Just Engaged? Top Five Ways to Start the Planning

Congratulations on your engagement! This is a wonderful time where you celebrate your love and enjoy the engagement. Typically  most couples have a one year engagement, however a wedding can be planned in six months or less. (I will tell you more about this later). Even though this engagement is very special time in your lives, there is a bigger special day coming up which requires planning.

1. Set a date! – The time of year determines almost everything from the style of dress to wear, to the colors to choose . Choosing a date can be as simple as what time of the year you like to get married, fall, summer, winter, or spring. Some couples choose a date which falls on a holiday weekend, so each anniversary they will have a three day weekend! Whatever the reason, choosing a date must happen first.

2. Set a budget – Consult with each other and set a budget. This will help with planning the wedding and avoid financial conflict later. There are no rules in who pays for the wedding. It all depends on your family, culture, and traditions. These days I have seen many couples pay for all or some of the wedding costs. Some couples will split the wedding costs between both families. (Groom’s parents and Bride’s parents). Whoever is paying for the wedding, there still needs to be a budget!

3. Venue location – Now that the date and budget have been set, you can choose your location. If you are getting married in the summer, an outside venue would work great. However, even with outside venues there needs to be a back-up plan in case mother nature decides to change. The venue location determines all the other elements of the wedding day.  This may be a good time to consider hiring a wedding planner. A wedding planner can help save the couple money and time!

4. Shopping for the dress! – Now that the date, budget, and location have been set, the you can look for your dress! This is a fun time where the bride and her family and friends can go shopping!  The advice I would give is to make sure that you go to several bridal shops and try on different styles. It may look good in a magazine, however you will not know until you try it on. No matter what your mom or friends tell you, YOU have to feel that dress is right for you for your special day. Ultimately it is YOUR decision in choosing the dress. You will know when you have found “the one”.

5. Meet with all other vendors – Now that you have the date, budget, location, and dress you can start to choose and meet with other vendors. Photographers, videographers, florists, cake bakeries, officiants, jewelers (choose the wedding bands, if not chosen at before engagement), caterers, DJ/live bands, etc.

Good luck!

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