September 28, 2015

Just Engaged? How to get started planning!

He popped the question. You said yes! Now, how do you start planning for the big day? What should you do first? Here are some pointers to show you where to get started and how to let your “style” come through on your special day!


Call Your Family Members and Friends

First things first! You want to share your wonderful news with your family and closest friends! Make sure you’ve told, texted or called anyone in your family and inner circle of friends that you want to be the first to know. Next you can jump on social media and announce the news to the world!

Set a Timetable

The minute you get engaged, everyone will be asking you about the date. First, select a range of dates that you feel will work for you.  A typical engagement lasts anywhere from six months to a year and a half or more, but also think about what season you’d prefer, any major holidays or family events you’d like to avoid conflicting with, and how long you predict you’ll need to plan.

Book your Venue

Before making any other decisions about your wedding, you will want to decide on a venue and what style you want to set for your wedding. Things to consider are, what size wedding you would like, big (everyone you know) or small (just close friends and family)? Would you like the ceremony to be indoors or outdoors? What is your style– modern, classic, romantic or rustic? Remember that your venue will be the backdrop in your photos and it will influence everything about your day. You can get plenty of wedding inspiration from bridal magazines, blogs and Pinterest, so make sure to check them out!

windwood 2Set Your Budget

Ready to get down to the nitty-gritty? Settle on a rough guest list and budget, without them, you can’t book the right venue and vendors. Sit down and decide on an amount that you want to spend.  This number will affect every decision and purchase you make, so be sure to work out your budget before you start planning.

Make a Guest List

When you begin to make your guest list, make sure you consider where your ceremony or reception will be held. Consider how many people it can accommodate. Do you want to have a small intimate celebration or do you want to throw a once-in-a-lifetime party for all of your friends and family? In addition to location, your budget will have a big influence on the size of your guest list.


Register (Before Your Engagement Party!)

It is perfectly acceptable to register as soon as you get engaged. This gives guests who’d like to purchase a gift for you for any pre-wedding parties — including engagement parties, showers, or brunches, some guidance when buying. The fact that you are registered does not mean that guests must buy a gift from your registry, it simply gives your family and friends some options, so go ahead and register for those items that you love!

wedding registry

Insure Your Engagement Ring

No matter how careful you are, the peace of mind that engagement ring insurance will give you and your fiance is worth it. There are two basic ways to do it: As an extension of your renter’s or homeowner’s policy (which would reimburse you for a set amount of cash if you lose the ring), or through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance (which might offer more coverage than a standard homeowner’s policy by replacing a lost or stolen ring).

Choose Your Wedding Party

You can have as many (or few) bridesmaids and groomsmen as you like. This should be an exciting task — a chance to round up your very favorite people to surround you on the happiest day of your life. You are making memories and they come from the love that you want to share with friends and family, so again follow your heart while choosing your bridal party.  There are a number of ways to have those you love participate in the wedding without having them in the bridal party. Giving people special assignments or tasks for the ceremony a special reading, or ushering guests to seats, or greeting guests and handing out ceremony programs –- are always ways that make loved ones feel a part of the big day.

wedding party

Consider a Consultant

If you are very busy, have demanding jobs or have big dreams for your wedding weekend, then you should hire a full-time wedding planner to help you prepare your entire event, from the announcement to the honeymoon. You can also hire a part-time consultant to devise a wedding blueprint — including budget, schedule, and lists of good vendor and site choices, also some venues provide a day-of coordinator, who will assist you and make sure everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.

Hire Priority Vendors

You will want to act fast when booking your wedding photographer, officiant, band or DJ. Some of these in-demand vendors are hired more than a year in advance, so you need to book them as quickly as you can.

Shop Dresses!

Take cues from your venue, the season and the time of day you’re getting married to help narrow down your dress style.Don’t eliminate anything at first glance. If the salesperson brings you something she says you should try, try it—even if you don’t initially love it or think it’s “you.” It’s possible to fall for a wedding gown you didn’t think you’d like or want. While most salons will have shoes and a slip on hand for you to try on with your gown, you should still come prepared with a nude bra and underwear for the fittings. Your dress is just one part of the whole picture, there’s also jewelry, your veil, hair pieces and shoes to consider. Wedding dresses come in hundreds of shades of white, you’ll find “diamond white,” also known as “silk white,” and light, medium, and dark ivory, but these vary quite a bit depending on the designer. This is a time in your life when you get to try on as many exquisite and expensive dresses as you want so enjoy! When you find the right dress you will know it! We hope this list will help you started planning one of the happiest days of your life! Have fun!

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