March 20, 2019

You’re Engaged! Now What?

I recently had two friends that got engaged and they immediately called me and said “now what, Ms. Wedding Planner”. Well, since not all of you have my number I am going to share my advice to them here!

Celebrate! 

I mean it! Pop that champagne every chance you can – you will never be in this season of life again & enjoy every single second celebrating this milestone. Celebrate long and hard & here is why; once you start wedding planning you really can’t stop. I mean, yes, you can postpone the wedding but it is a messy, emotional process for everyone involved. I tell every friend that gets engaged to celebrate for as long as you can and honestly procrastinate a bit on wedding planning. That is my big regret because the same week I was engaged I think I had 4 venue visits scheduled. (I’m insane, we know this)

Have the budget talk 

Talking about money is uncomfortable but hopefully you and your fiance have already had the hard conversations about money. This will just be a more specific conversation. Ask each other “what kind of wedding do you want” & make sure you are on the same page. Nothing is harder than one partner wanting an intimate ceremony on the beach and the other wants a 300 person affair in the middle of downtown. Ask your fiance how much are they (and you) are willing to spend on the wedding. Is this a no holds extravaganza or you are both comfortable spending up to $XXXX?  Then it’s time to have the conversation with any parties that might be helping with the wedding (Mom & Dad, grandparents, etc). Then revisit the budget again. An overall budget with wiggle room is the best. This will give you a framework but allow you to adjust if you find an idea you can’t live without.

Once that is done now is a great time to start a guest list. This doesn’t have to be exact but should have gone through all the parties (Mom’s especially).

Hire a planner! 

(You knew I would say this!) Seriously, your planner is your best friend & biggest advocate. We have a pulse on the industry so we know who is overcharging, who is just starting out, what that idea is really going to cost you, vendor connections that allow us to extend you discounts…I can go on and on. The budget is directly tied to your planner. I personally pride myself having never gone over budget on any of my brides. If you tell me your budget is $62,000. I am going to spend $61,999 (seriously). That is why it is so important to have an overall idea (300 person ballroom, 42 person intimate bayside affair, or 150 person barn wedding) and budget. I can fill in all the details if you just provide me the framework. Clearly, I always think a planner is the best investment any bride can make in their wedding planning.

Venue Shopping 

This is where all the budget and guest list planning comes into play! You don’t want to fall in love with a venue that has a max capacity of 100 people if your guest list is at 175 (or maybe this a chance to get rid of your parent’s weird co-workers, I won’t tell them). Vice Versa is the same – many venues have a minimum count on peak weekends so that is important to know if you have a smaller guest list. Here is a previous post where I talked about a few key questions to ask your venue. I will be writing a bit more at a later date – be sure to check back!

Once you find a venue you love, that can hold your guest list, fits your budget & check’s all your boxes – sign the contract & secure your date! You’re getting married!

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Bring on the dream team! 

Now it is time to find all the vendors that will complete the dream team on the day of your wedding! Future posts will be coming about what questions to ask each vendor but here is a list of vendors to start thinking about. One thing to note – knock out your individual vendors first. A photographer will only book one wedding a day vs a florist might do 2-3 weddings a day. I will note the individual vendors you should book sooner rather than later with a *

Catering, Photographer*, Videographer*, Officiant*, Florist, DJ/Band*, Stationary, Cake, Ceremony musicians*, Lighting, Draping, Hair, Make-up, Transportation, and Rentals** (depends on type – if you need a tent, then ASAP. If it is just chairs, they can wait until later in the process).

I hope this was helpful! Once you can peel your eyes away from that shiny ring, soak it in & send me an email when you are ready to start planning! I am here for you & I am so excited!

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