Just Engaged - What's Next?
You’ve announced your engagement to your friends and family, you’ve changed your status on Facebook, you’ve started your wedding board on Pinterest...
And then it dawns on you--”oh, this means I have to actually plan something.” Yep, you do. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!
Getting engaged is an exciting, yet overwhelming, time. So before you start trying on dresses and tuxes, visiting venues, or making up answers to the flood of questions coming in from everyone you’ve ever known, stop. Take a deep breath, and consider these simple steps to help you begin the planning process.
Set the date.
Ok, you don’t necessarily need to select a specific date, but you should try to narrow it down to a month or a season. In fact, a general idea of a date can cause less heartache in the future as your favorite venue might be booked for that one specific date that you were determined to have. Also, consider day of the week and time of day. An off-season date or a brunch reception can potentially save you big bucks if you are willing to think outside the June Saturday box.
Pictured: a mashed potato bar, perfect for any time of day! Photo by Melissa Desjardins
Set the tone of your event.
Is this a formal wedding or a casual affair? Are you looking for the ceremony and reception in one location or will you be looking for separate ceremony and reception venues? Will the guest list be a compilation of your and your fiance’s Facebook friends, or will it be more like people you’ve actually had contact with in the past year? In other words, are we talkin’ large or small event? Do you want to serve a meal or do you like the more mix-and-mingle atmosphere of heavy hors d’oeuvres? In short, you need to decide what you want your wedding to feel like. Despite the flurry of advice you’ll get from well-intentioned friends and family, this is your party.
Pictured: approximately a 125-person outdoor ceremony, photo by Mike Topham
Set your budget.
And it’s probably the biggest party you have ever thrown (unless, of course, you count the End of the World party you undoubtedly hosted in 2012). Party costs can add up quickly, so decide what you have to spend and how you want to spend it. There are tons of budgeting tools available online and in most wedding magazines. Here’s one! Think about the aspects of your wedding that are most important to you and create a budget that allows you to balance the splurging and the saving.
Pictured: one great party! photo by Capture Photography
Once you have decided on the season, the style, and your target budget, you are ready to find the dress (or tux) and the venue that fit you!