One of the most popular questions I hear from the newly engaged is “I’m Engaged!” Followed by a frustrated plea, “Tell me what to do next!”
Does this sound like you? Ok pull up a chair…come closer… The first thing you should do after your beau's proposal is <insert deep breath>, RELAX! Take a few days to revel in the joy of a new life transition! Don't rush off to trying on dresses. Don't spend all day at work on Pinterest. Take time to enjoy the moment!
Once you’ve relaxed start your wedding planning by answering the classic 5W’s—WHO, WHERE, WHAT, WHEN & WHY.
WHO: Contact family and friends to tell them the good news. As you are spreading the cheer don't forget to include those on hubby-to-be's side of the family! Only after personally calling persons close to you should you share the news via social media. Don't be surprised if news travels fast! The people you choose to personally announce your engagement to will be obvious additions to the question of WHO is invited. Round out your list by asking parents and future in-laws who they recommend inviting and don’t forget to include your fiancé. Having an idea of how many will witness your nuptials is key in budgeting, securing a venue (can it fit the number of people you'll be inviting?) and other planning activities!
WHAT : Will your shindig be an epic dance party or a small intimate dinner. What is the style of wedding you are going for? Are you a Southern bride, urban, intimate, vintage, romantic? Give some thought to your favorite colors, textures, embellishments. Start to wrap your head around how you envision the feel, smell and even taste of your big day. Let that guide your design decisions during planning.
WHERE: DO you envision yourself saying “I Do” on a tropical island beach or in the mountains. Do you already have a dream venue you've dreamed of getting married at since you were a little girl? Start thinking about where you'd like to get married and also have a backup idea in case your ideal venue turns out to be less than perfect.
WHEN: Does a long engagement give you pause? Do you want to save and plan for a few years? Do you want a summery shindig or a wintry, white wedding? With a tentative headcount in hand, sit down with your hubby-to-be and set a wedding date. Keep in mind the weather/seasons, your theme and personal party preferences for your big day as you weigh options like a weekday wedding (money saver!) vs a Saturday night shindig ($$$)
Decide on a season and a date that appeals you. You’ll need to have a date set prior to seeking venue availability, shopping for a dress or booking any vendors as this will inevitably be everyone’s first question!
WHY: LOVE! Duh, right?! Begin reflecting on other answers to the why. No don’t kill yourself attempting to wax poetic. However, thinking about the why answers can help you to get a jump start on content for that wedding website and later your vows
Other things to consider INCLUDE:
-GET SIZED & INSURED: Perhaps that perfect ring isn't the perfect fit? Head to your jeweler to have your ring sized. While at the jeweler a peek at wedding bands-- we won't judge you for jumping the gun! After sizing your ring, contact your insurance company to have your ring added to your insurance policy. Better safe than sorry!
-WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET: Get prepared to hear this a lot as you meet wedding vendors! Develop a budget carving out funds for the items most important to you. Remember to include items like your venue rental fee, food & beverage, decor, florals, etc.
-KEEP CALM & HIRE A PLANNER: A professional, certified wedding planner will be able to work with your budget no matter how big or small. A pro planner will have knowledge of vendors that fit your style and budget. Since you will work closely with your planner, ask for a consultation (free) to make sure your planner is a good fit!