As soon as the question has been popped and that newly engaged glow has settled in, it's time to start diving into wedding planning. It's always good to simply enjoy being engaged for a little bit before becoming fully engulfed in planning mode, but there are a few things that may require more immediate attention after you get engaged. We've made a list of our top five things to do after getting engaged to make sure you have the wedding of your dreams.
Start a Budget
Few things kill the vibe of newly engaged bliss like discussing budgets, but it's important to have a rough outline of the budget in place right after you get engaged. This can be adjusted and refined once you've had time to thoroughly enjoy the engagement, but having this framework will help to solidify time-sensitive items like the wedding date, venue, and key vendors, which may need to be booked as soon as possible. Once your budget is solidified, input it into our Budget Tracker for suggestions of what to spend in each area of the wedding (an Exclusive access item to #BDECouples).
Compile a Guest List
Once the budget is outlined we recommend identifying your guest count. Knowing if your guest list is at 100 or 500 may determine the style and size of venue that you are able to utilize for the wedding day so it's important to get a feel for this number early in the planning process. This includes determining what portion of your guests will be bringing a guest, as the count can grow significantly as you start factoring in guests' dates and families. The absolute final decisions about who to invite can come a bit later, but getting a fairly solid idea of the number can be immensely helpful in checking off the next item on the to-do list.
Save the Date
When looking to save your date it's not uncommon to find yourself in a bit of a chicken and the egg scenario - selecting the date can impact the venue options and vice versa. Determine whether the date of the event or the venue is most important to you and your fiancé and go from there. Many venues book up as far out as a year to a year and a half in advance so if you're looking for a specific date in short order, there may need to be some flexibility on the venue. If a specific venue is the most important detail and you simply can't imagine getting married anywhere else, be prepared to have a bit of flexibility in dates. That may translate into selecting a less popular day of the week like Friday or Sunday or opting for a date in a month that isn't considered peak wedding season like November or January. Ultimately, you'll need to lock in your venue before sharing your date with vendors or potential guests.
Lock In Your Key Vendors
Much like the venue, additional wedding vendors can book up pretty far in advance. Think of the elements that are most important to you (hint: these may be the key items in your budget as well) and lock those down first. If there is a certain photographer that you have been eyeing for years, a florist whose blooms simply can't be matched, or a band that is extra special to you and your fiancé, get those booked as soon as your date and venue are set. Any additional vendors can be booked a bit further down the line.
Pop the Question to the Wedding Party
If you know for sure that you are planning a destination wedding or if your wedding party lives all over the country, it's important to let them know a date, or at least the frontrunners for dates, as soon as possible. Allowing your wedding party that extra bit of time to start looking into travel is a little courtesy that goes a long way in making your nearest and dearest feel valued. Plus, with so many cute wedding party proposal ideas like customized gift boxes, calligraphed macarons, and wedding themed movie nights that end with that very special question, this can be one of the most joyous parts of planning!
With so much to consider after getting engaged, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and forget to enjoy the engagement a little. These five tips are a great starting point to get a jump on planning before kicking your feet up and simply enjoying that blissful phase before walking down the aisle.
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