed, and they take the stress off of you. Everyone will go to them when they need something!
After you have secured your date you can start reaching out to vendors. It’s a good idea to reach out as soon as possible. Wedding vendors that are high in demand will often get booked out 6 months to a year in advance. Some wedding vendors I recommend booking asap: photographer/videographer, wedding planner, dj/entertainment, florist, etc. Once you have a good vendor team in place they will often guide you through everything and make the planning process much easier for you
Jot down the most important people in your life, and work from there. Your family will often be able to help you put together your guest list. Don’t feel pressured to invite anyone that you don’t want at your wedding. It’s your big day and you have the final say in who gets to come. Your list can be finalized at a later time. It’s just nice to have a general idea of about how many guests you will be inviting!
Choose your bridal party by selecting a few of the people that mean the most to you and have always supported you. Siblings, best friends, and cousins are all good choices. Keep in mind that the larger the bridal party the higher the expense. I find the sweet spot usually tends to fall between 4-8 per bridal party.
Brides will want to go dress shopping with a little time to spare. This way you have time to look up dress inspiration, finds some shops you are interested in, and set up appointments. Some shops custom make their dresses, others may have to order in your dress in the correct size, and often you will need at least two appointments for alterations. So giving yourself at least 6-8 months is a good idea. As far as grooms attire goes you won’t need to purchase it as far out as 8 months, but you definitely want to have at least 4 months to have it ordered and altered by.
Once you have a wedding photographer I highly recommend booking an engagement session with them as well. It will give you the chance to meet and get to know them before the big day. After all they will be with you throughout the entire day. It’s also the perfect opportunity to document this incredibly special time of your lives. Plus you will be able to use the photos in your save the dates/invites! Learn more about how to book an engagement photoshoot with me here!
The most important thing is to get all your thoughts, plans, and ideas down. I suggest getting yourself a wedding notebook/planner. Finalize all the details at least with a month or two to spare. Then take some time to relax and enjoy the rest of your engagement + your big day. Getting engaged is a wonderful time of your life. Wedding planning can be a lot, and that’s why it’s so important to kick back and celebrate in the beginning and during the final stretch. This list should help you stay organized and focused. Keep your eyes on the prize and enjoy the ride. Your wedding is going to be a dream in and of itself! Enjoy it!!
As your photographer, my main goal is to create memories that make it feel like you are able to relive those intimate moments with your lover over and over again. If we sound like the perfect fit, fill out my contact form and let’s start planning your adventures together!
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