Find the love of your life – check! Get engaged – check!
:: Alexa, play record scratch ::
Now, what….? First, congratulations! Finding the love of your life and getting engaged are some pretty incredible experiences.
But now that the initial rush of emotions has settled, you’re probably thinking about what comes next (& your mom is probably anxious for you to set a date… in fact, she already called the club and they have the perfect fall date open!)… Where do you start with the wedding planning process? Is there something else you need to do before you start planning?
Keep reading as we guide you through what comes next after getting engaged, from setting a budget to finding the perfect venue and vendors. Grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started on this exciting journey!
Enjoy the Moment
Getting engaged is a momentous occasion that should be savored and enjoyed to the fullest. It’s an exciting time that marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life. So, after saying “yes,” it’s important to bask in the joy and excitement that comes with it.
You can do this by celebrating with those who are closest to you. Plan an engagement party or dinner to share the news with your friends and family. But also remember to take some time for yourself and your partner. Relax, unwind, and spend quality time together. This is a special time in your relationship that you will never get back, so make the most of it.
Also, make sure to document your engagement in a meaningful way. Snap a polaroid, write in a journal, or consider creating a scrapbook to capture the journey.
Hire a Wedding Planner
Wedding planning should be easy and fun, not stressful and overwhelming! Before you book a venue or find a photographer, you need an expert to guide you through. Consider us the matchmaker of your planning process. You don’t want to wake up 6-months from now and realize your photographer has never shot in a dimly-lit ballroom or your band forgot to book their airfare.
Planning is time-consuming (it’s our full-time job, after all!), especially if you’re juggling other responsibilities. Real talk: we spend an average of 500+ hour on every given event. Do you have time for that in your already busy schedule? A professional planner will take care of everything from finding your ideal event partners (vendors) to managing the timeline, leaving you free to focus on enjoying your engagement and getting excited for the big day. You point, pick, and we do the rest.
And when the big day comes, you and your partner can relax and enjoy it without worrying about the details because we’ve already taken care of every last one.
Practical Before the Pretty
At this point, you’re probably itching to get to the creative parts of wedding planning – what colors? what flowers? when can I get my Save the Date in the mail? But before that happens, we need to get a couple of ducks in a row. After all, it won’t matter how beautiful your decor is if there’s not a licensed celebrant to make it official.
Two of the first tasks we recommend tackling are the guest list and the budget (waaa waaa waaa). They may not be the most glamorous items on the clipboard, but everyone has a number that will make them fall off the chair… even Bill Gates. It’s important not to spend too much on those initial event partners without understanding the full scope of the bottom line! For example, $200,000 goes a long way for 100 guests and not quite so far for 400 guests.
The guest list: Even if you don’t have the correct address information, you need to write down everyone’s name, if they are invited with a guest, if their kids are invited… to get a solid number to work with. Depending on the marketplace you live in, there could be a big difference between a venue that can hold 150 people and 350 people. Most venues sweet spot is 200.
The budget: The number one mistake we see couples make is diving head first into spending without a game plan. Then, they end up blowing their budget on quick decisions and have nothing left for something they really care about. Digging into what your priorities are will help set the tone for responsible spending.
For example, some couples find a venue they like but without a game plan unknowingly spent 80% of their overall budget. They only see that they’ll have their venue search taken care of – and that’s half the battle, right?!
But remember, finding your venue is only one small step on this journey. And if you use all your energy (budget) to take that step, how will you get to the finish line? This is why you must have a solid grasp of your budget and guest list numbers before looking for a venue. Or anything else, for that matter!
Find Your Venues and Vendors
Now that the numbers are sorted, you can start looking at sites to tie the knot and places to party. We help our couples with venue walkthroughs and on-site meetings to ensure a smooth experience.
During this stage, you’ll also want to look for the top vendors who can only work one event per day. This includes the photographer, videographer, entertainment, and (believe it or not) the hair and makeup team. Next comes hospitality-related vendors, such as transportation and hotel room blocks.
Once you get to this step you can officially let out a sigh of relief and start with some of the creative – the colors, the design, and your first guest communication – the perfectly crafted save the date (~mailing date 8-10 months in advance).
Bring on the fun!
Create the Vision
Finally, it’s what you’ve been waiting for! Since you said “Yes,” to your the person you plan to do life with, you’ve been thinking about how you want this wedding to look and feel. And now that most of the practical things are in place, you can start creating the vision for your big day.
Again, having a full-service wedding planner will be of immense help. Not only can we take your abstract dreams and turn them into something beyond what you can imagine, but we can ensure your guests’ experience is unforgettable. From guest correspondence to travel planning and even one-of-a-kind experiences, we’ll care for your loved ones from beginning to end.
And we’ll take care of you, too! We want you to enjoy your day as much, if not more, as everyone else. And that starts with enjoying your engagement. Take this time to be in the moment. Like your wedding day, this time will only come around once, so drink it up! When you arrive at Step 2, send us a note. We can’t wait to get started!