Congratulations, you’ve just gotten engaged! After the roller coaster of emotions has settled and you’re ready to sit down and look at the gargantuan task ahead, it’s important to consider these things rather than drown in the details. Planning a wedding can be tricky and overwhelming, but not if you break it down into bite-sized chunks.
Here are 11 tips you can follow:
1. Set a Timetable
The minute you get engaged, everyone will be asking for your wedding date. A typical engagement lasts anywhere from six months to a year and a half or more, but also think about what season you’d prefer, any major holidays or family events you’d like to avoid conflicting with, and how long you predict you’ll need to plan.
2. Dream Up Your Style and Pick a Location
Close your eyes and picture your fantasy wedding. What do you see? While you’re picturing your perfect wedding, here are some key questions to consider:
- Big (everyone you know) or small (just close friends and family)?
- Outdoors or in? Home (one of your hometowns or your current city) or away (a destination wedding)?
- Modern, classic, romantic, vintage, rustic or all-out glam?
- Fancy, casual or somewhere in between?
3. Set Your Budget
Sit down with your families and figure out how much everyone is contributing . This number will affect every decision and purchase you make, so be sure to work out your budget before you start planning.
4. Draft a Guest List
As you begin to build your guest list, you’ll need to consider a number of factors. If you have a particular ceremony or reception site in mind, for instance, you’re going to be limited by how many people it can accommodate. Keep in mind that more guests means higher prices, as catering costs are generally calculated on a per-head basis.
Worried that you’ll look gift-grabby if you register ? Don’t! With all the engagement parties , bridal showers and well-wishing relatives in your future, everyone will appreciate your foresight.
6. Insure Your Engagement Ring
There are two basic ways to do it: As an extension of your renter’s or home owner’s policy, or through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance.
7. Choose Your Wedding Party
Remember, the earlier you ask, the sooner you can enlist their help. And keep in mind that your wedding party is agreeing to spend their hard-earned money and donate their precious time.
8. Consider Hiring a Consultant
- If you’re a super-busy couple, have demanding jobs or have big dreams for your wedding weekend, then you should hire a full-time wedding planner to help you prepare your entire event.
- You can also hire a part-time consultant to devise a wedding blueprint before you launch solo into the preparations.
- Another option is a day-of coordinator, who will make sure everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.
9. Book a Venue for Your Preferred Date
Your reception venue will become the backdrop for virtually all your photos and can influence everything from heavy hitters like your budget and guest list to smaller details like your menu . Ensure that you get the look, price and extras you want by scouring local listings, shopping around, scheduling visits and booking early.
10. Scout for Your Priority Vendors
If you just can’t imagine getting married without a certain local band playing at the reception or a photographer whose work you love, act fast. Many top wedding photographers and other in-demand vendors are hired more than a year in advance, and once they’re booked, they’re gone.
11. Shop for a Wedding Dress
Begin your search by browsing dress photos online. Then, learn the lingo before setting foot in a dress salon. Read up on silhouettes, necklines, trains and hues that might flatter you. The season will also affect your choice.