The instant you get engaged, you’re all wrapped up in the excitement that comes with such a big decision. But pretty quickly, reality sets in and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the fact that now you have to plan a wedding. That’s where this blog post comes into play. After you’ve taken a few days to enjoy this huge step the two of you are taking, you’ll be eager to begin the process of planning your wedding. We want your magical day to be just that – magical – so we’ve made a list of the first five things to do after you get engaged (once you’ve stopped reeling with joy from the proposal!). Hint: choosing a date doesn’t make the top of the list!
1. DRAFT THE GUEST LIST
Although it’s not the most romantic task, the guest list is infinitely important. The number of guests you’re inviting will help determine your venue size, your catering budget, what size cake you’ll have to order, your rentals (think dance floor, seating, table cloths, etc) and because it’s not as romantic as say, cake tasting or dress shopping, it’s better to get this part done so you can enjoy the rest.
2. RESEARCH VENUES
Next on our list is choosing a venue. It’s rarely an easy process, but when you find the right one, you’ll know it! You’ll start to envision yourself walking down the imaginary “aisle,” and what the backdrop will look like behind you as you say your “I Dos”. The reason we suggest the guest list as the first on your to-do list is because many couples fall in love with a venue only to find out that it can’t comfortably fit everyone on their guest list. Eliminate the stress of signing venue paperwork and then having to rework your guest list by only looking at venues that fit your estimated guest count. Remember, not everyone on your guest list will be able to attend, so there is some flexibility.
3. CHOOSE A DATE
Now that you’ve figured out who want to share in this momentous occasion, and you’ve found venues that fit the style of wedding you’ve been daydreaming about, it’s time to think of what time of year you two want to tie the knot! Keep in mind family dates, holidays, and, if your guests will have to travel, it’s considerate if you choose a cost-efficient time to travel. People will start asking you WHEN your wedding date is as soon as you get engaged, so be patient and tell them you’re still deciding. Try and be flexible. If you aren’t in a rush, giving yourself a general timeframe will give you more flexibility in choosing a venue. If you find a venue that feels like “the one”, check with them for their availabilities during the season you want. It’s not uncommon to have to book a venue a year in advance, so having flexible dates can work to your advantage here. If you have a special date in mind that is important to you, you’ll need to do research on venues available for those dates specifically. Whether you’re in a church, on a farm, at a resort, or on beach somewhere, nailing down the venue and date crosses two items off your to-do list!
4. SET A REALISTIC BUDGET
The next item on our “First Five” list is set a budget. This is where most couples start to get stressed. Why? Well, because weddings are expensive. Also, no matter how much you mentally prepare, or how carefully you plan your vendors and prices, there are always things that come up. In order to Keep Calm and Plan On, first determine if you’ll be paying for the wedding on your own or receiving help from family. If family members offer to help, ask them (graciously) how much they can contribute and start your budget there. Take a look at your personal accounting and decide how much extra you two can commit to without causing financial stress. After all, the most important thing is that you two are together and planning a beautiful day. Research wedding costs and vendors in your area as large cities and smaller rural areas will have big price differentials. Prioritize the things that matter most. Are you a foodie? Spend extra on catering. Having an outdoor wedding? You won’t need to budget as much for flowers as you would for an indoor venue. You get our drift. Take notes on what you want your day to look and feel like, and it will be a lot easier to find your vendors and compare prices.
5. INSURE YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING
And lastly, you’ve got a very special token of love on that finger of yours, the last thing you’d want is to lose it or damage it. Gasp! While you can only do so much to prevent those kinds of things, you can be sure you’re covered in the event of loss, theft, or damage by insuring your ring. Whether it’s $50 or $50,000, insuring it will give you a little extra peace of mind. You can often bundle it with home insurance or car insurance, or you can go through a jewelry-specific insurance provider like Perfect Circle Insurance. Expect to pay about $2 per $100 of the cost of replacing your ring, so If you have a $10,000 ring, expect to pay about $200 a year to insure it. Make sure to send them detailed pictures, and a copy of the receipt or appraised value of the ring.
It’s such an exciting time in your life, and we’re thrilled we can be here to help you with the process of planning your wedding. Just remember: take a deep breath, take it all in, and most of all, ENJOY it! Congratulations, and don’t forget to send us pictures! 😉