Congratulations on your engagement! We know getting started on planning a wedding can be difficult for many brides and grooms. But where do you start? From vendors to themes to choosing a bridal party, there’s a lot to think about after you say “yes!”
Here’s the first five things to do after you get engaged:
1. Tell Your Loved Ones
Although it may be tempting, hold off on posting the ring selfie until you have either called or visited your closest loved ones. Your family and best friends will want to know that you’re engaged from you or your fiance, not from social media. Once you’ve contacted everyone on your list with the good news, then go switch your relationship status on Facebook and update your social media posts.
2. Talk about the Budget
You might have the perfect wedding planned on Pinterest, but sit down with your fiance before planning anything about the wedding. The first thing that needs to be figured out is your budget. Don’t give yourself an unlimited or unrealistic budget. Figure out exactly how much you two can save up and feel comfortable spending on the big day. Everything about the wedding depends on your budget. Research wedding expenses so you have a realistic idea of how much everything will cost. Take into account all the details including the venue, vendors, food, decorations, attire, favors, and more! Keep in mind that the average American wedding costs $20,000-30,0000 nowadays. Once you establish a set budget, split up the budget into categories such as “Venue Budget”, “Dress Budget”, “Floral Budget”, etc… Make sure you and your fiance agree on the budget and stick to it!
3. Create a Guest List
Draft up a guest list that reflects your budget. If you have a $2,000 food budget, you won’t be able to invite 400 guests to your 5 Star Hotel wedding reception. Sit down with your fiance and create an “A” list. These are the peopleyou can’t imagine the day without. Family, best friends, roommates, etc… Next, call both of your parents and ask them to each make a list. Some parents will include the entire city so make sure you carefully go through the list. Cross off names and then explain to your parents your decision. However, consider inviting more names from their list if your parents are paying for some or most of the wedding! Once you have a new official guest list, go through and cross off names that:
a. You haven’t spoken to that person in over a year
b. Your fiance has never met the person (if there’s a good reason such as the person lives out of state, then it’s safe to keep the name on the list)
c. If it’s a co-worker or a college classmate that you have never spent time with outside of work/school
Once you have a guest list that fits your budget and reflects who you want to be there on your big day, then do a headcount. Estimate how many people will most likely be able to come to your wedding so you have an idea to give your venue and vendors.
4. Settle on a Date
Some couples choose a significant date or at least have a month in mind. Other couples pick a date based on their dream venue’s availability. Either way is perfectly acceptable, just make sure you and your fiance both agree on the date or venue!
5. Select a Vendor Team
While the other steps you want to do within the first few weeks of getting engaged, this last one might take more time. Your vendor team is very important! Not only do you want great services, but you also want to have people you enjoy being around. You don’t want to choose a wedding planner that doesn’t “get you.” Nor do you want a videographer following you around all day that never smiles. It’s your day, and your team should reflect how you want your day to go!
The first vendor you want to pick is your venue. You want to make sure your venue is available on your date and can accommodate the number of guests on your list. You also want to consider if you want one venue or two (one for the ceremony and one for the reception). Research venues and then tour your top five-or ten! Make sure you’re 100% happy with what you see!
The next two vendors you want to select are a wedding planner and photographer. Book these two right away! Planners and photographers tend to have their schedules booked a year in advance. If you’re hoping for a certain vendor, consult with him/her as soon as you have a date! This is also true for the rest of your team. If you have your heart set on a florist, don’t wait until your “Wedding Check-List” tells you to find a florist four months before the wedding. In fact, book your vendors as soon as you find them! If you decide to do ten cake tastings at different bakeries, but the fourth tasting was an amazing experience and you know this is the cake you want- then book that business. If you wait a few weeks to finish the other six tastings and go back, your date may already be booked by another couple! Don’t gamble with your dream wedding vendor team- if you know what you want, book it!
We hope our list has helped you get started! We wish all the newly engaged couples the best of luck while planning the wedding. If you are still looking for a florist, wedding planner, or calligrapher for your Twin Cities wedding, Artemisia Studios can help! Check out our website for more information or set up a consultation right here!