You’re finally engaged! First, congratulations! Second... what the heck do you do next?! For some, this engagement has been a long time coming. And for some, you have only been dating for a few months. Whatever the case may be, the next steps will mostly apply to everyone.
The first thing you need to do is enjoy the moment. I know you want to rush to get every bridal magazine you can think of and start your Pinterest board which is great, but also take a second to celebrate with your fiancé. Yeah, that’s right, you can say it now- fiancé! Decide when and how you want to share this great news with family and friends. Do you want an engagement party? Do you have the perfect social media post? Or maybe you’re planning on taking engagement photos and announcing then. Whatever you decide, I’m excited for you! There is no need to rush to the planning unless you know you want a very short engagement. Enjoy attending each bridal show and collecting all those freebies and meeting potential vendors for your big day.
Second, let’s talk about budget. This is always a hot topic. It’s a decision that will surround your entire wedding from the venue, to the food choices, to your guest list- all of it! Have those awkward conversations to find out if anyone else in the family is contributing to your wedding. Traditional father-of-the-bride paying for it all is not always a practical approach, but, you can’t rule out any contributions. Each little bit helps. Maybe you have a grandma who wants to make the cake (this was my personal experience- thanks grandma!). Before doing anything else, you need to know what you can afford.
The third thing to do before even looking at a venue is to decide who you want to have with you to celebrate your big day. Decide if you want to have a small event or a large gathering, or maybe a destination getaway or elopement. Your budget can also help decide because you can’t invite more than what your finances will allow. To start, write down everyone you know you HAVE to invite. Sometimes your parents may have strong input on family members. Then write a list of the people who you would love to join you but can be cut if you absolutely need to narrow the list down. Having your guest list mostly decided will give you an idea of how much venue space you need and an estimated cost for catering. You can always narrow down if you can’t afford everyone, and increase by a few if you know you can.
So, this is the starting point. I know none of this has to do with decor or vendors (all the fun planning stuff), and I’m not saying you can’t put together your dream Pinterest board that you have probably already been putting together since you started dating, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. It can cost so much more in the long run if you need to break contracts with vendors or change your decor after purchasing some items already.