20 Jul I’m Engaged! Now, where do I start?
So he popped the question. You got the ring (hopefully the one you’ve been dreaming of), it’s officially official because you changed your status on Facebook, and now you’re ready to plan. Wait, who are you kidding? You had a Pinterest board filled with ideas before he got down on one knee! 😉
Anywho, it’s only normal for you to have a million wedding-related thoughts going through your head at this very moment (OR every moment of the moment). Where do I order my dress? I have a sister and best friend, which one will be my MOH?? Should we get married in his hometown or mine? What will our colors be? Indoor or outdoor wedding? These are all important questions, but PUMP. YOUR. BREAKS. Girlfriend! Slowly take a deep breath, sit down and follow these preliminary steps:
STEP 1: Create an account on theknot.com
- Prior to my engagement, I knew nothing about TheKnot.com. That all changed once I was referred to the site after announcing my engagement. Not long after, it became my best friend. What more could a bride-to-be ask for. You’ll learn about venues in your area, awesome wedding themes and reception ideas, guest list and budgeting tools, and much more!
STEP 2: Hire a Wedding Planner
- Don’t be fooled, as great as theknot.com is, it DOES NOT replace having a tangible, real life Wedding Planner or Consultant who can handle the work load of successfully planning your big day, keeping you on track, and helping you to maintain your sanity. Tip: Make sure to bring the information you gathered from theknot.com to the initial consultation. Click here to inquire about initial consultations and wedding packages with Creative Purposes by C.Fultz.
STEP 3: Decide on a Budget
- Sit down with your fiancé along with any other parties involved with funding your big day and decide on a realistic budget. According to theknot.com, the average US wedding budget in 2014 was $31,213. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful wedding with a budget that is below the national average, but you’ll definitely need to slim down your guest list to do so! (See Step 4.)
STEP 4: Create a Guest List
- The budget and guest list go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. How will you know how much you can afford to spend on each person’s meal if you don’t know how many people will be there? And, how else will you know how many people you can afford to have there without a REALISTIC budget? Step 3 and 4 should be taken seriously. You don’t want to get your hopes up on a venue that cannot COMFORTABLY accommodate all of your guests, OR one that you’ve fallen in love with—signed a contract with—and now your budget only leaves you with $2000 for food. Good luck with that! (That’s another post for another day.)
STEP 5: Set a Date
- You and your future spouse should agree on how long your engagement will be and then determine a date. The date will allow you to officially start planning and checking off items on your timeline. A couple may have different factors that will help them to decide on a date. Perhaps you want to save on the budget. Picking a date in the off-season months of January, February, March, and November could help you to save. Certain venues can have very competitive dates—meaning their calendar books quickly. So, just because you’ve both decided to have a two-year engagement, does not mean that the date you’ve picked in your head will be waiting for you a year later. As soon as you’re sure, act quickly. But please, please, please do not become Bridezilla if your dream venue doesn’t match up with your dream date. You’ll have other chances to pull the Bridezilla card. Relax, Relate, Release!
Now that you have a few of the preliminaries out of the way, you’ll want to begin working off of a standard wedding planning timeline. What part of planning do you look forward to most? What part are you dreading?