You’ve got something shiny on your finger…now what?
Congratulations on your engagement! Such an exciting (and sometimes stressful) time in your life. If you are any thing like me you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with the idea of planning a wedding – I have actually been engaged for 2 1/2 years and don’t have a date set yet! There are so many wedding related decisions to make it might make your head spin. But I’m finding it’s like anything in life – if you break it down into smaller pieces it’s much easier to handle. So that’s why I’ve put together this list of 5 things to do now that you’re engaged. It will help break down some of the things that you need to do so that you can enjoy your engagement while planning for your dream day.
1) INSURE YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING
First things first, make sure you get that engagement ring (and all your wedding bands too) insured! I know it’s not the most romantic thing in the world to think about but it will definitely give you peace of mind. Whether your ring cost a couple hundred or a couple thousand dollars, an insurance policy is a must so that if something happens you are able to replace it. Often times you are able to simply add it to your homeowners or renters insurance policy as either a rider or as scheduled personal property. Call your insurance agent to find out more information about what you need to do to get it insured.
2) SET YOUR WEDDING BUDGET
Before you start looking at venues and other wedding vendors, put together a budget. Decide how much you are wanting to spend and what your estimated guest count will be. This will help guide you towards venues and vendors that fit in with your monetary limits. I always recommend hiring a planner. Yes, they are an extra cost but they can save you so much time and money in the long run. A wedding planner can help you figure out what’s most important to you, where you should spend your money and where you can skip, and divide up your budget to give you a better idea of what each part of your day will cost. They can also recommend great vendors that are within your spending limits to help keep you on budget.
3) DREAM UP A STYLE AND PICK A LOCATION
This is where the fun begins! Start dreaming of what your wedding day will look like. Do you want to get married outdoors in the mountain? Or are you more of an urbanite that wants to get married in an artist’s loft downtown? Or maybe you are the destination bride that is dreaming of saying “I Do” on the beach? The possibilities are endless.
Once you have a grasp on your budget and an idea of the style you are going for, start looking for that perfect venue. One thing to remember is to keep an open mind. Many times a space can be transformed into something completely different with decor if you have the budget for that. Also when touring venues make sure you ask questions like how many hours you get the space for, what all comes with the rental fee, and if you have to use their preferred vendors of if you can bring in your own. Each venue is different so make sure you do your homework and read the fine print before signing on the dotted line.
4) SET YOUR DATE
This step can come at different steps in the wedding planning process. Sometimes a couple will pick a date first – maybe for sentimental reasons like that’s the date your grandparents were married, or maybe you’ve always wanted to be married on the Fourth of July. Other times they will find the venue or a must have vendor, and pick their date around that vendor’s schedule. Whichever you choose, just make sure you’re choosing your wedding date for YOU! If you try to pick your date based on which of your guests can make it, you’ll wind up going crazy! I always tell my couples that picking a wedding date is like building the field of dreams – set it and they will come!
5) HIRE PRIORITY VENDORS
You’ve found your venue and you’ve set your date, now it’s time to move on to picking your vendors. Make a list of who you need to hire and rank them in importance. If having gorgeous photos to remember your day by is important, hire your photographer first. If having an amazing dance party at your reception is most important, hire your DJ. Whatever aspect of your day is most important, hire those vendors first so you can have piece of mind that that part of your day is taken care of and you won’t have to settle for someone sub-par later on.
I hope these tips help you get your wedding planning off to a great start! If you’re to the point of hiring your top vendors, contact me and we can set up a complimentary consultation. I’d love to chat with you! Congratulations again on your engagement and Happy Planning!
For more wedding planning tips, check out my Wedding Planning Guide.