You're Engaged!!...Now What?!

He finally did it. He got down on one knee, gazed up at you lovingly and slid that sparkling rock on your hand and you feel like a giddy kid on Christmas morning. You can’t keep that doe-eyed expression from your face as you gaze at that third finger in awe and brimming with expectation.

Now that you’ve finally started adjusting to the idea that you’ve really found “the one”, you realize: I’ve got a wedding to plan! (insert train of frantically excited emojis here J)

Here is a list of priorities that will serve as building blocks when approaching your wedding planning process:

  • Put together a first draft of how many guests you would like to invite as well as the size of your wedding party. This list will help you figure out your budget, the size of your venue and it will also inspire your future spouse, parents and future in-laws to start thinking about who they would like to include on your special day.

  • Set a budget range. And stick to it. The key to sticking to your budget is not to build it around what you want, but around what you can afford. Remember, you’ll want things like a house, kids, and other big purchases down the line. Starting your marriage with a hefty debt load will not only add stress, but possibly detract from building a life together down the road.

  • Select a wedding date. Decide what time of year, which day of the week and what date is significant to you and your fiancé. Remember to take holidays, birthdays and other important events in mind as you select your wedding date for anniversaries. Do you really want to be broke for 6 months straight? You’ll also need to know your wedding date when contacting your potential venues to lock it in. Remember: Friday and Sunday weddings are always significantly cheaper than a Saturday. Don’t worry about inconveniencing your family and friends. They’ll love you enough to make arrangements for your special day.

  • Start looking into venues and priority vendors. The venue is the number one priority and foundation of your wedding. Be sure to lock in the date of your choice as soon as possible in order to move forward with the rest of your planning process. Priority vendors are those who become booked very quickly during the wedding season because they can only do one wedding per day. Examples are: photographers, DJs and wedding planners.

  • Engagement party or no? Now is the time to start thinking about whether you would like to plan an engagement party. These generally take place within 1-3 months of engagement. You can go as big (renting a hall or restaurant) or small (intimate family dinner at home) as you would like. There is no handbook on engagement parties. The key is to keep the focus on celebrating your engagement and the life you are planning together while including family and loved ones.

  • Determine your wedding theme or style. Winter wonderland? Destination? How in the world will you decide? Take a breath and a moment to think about what accurately describes you as a couple. How did you meet? What hobbies do you enjoy doing together? As long as the theme reflects the love that you share, don’t worry about what others will think.

Above all, remember: this day will be about you and your significant other. All of the months of planning from this point on will be for one very short, very memorable day. Enjoy every moment of the planning process and, most importantly, your big day.

Wedding countdown starts in 5…4…3…2…

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