Congratulations on your recent engagement! Your first impulse is likely to spread the good news with your loved ones. Do you post it to Facebook, Instagram, etc.? Do you do so as a couple? It might say something about the dynamics of your relationship if one person immediately rushes to spread the word and the other is a bit more reserved, for example. Be sure to discuss it first so that the two of you are on the same page. What about a cute engagement announcement that both of you “sign off on”? It can be digital or paper or both. Many couples will use an engagement photo shoot as an opportunity to “try out” a wedding photographer.
If you don’t already have an engagement ring, now’s a good time to pick one out and while you’re at it, to select wedding rings as well. Even if you have a new engagement ring, chances are good that it needs to be fitted and cleaned. Take my advice and don’t let the inspections lapse. Your ring is a symbol of your love and it’s important to keep it in as good of shape as possible to show your respect for the person who gave it to you! While I never like to take my ring off, there are some exceptions; working with raw meat, messy clay, or sitting in a hot tub for hours on end…I learned that one the hard way when a pavé diamond was suddenly missing from my wedding band!
Usually after spreading the word to loved ones, you’re getting pressured to share the date of your nuptials! This might be a good time to think about how flexible you are with your date options for the big day. If there are certain friends or family members that you absolutely need to have attend your wedding, ask them their preferences. For example, sometimes a family member is in ill health and arrangements are made to have a shorter engagement so that they can be included. On the flip side, you might decide to have a destination wedding or even to elope. Discuss the type of wedding that each of you would like and find a way to meet in the middle.
The number of guests you’ll have at your wedding plays an important role in securing the venue and other wedding vendors. Start figuring this out simply by listing the names of guests the two of you would like to invite. Similarly, if your parents are covering some or all of the cost of the wedding, they may have guests that they’d like to invite, which will potentially increase the size of your guest list.
Speaking of finances, set a budget early in the wedding planning process and be sure to leave room for a good wedding planner. Knowing that a professional will help you every step of the way will make wedding planning smooth and stress-free.
Also, very important is determining what elements of your wedding day are important to the two of you and to your families. Is there a culture or tradition that needs to be addressed? Are you looking to have a non-traditional type of ceremony and/or wedding reception?
Figuring out what type of food service you’d like for your wedding will guide many decisions to follow in terms of your budget, venue and vendors. Will it be a buffet, plated, family style or stations perhaps?
The venue is the next big decision. Take your time (as long as you have that luxury)! Don’t rush into putting down a deposit but instead, be sure to “sleep on it” and shop around. While there are many venues that are extremely popular, you can usually get them on non-peak day or season. Having some flexibility will make the process much easier for all involved.
If you’re like most of us mere mortals, selecting a venue is a PAINFUL process. It feels like once this decision is made, you’re locked into it and it’s easy to feel like you chose incorrectly. This is where a good wedding planner can help. Even if you’ve already selected your venue, your planner can help to make the experience more personalized than some of the other cookie-cutter weddings that are part of the usual wedding packages.
Of course, if all of this seems daunting, Emily Grace is here to help! She’s a great listener and will help to sort out all of your options for a wedding to remember. Getting started with your free, no obligation consultation with Emily Grace Events is probably the easiest decision you’ll make when planning your wedding!