You’re Engaged! Congratulations ! once the initial shock of this life changing decision wears off, and you are no longer distracted by the new bling on your finger you will need to start making plans for the big day. It’s never too early to start wedding planning, the earlier you begin the more time you have to plan the perfect wedding of your dreams. For starters here are the first initial steps you need to take after announcing your engagement to the world, which will kick-start your wedding planning months ahead.
The minute everybody knows you’re engaged they will start asking for your wedding date. Reality is you won’t be able to set an exact date until you have chosen a season, venue, and of course discussed the options with your future spouse. Set a timetable, determining the dates that work best for you, avoid major holidays, and possibly annual family events. An average engagement can last anything from 6 – 12 months, some even last years.
Your Dream style and Location
Before you try on any wedding dresses, or even sample a piece of cake, dig deep into your subconscious and pull out the box of wedding dreams you kept tucked away until Mr. Right comes knocking on your door. Think of what kind of style, vibe, and setting do you want for your wedding? is it a destination wedding? or one closer to home? let your self drift into the world of wedding planning to find exactly what you want, is it in a castle, in a garden, or possibly by a beach ? Some key questions to consider are do you want an intimate wedding?
Once you have narrowed down the above questions consider the style of your wedding, do you want a romantic, classic, modern, rustic, boho, or vintage style? This will help determine what you really want and what you don’t.
Of course the number one place for inspiration is right here, however venture out beyond the internet and purchase bridal magazines, look through real wedding photos, and don’t limit yourself to the obvious source. I wouldn’t advise visiting wedding fairs at this stage because most vendors may pressure you into booking a service. The bottom line is to always keep your eyes open for inspiration.
Set your Budget
Here comes the tricky part of wedding planning, sit down with your future spouse, and family to discuss how much everyone is willing to contribute. The final figure will affect every forthcoming decision and purchase you make. It’s important not to let your wedding budget emphasis your overall approach, it can be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but its better to get it over and done with so you can start planning a realistic wedding.
(Read more: Simple ways to save on your wedding)
Time to get picky
I am sure both you and your spouse have a lot of friends and relatives that you would like to celebrate with, but before you start promising invitations to guests you must consider your wedding budget, the type of wedding you want to host (intimate, or a big once-in-a-lifetime party), location (local or abroad), and venue/ceremony for example you may be limited to the amount of people your venue can accommodate. Keep in mind that more guests means higher costs, as most venues and catering companies calculate the overall cost per-head.
Choose your wedding party
Timing and creativity is key when it comes to proposing to your bridesmaids, and of course maid of honour. The sooner you pop the question the sooner they can jump on board and help with all the wedding planning you need. Keep in mind that your wedding party is agreeing to spend their money and donate their time especially for you, be considerate and kind, show your appreciation with favours and gifts.
Insure your bling
We know that you won’t let your bling out of your sight, but it’s always best to be safe than sorry. There are several methods to ensuring your bling, you can either contact your home insurance and add it to the list, some credit card companies also offer protection,or ensure it privately.
Consider hiring a wedding planner or tasker, depending on your wedding budget, and both you and your partners lifestyle you may want to consider easing the pressure of planning a wedding by hiring a consultant. They do come with a long list of pro’s and con’s but mostly pro’s, as they will fully take charge of planning your wedding down to every detail, they will handle all the formalities leaving you stress free. So before you launch solo into preparations, consider your options and proceed with what makes you comfortable.
Booking your venue
Once you have decided on a suitable wedding date, research venues and book appointments to meet with the head of events. Remember that your venue is going to be the backdrop of all your photos and can influence every aspect of decorations. Whether you book a private venue or in a hotel take into consideration all the extra’s you will need to add i.e. catering, tables, chairs etc. Once the contract is signed you officially have your wedding date.
Now the fun part can finally begin! Once you have filled your Pinterest board and phone with tons of wedding dress images, make bookings to visit bridal boutiques and start browsing. Show the consultant your favourite styles and don’t be afraid to try on new things, for example if you have always envisioned your self in a mermaid style silhouette consider trying on a princess cut dress. Always take into consideration the season, and venue of your wedding before deciding on a dress.
Seal the deal with priority vendors
If you have a particular band, DJ, or supplier in mind that you know is always booked more than a year in advance then take this opportunity to snap up a slot ahead of your wedding.
Share your proposal story