You’re Engaged – Now What?

Congratulations, you’re engaged! No doubt you are full of excitement about your upcoming wedding day and full of ideas for how you want  it to be. Planning a wedding can be a daunting task for some, for others it’s an enjoyable one but whether the thought of planning your wedding fills you will dread or joy, an idea of where to start will help you on your way.

Read on for a guide to the elements of your wedding you will need to address first…..

 

Set your budget

It may seem obvious but the very first thing you will need to do when planning your wedding is to try and work out a rough budget. This may change over the course of your planning journey but you need to at least have an idea of how much you have to spend. If parents or other family members have offered to chip in with costs (or even pay for the whole thing) try and find out how much they are able to give you as soon as possible. Weddings can be very expensive, no point planning for dream wedding number 1 when realistically you can only afford dream wedding number 3. When you have an idea of how much you have to spend, try to allocate an amount for each element, this is a great way of tracking your spending and working out ways to cut costs if necessary.

 

Create a guest list 

It is almost a guarantee that guest lists and table plans will give you the biggest headache when planning your wedding but the amount of people you want to invite will directly affect costs and the type of venue available to you. If you have a dream venue in mind but it only holds 80 people and you have a guest list of 150, you are going to have to either whittle it down to 80 or choose another venue!

 

 

Set a date 

This will depend on lots of things – where you want to get married, how long you want to wait, whether or not you need time to save money. Consider your guests and try not to plan your date around important dates eg. other weddings, big birthdays, pre-booked holidays. You may also need to consider the likelihood of important people in your life being able to get the time off work/school. Of course you are never going to be able to please everyone. But it will make your lives a lot easier if you make it easy for the people you really want there to be able to attend. Another consideration is cost and availability of your venue. If it is fully booked or too expensive in the Summer months, why not consider an Autumn or Winter wedding? It is generally cheaper then and venues tend to have more availability.

 

Book your venue 

This will be one of the very first tasks you will need to complete so get looking at venues straight away. The best venues get booked up early so it’s never too soon to start researching. Firstly you will need to decide on the type of wedding you want. If you want a religious ceremony or registry office wedding, you will need to ensure they are available for the same date. If you wish to have the ceremony and reception all at the same venue, you will need to book a celebrant too. Research as many venues as possible and go and visit them! Take into consideration the cost, size and capacity and also the style of wedding you would like (does the style of the venue fit with the style of wedding you have envisaged?) Once you have decided you will probably need to put a deposit down to secure your booking.

 

 

Let people know 

Once you have secured your date (and guest list), tell people to save the date. You can send out ‘save the date’ cards or simply phone or text people. This gives your guests plenty of time to book time off work if needed or to secure travel and/or accommodation, the sooner they know, the more chance they are likely to be able to attend. Formal invitations won’t need to be sent out until closer to the date but you may wish to skip the save the date stuff and just send out invitations as soon as possible, it’s your day and whichever way you decide to do things is absolutely fine.

 

Secure your dream team

After setting the date and securing your venue, the next areas I would advise you concentrate on are hair, make-up and photographs. There are many  ‘wedding planning timelines’ to be found online which tell you these are things you don’t need to think about until later on in the wedding planning process but in my experience, the best photographers, hair stylists and make up artists get booked up early. As with the venue, do your research, look at plenty of their previous work and meet up with them (most will insist on this anyway) before booking. Other professionals you may wish to try and book early on are catering (if your venue doesn’t provide in-house catering) and a wedding stylist.

 

 

The legal stuff

There are certain legal requirements which will need to be adhered to when getting married (even if you are having a religious ceremony). Unless you are planning on getting married VERY soon, it is unlikely that you will have to take action straight away but you will need to be aware of what you need to do and by when – DON’T LEAVE IT TOO LATE! Requirements will vary depending on where you live and where you wish to get married, a simple google search will tell you everything you need to know. If you are planning a religious ceremony, it is likely you will need to do some preparation as a couple, speak to the person conducting your ceremony as soon as possible to discuss this.

 

So there we have it, obviously there is a whole lot more to wedding planning and your priorities will depend on the type of wedding you are having but this should give you an idea of where to start. Of course, if you don’t have much time for planning and your budget allows, you could hire a planner to do all of this for you!

 

 

All images used in this post are stock images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About

Creator of A Stylish Marriage, I completed a Diploma in Wedding Planning, Styling and Design after a career in Nursing. I have always had a love of weddings and wanted to explore my creative side a bit more. My aim with the blog is to inspire and guide couples as they embark on their wedding planning journey.

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