15 Pieces of Advice for Recently Engaged Couples

If you know (or are) someone who is newly engaged you will want to share this link with them stat! A few expert wedding planners, photographers, and specialty vendors weighed in with their advice for recently engaged couples. Your family & friends are probably overwhelming you with ideas and opinions but why not take tips straight from the pros? You’re welcome.

Venue at Greystone Mansion, Photo by Jodee Debes Photography

Regarding Budget…

1. Set a budget! Couples tend to find venues and vendors that they love but then realize they can’t afford everything or everyone they fell in love with. Work on setting a budget first and get advice from those who have been recently married or better yet, your wedding planner to help set a realistic budget by knowing what things are most important to you and your fiance and what you can afford. That helps to allocate your budget properly and to not be disappointed in things you can’t have. – Kari Dirksen of Feathered Arrow,

2. Spending habits. Know yours and those of your partner. It’s important to know any philosophy differences you two might have financially! – Danielle Keller of Mon Amie Bridal Salon

3. Decide what your must haves are and invest in them, instead of spreading your budget out on a bunch of things that are not high-quality. – Pamela Dunn of Going Lovely

4. Try to put your wedding day in perspective with your whole lives. What other big life-altering expenses might be on the horizon? Buying a house, having children, plans to travel, care for family members – take a moment to be sure your wedding day expenses and demands aren’t going to delay those plans too. – Molly Michel of M Three Studio Photography

5. Here’s some hard truth: just because you’re engaged doesn’t mean you suddenly have money. I know you’ve dreamt of this day for your entire life and you wish you had a million dollars to blow on this fantastic party. But you can’t. You don’t need a lot of money to get married, it’s all in how you plan and the choices you make. What you do need a lot of is communication with your future spouse about what your budget is from the beginning; before you pick a place, before you pick a date. It needs to be a decision you make as soon as you’re out of the fog of your engagement, so that you both can start your life together in one accord, even before you are actually of one accord. – Ngoc Nguyen Lay of Skybox Event Productions 

6. Guest list helps determine your budget. More guests=higher budget. Adding even 5-10 more guests can mean not just 5-10 more meals, but 5-10 more rental chairs, favors, invitations, another centerpiece, and so on. If you have a tight budget with little wiggle room, keep in mind how adding guests affects the overall budget. – Lindsay Longacre of LVL Weddings & Events 

Event by Feathered Arrow, Flowers by The Bloom of Time, Tuxedo by The Black Tux, Bridal Gown by Suzanne Neville, Photo by Sisterlee Photography

Regarding Timeline

Take your time! Enjoy basking in newly engaged bliss. There is no need to rush into making decisions without considering all of your options. Do your homework and set a realistic timeline that fits with your lifestyle. – Nicole George of Nicole George Event Planning & Design 

Pick a Date (but be flexible). Now that you have your financials in order, it’s time to pick a wedding date. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get everything else in order, I’d say at least 6-8 months. When you have your desired date set, be flexible, because a venue may already be booked on that day, so you may have to lock a date a week before or after what you had originally planned. – Andy Rodriguez of Andy Rodriguez Photography 

Event by Going Lovely, Photo by Danielle Poff Photography

Regarding Vendors…

Book your photographers quickly. Getting engaged can feel like a bit of a whirlwind. One day your dating, the next your planning a wedding. However don’t wait to lock in your photographer. Photographers book anywhere from 24 months- 12 months in advance. If you want to have the freedom to choose someone you love without the fear of missing out. BOOK them as soon as you’ve secured a date. ” – Betsy Erickson of Essence Photography

Limit your time searching the web, and rather invest your trust and time in a wedding planner that is a good fit for you. There is so much information out there, which unfortunately can make the initial planning stages or even the thought of having a destination wedding in Hawaii seem too overwhelming. That is not the case! Entrust in the professionals who know their industry and will point you in all the right directions. – Lorrie Betsill of Unveiled Hawaii

11. Make sure your wedding venue has a plan for inclement weather. Every bride dreams of a garden wedding, surrounded by beds of fresh flowers and the sun slowly setting in the background, but make sure you are comfortable with the plan b in case it should rain on your wedding day (which is good luck! but only if you have a plan…) – From Sara Fried of Fete Nashville

12. Use your vendors for referrals for other vendors. We are all a wealth of information and can lead you on to others who you will also love – Rebecca Ellison of Rebecca Ellison Photography

13. Inquire with your potential vendors with enthusiasm and some detail! We are artists and passionate about our craft. When I get an enthusiastic email I’m instantly excited and want to be a part of the wedding because of the personal connection. When I get an inquiry that is “Are you available on such-n-such date?” I barely have the energy to reply. – From Megan Clouse of Megan Clouse Photography 

Photo by Essence Photography


14. Enjoy being engaged! Engagements often become filled with decision making and planning for your wedding, but don’t forget to enjoy this time too! Enjoy the butterflies when you call each other fiancé, the excitement of deciding to make a true commitment to each other, and the love from friends and family as you spread the news. – Stacie McChesney & Callie of Vitae Weddings

15. Put each other first. Planning a wedding can be highly stressful and when family is involved (and money) there can be lots of petty bickering. Keep your love in focus and in the forefront and don’t forget what’s most important and the real reason for this fabulous celebration… your marriage! – Lisa Costin of A Charming Fete


4 responses to “15 Pieces of Advice for Recently Engaged Couples

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.