You’re engaged to be married - yay! That’s so exciting! Between friends and family and coworkers, I’m sure the overwhelm is starting to set in. You wondering what do we do? Who do we tell? What should we do first? What do we have to do right now? What can wait? Should we find a date? How many bridesmaids should I have? Ugh, I’m so confused already!
Photo credit: Erika Brown Photography
Planning a wedding can become a full time job - on top of your life and your real job that you currently have - but only if you let it take over. The overwhelm and confusion can set in very fast once you become engaged. In today’s wedding planning advice post, I’m going to give you some tips for what to do once you become engaged. You got the ring, now here’s four things that you need to do.
Oh and do these tips I’m sharing in order. OK? Don’t skip around. Don’t start with the money before you’ve taken some time to reflect. And, don't reflect before you've given yourself time to enjoy. Start at the beginning with my advice on what to do once you become engaged.
Here’s the four things every couple needs to do together once they are engaged….
I know it might sound cheesy, but you really need to take some time to enjoy this moment together. There will be plenty of time - trust me - to plan and taste cake and talk all things wedding. Right now, in the beginning once you first get engaged, all you have to do is enjoy where you are and really feel the joy and excitement.
It’s an amazing thing to commit to share your life with another person. It will all be over before you know it. The wedding planning can feel like a grind when you are in the middle of it, so enjoy this bliss right now. This is the fun part, this is the exciting part. It is your job right now to take time to enjoy it.
This is a side note, if you need a wedding planning journal, be sure to check out my collection of wedding planning binders, planners and journals. You are sure to find something here to get you started.
Really take some time to think about what you two together want to remember from your wedding day in 10 years, 30 years. What do you want to tell your kids? What is important to you individually and together as a couple? Put the dresses and flowers and cake details aside for now and spend some time now - before you really get started with planning the wedding details - reflecting on what you want to remember and what’s important to you.
Think of it as getting on the same page together. This consensus will help you make wedding related decisions in the future and will save you headaches in the long run. Because when you get confused or overwhelmed, just come back to your reflections. What is important to us? What is our goal here? These guiding principles will make decisions, especially the big ones, easier.
Taking time to reflect on what is important to you, leads right into the next tip about money. You can’t talk money until you get clear on your priorities.
Photo credit: Erika Brown Photography
Before you do anything concrete for your wedding such as sign a contract or book any vendors, you must have a serious conversation about money with anyone and everyone who is involved and might potentially be contributing or paying for your wedding.
If you need a place to track all of the wedding budget, be sure to check out my collection of wedding budget trackers and planners.
Who is paying for what? How much are they willing to spend overall? How much are you willing to spend? How much control do they want? What will they not pay for? What will they pay for?
It’s not fun and the conversations might get uncomfortable, but trust me, you need to have “the talk” about money and budget before the wedding planning can truly get started.
Remember, this isn’t a firm number and it isn’t set in stone. This is simply an initial conversation to take everyone’s temperature. You need to know what people are comfortable with and what they are not comfortable with contributing. You can always change and you probably will change as you really get into the wedding planning, but you need to start with a baseline.
Just like taking the time to reflect on what’s important to you, having the money conversations up front before you get started will save you in the long run.
The first vendor that you need to book is a wedding planner. Trust me. Before you book the date or book a venue or buy a wedding dress or sign any other contracts, do research and hire a wedding planning.
I see this happen all the time. Engaged couples are so excited and they jump right to the “fun stuff,” such as the date and the venue. They oftentimes way overspend on their venue and the initial things they purchase before they have a real plan in place. They feel the need to do something to get the ball rolling and they overspend right away. They’ve blown through their budget on just the first item and there is nothing left to do anything else that they want.
You need a wedding planner to guide you, especially on the big budget items like a venues and food and drinks. A wedding planner will be able to help you see the bigger picture, help you spend in the right areas and help you to maximize your budget.
Also, it is worth noting here that I’m not talking about relying on the coordinator at a venue. The difference between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator is a whole separate conversation for another day and I won’t get into in this post. But for now, when it comes to the first thing to do once you become engaged, please know that I’m talking about hiring a wedding planner. You want someone who is separate from your venue, someone who works for you and someone whose main priority is you.
And, there we have it! This is my list of the four things that you must do - in order - once you become engaged. These aren’t hard things and they don’t cost a lot of money (yet!). The first two are free, in fact.
Remember, you got this and it is going to be amazing! Do these four things that I’m telling you to do once you get engaged and you’ll be all set to enjoy your wedding planning process, and, ultimately, your married life after the wedding.
Don't forget that you can find my collection of wedding planners and bindersright here to get you started.
Congrats, this is exciting!
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