We are engaged! Now what?

By May 29, 2014 January 7th, 2019 1. Planning Tips, Blog

Congratulations, he asked and you said yes! Now I’m sure you are wondering what you need to do now. Take a look at the information to help you get on track for the big day.

1. Enjoy being engaged
Take a few days to let it all sink in. I’m sure you may think this is still a dream. If you haven’t told your friends yet, plan a little party to break the news to everyone. Let your friends share in your happy time. Or pick up the phone to call close friends before you announce it on Facebook.
Also, make sure to take a few weeks to be  in the moment.
Just because you are engaged doesn’t mean you have to start planning the wedding the day after you have a ring on your finger. Being engaged means that you are making a promise to get married.

2. Decide on the date
When do you want to get married? Is there a certain time of year – spring, summer, fall, or winter. If you want  an outdoor wedding,  consider what the weather might be like.
Your date my have some meaning – the day you had your first date, the day you met, your parents or grandparents anniversary, a number that is special to you, or a day you can remember like 4/4/14.
It is always good to have a few back up dates. Many wedding venues book up so you may want to be a little flexible with your date.

3.  Decide on the budget
The dreaded budget! Weddings are not cheap and probably a little more expensive than you thought. Have a serious talk with your fiance about how much you want to spend.

I feel that your wedding is just one day out of the many days out will spent with your new spouse. You do not have to go over board on wedding pending to have a beautiful, memorable, amazing day!

Your budget will help you rule out certain venues and help with your guest count. You my also want to eliminate extras to help balance your budget. Other shortcuts include asking a close friend to be the minister, taking a cab or Uber car instead of a limo, having a signature drink that you sponsor and then have guests purchase their own alcohol, have the reception be for adults only, and have artificial flowers instead of real ones.

You may also decide to cut your wedding budget in half and have a small wedding and use the other half of your wedding on an unforgtable honeymoon.

4. Decide on the place
Where do you want to get married? Maybe you have known for years where you wanted to get married. This is your magical place you have pictured yourself walking down the isle in a white dress. If you aren’t that lucky then this process can take a little time.

Here are some questions to consider:
Do you want a wedding in the town you and your fiance live in?
Do you want a destination wedding?
Do you want a vacation destination wedding?

If you want a wedding in the town you live in options include: a church,  hotels, banquet facilities, restaurants, gardens, library, parks, museums, or a friends backyard.

For a destination wedding you can choose a place that is a few hour drive for most guests. Locations could include the beach, mountains, or a town you enjoy. Choose a destination wedding if you want to get married in a place that is special to you. For example, did the two of you have an amazing weekend in Napa? A late summer/ early fall wedding would be pretty in the vineyards. Or maybe the two of you enjoy spending the weekends in Ventura. A beach wedding would be a nice place for your nuptuals.

If you decide on a destination wedding make sure to choose a place that is all inclusive or work with a coordinator who can help with things since you are far away. Also, book blocks of rooms or get hotel discounts to help your guests on the cost.

A vacation destination wedding would be in Mexico, Hawaii, or other far off location. A vacation destination wedding is normally for a smaller, intimate wedding. Plus, after the wedding you can wake up and start your honeymoon.

5.  Make a guest list
Many couples initially think they are going to have more guests at their wedding. It would be great to invite all of your friends and maybe even a few friends of friends. But reality is that most couples have a budget and each person invited normally comes with a price.

When making the guest list have a few different list: must invite, want to invite, and maybe invite. Just know now that you and your soon to be spouse will probably make some people mad because of who you don’t invite. Your dad will be mad that his second cousin wasn’t invited or that your mom’s golf buddy wasn’t invite. Couples, please remind yourself that “this is your wedding and you choose who you want at your special day.” So get ready to make someone mad.

For guests on your must invite list you are ok to share wedding details. For other guests watch who you say your going to invite on the off chance you don’t end up inviting them.

Ways to decide who is on the must list: your best friends, bridesmaids and groomsmen spouses, people you talk to at least once a week, and close family.
Ways to decide who is on the want to invite list: friends who personally congratulated you, cousins or Aunts and Uncles you interact with, old friends who you stay in contact with, and friends you have over for dinner.

To prevent arguments maybe divide the guest count in half and have your spouse choose who is on their list and you choose who is on your list. For example, if you want 100 guests at your wedding, you pick 50 and they pick 50. Each list of 50 should be divided into must, want, and maybe. Keep things fair so there are no arguments.

Good luck!