You’re engaged, now what? Time to start wedding planning!
It’s mid January, meaning many girlfriends have recently upgraded to the new title of fiancé. December is the most popular month of the year for proposals, which shouldn’t be surprising since it’s a time focused on family and celebrating.
After the fantasy of an engagement begins to become reality, it’s time to start thinking about planning a wedding! But, where the heck do you even start? It can be extremely overwhelming to think about all the things!
First things first – set a budget. A lot of the stress that comes with wedding planning is related to money. By setting a budget from the beginning, you’ll be able to make decisions without too much emotion. I recommend picking 2-3 things that are most important to you and allocating more of your budget there. For instance, maybe you really want a lot of flowers but feel fine about skipping videography. Or maybe you’re set on booking a popular, live band but aren’t worried about impressing guests with an extravagant food menu. Everyone is different, so decide what things are most important to you and your fiancé.
Decide on a Theme and Feel for your Big Day
If you’re the type who has been pinning everything wedding related for the last two years, it’s time to edit and trim your inspiration. You can even start a new board and pin your favorites there. It’s easy to collect a lot of ideas over time and looking at it all together can easily get overwhelming. Make sure to only keep pins that directly relate to the theme and feeling you’ve set.
It’s 100% ok if you haven’t even thought about wedding colors, themes, or inspiration before getting engaged. The fun starts now – Pinterest is a wonderful resource to use. You can use the search function to get started and save your favorite ideas to a board. This is helpful for you to stay on track as well as provide visuals to your wedding vendors!
Find a Venue and Set a Date
Once you choose the “where” and “when” the other parts of your big day will start to fall in place. There’s a lot to consider when deciding the venue – like how many guests a space can hold, if they allow outside vendors or supply a team, what amenities are included, and if it makes sense logistically.
I really love The Venue Report website for browsing through awesome wedding locations. You can search for exactly what you’re looking for and it will provide you with options, information, and photos. Your venue is the backdrop of your theme and will set the tone for overall feel of the entire wedding.
Book your Vendor Dream Team
After you’ve booked a venue and picked your date (aka your future anniversary!) it’s time to start selecting your wedding vendors. Once again, there are a lot of factors to consider and lots of amazing options – these decisions can be very difficult!
A good place to start when looking for vendors is through the wedding venue itself. Often, they can provide a list of recommended professionals. Once you book with a vendor, they are happy to give you referrals of people they trust and enjoy working with. Make sure to check out their websites and social media for portfolios of past work to ensure it fits with your theme!
Work on Details
Depending on your personality – this can be this most enjoyable or daunting part of the wedding planning process! In my opinion, the details are what really set apart your day from everyone elses. You can choose unique touches in different ways to represent you as a couple – decor, food and drink, entertainment, design, favors, the list goes on!
Your wedding invitations set the initial tone for the entire event and I recommend putting a lot of thought into the design. Imagine a reaction of your guests opening the envelope – how do they feel, what do they say? Subconsciously, it even leads guests to dress a certain way and even how much to spend on a wedding gift! Yes, seriously. An invitation printed on thick cardstock in a luxe envelope with a liner is going to give a different impression than a casual design on everyday paper.
Consider sending save the date cards about six months prior to the wedding date. Wondering what save the dates are and if you really need to send them? Check out this post for all the details on this piece of wedding stationery.
I put together a wedding planning timeline specific to all things paper here! Find out exactly when to order save the dates, mail invitations, and send thank you cards after the wedding.
Questions about wedding planning, timelines, or getting the process started? Comment below!
(Photos: LittleBitHeart.com and HS Neckers Photography)