So you’re engaged? Congratulations! Whether it happened last night, or last month, you will want to read these tips for newly engaged couples! Our go-to wedding professionals give their advice for what needs to happen first, second, third and so on to make sure the wedding planning gets off on the right foot. And don’t worry, if you need engagement photo inspiration or party ideas, we have those too! Happy engagement season!
1. Create Your Guest List
Tatiana Czerwiak of Lucky Day Events Co. says, “Step one involves you and your fiancé creating your guest list. This will be your first piece of homework that will determine your budget and venue possibilities. You’ll need to cast a wide net thinking of everyone you would ever want to come and slowly whittle it down. Don’t forget to talk to your parents about their expectations for the number of invitations they will get. Note: sometimes this can be woven in nicely when bringing up the budget talk with both families. It will be hard to know how much money you need for your wedding until you know how large or small of a wedding you would like.”
Morgan Childs of Moana Events continues, “Nothing impacts your costs like your guest count. Are you dreaming about a small, intimate affair or do you want all of your extended family and friends to attend? No one expects you to have your count finalized right away, but a rough estimate will help you plan wisely.”
“Be as conservative with the guest list as you can be. Even with a nearly unlimited budget a more conservative guest count always works to your advantage. Having less guests enables you to do more within your budget for the guests who do attend no matter your overall budget may be” says Gina Jokilehto-Schigel of Shi Shi Events.
2. Set the Budget
Nicole Presley of Plan My Wedding Please says, “Figure out how much you’re willing to spend. Are you the only ones paying for the wedding? Is there help from either set of parents? Setting the budget will lay the foundation of what the couple is able to do. It’s almost as important as celebrating, but sticking to the budget will help keep all finances in line throughout the planning process.”
“Sit down and set an overall budget,” echoes Victoria Holland of Victoria Ann Events. “Have real conversations with your fiance on how much you both are willing to spend on your wedding. If other people are contributing to your wedding make sure you have a conversation with them as well. The last thing you want to do is have a fight over money once you have fallen in love with a dream venue. It’s good to know how much you want to spend so you can contact the right vendors in your budget.”
“Work out a realistic budget and confirm who will pay for what before contacting any vendors. Having a clear understanding early on with make the process smooth sailing!” says Erica Trombetti of Infinite Events.
3. Create Your Vision
Lisa Costin of A Charming Fête says, “Don’t impulse buy or purchase things too soon until your vision is clearly in place.”
“Get creative and tie in personal or sentimental items into your wedding day! Unique details and a wedding that showcases your personalities are always the best. Whether it’s your obsession with food trucks, your pets or your love for travel, there are fun ways to make your wedding special to y’all and your love story” says Jodee Debes of Jodee Debes Photography.
To create your vision, Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design recommends, “Put together separate Pinterest boards with inspiration but don’t go too crazy and don’t invite 400 people to collaborate!”
4. Contact Your ‘Must Have’ Vendors
Lisa Costin advises, “If there are specific vendors you “must have” be flexible on setting a date until you contact them for availability. You may be willing to get married on a different weekend if you’re dying for an awesome band or dream photographer.”
“Having a coordinator and photographer you really connect with is extremely important and they book out early. They are people you will be spending a lot more time with than any other vendor so you want to LOVE them and have your top pick! I would then say lock your date and venue in. The entire vibe and look of your wedding can be set from the location and your other vendors need to know a date in order to book them” says Valorie Darling of Valorie Darling Photography.
5. Set a Date
Kari Dirksen of Feathered Arrow says, “Set a date or a couple of dates that work for you! (If need be, consult with your closest family and friends that you can’t live without them there!) But at the end of the day, don’t ask too many people. No one needs to many cooks in the kitchen to decide on a wedding date.”
Danielle Rothweiler echoes, saying, “Decide on a range of dates or time of year that you want to get married instead of picking a specific date. It’s not fun when you have a date in mind but the venue you want is already booked. Be flexible!”
Are you planning your wedding? What do you want to know?!