It’s the Holiday Season, a time of cheer and merriment that brings along with it engagement season! Congratulations to you two! Remember to take a deep breath in between the screams, laughter, and tears of joy. Your moment to proclaim your undying love for one another, to the world, has arrived.
What now? What are the next steps in wedding planning? Of course you've let your family and friends know, updated your Facebook status or posted THE ring on Instagram. But after all that, what's the game plan? You are embarking on a journey of spending your lives together and planning your rite of passage: your Wedding Day.
1. Bask: Over the next few weeks enjoy the newness of your engagement. Plan a night where nothing wedding related is discussed. Sit down, relax, and enjoy each other’s presence.
2. Baby steps: Try not to think of all the planning at once. Planning can be stressful, time consuming and at times tedious. However, if you take it in strides you will be surprised at how simple, and relaxing, the process can be - take it slow. Your wedding day is a celebration of your love; don't get wrapped up in the planning and lose sight of this.
3. Align your futures, together: Lay out your expectations and dreams with one another; make sure you're both on the same page. Be sure to also discuss these plans with those who will be hosting the wedding.
4. Budgeting: Take this time to set an initial budget, which can always be altered. How many guests are you able to accommodate comfortably? Knowing your guest size will set proper limitations on your budget. The easiest way to cut costs is by narrowing your guest list. Your budget is the determining factor of the size, and formality of your wedding.
5. Secure location: Before announcing the date and venues find out if your officiant and church (or ceremony site) are available on the date and time you desire. Once this is confirmed you can lock in your reception venue date.
*For those of you who are getting married within one year, I would advise that you start booking your creative team now. Many wedding professionals such as Wedding Planners, Photographers, Cinematographers) and venues can only accommodate one wedding on a particular given day. Many of who are booked a year or more in advance. Understanding this increases the likelihood of you getting the team you love on your special day.
Building A Support System is a MUST:
· Counsel: Family and friends who have been recently married or who have years of nuptial bliss can offer great advice. Marriage comes with ups and downs; premarital counseling can put you off into the right start.
· Professional: Consider hiring a Wedding Planner or a Month of Coordinator. Wedding Planners can be invaluable in putting together your ideal day; save you money, as well as offer unbiased opinions on details.
· Resources: Sign up to wedding websites such as The Knot, Munaluchi Bridal, or Wedding Bee to chat on local forums with other engaged couples. There are many wedding blogs online such as Snippet & Ink, Elizabeth Anne Designs, The Bride’s Cafe, and Style Me Pretty that offer advice and inspiration.
· Be sure to create a wedding binder of inspirational pieces from online sites, wedding magazines (such as Minnesota Bride, The Knot Minnesota, Minneapolis Saint Paul Weddings) and any information gained from Bridal Fairs, Bridal Trunk Shows along with checklists, contacts, and timelines. Organization skills are very important in the planning process.
This stage of your life is a big deal - it involves several changes so slow down and embrace it.
Enjoy. Happy Planning!