Are you newly engaged and wondering what next? Don’t worry, I got you! I know, your mind is probably racing thinking about everything that needs to get done STAT. Who do I share my exciting news with? What tasks should I complete upfront? Do I need to immediately hire vendors?
Phew, overwhelming right? Planning can have that effect. To help, I’ve laid out a list of 10 things you’ll want to do as soon as possible post-engagement. So, here it goes!
1) Tell Your Story
First things first, take it all in and embrace it wholeheartedly. It’s important you enjoy this time personally before sharing the news with everyone else because you know once you do, it’s questions galore! The main question your friends and family will ask is “What was the story?”. While you don’t need to hang on every detail, you’ll want to set yourself up to voice a story that both you and your fiancé agree on, and one that gives just the right touch! It’s best to target your family first. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want my parents finding out the news from someone else (NOPE). Next, what close friends do you want to share the news with? You do not need to talk specifics. If any close friends ask about your wedding plans such as those in your wedding party or invited to the wedding, it’s OKAY to avoid the questions and let them know you aren’t quite there yet. When it comes to sharing on social platforms, be ready for the crazy rush! This can be a lot of fun, however, if you’re one who is easily overwhelmed, the commentary and/or questions can increase that overwhelm. Some couples need a bit of time to take it all in! Remember, THIS IS YOUR DAY.
2) Get That Rock Insured
You need to protect your beautiful piece of art. You and me both know a ring is NOT CHEAP. This is really important to think about, especially if you easily misplace things. You gotta’ keep it safe. There are many places out there that work within your budget, so DO NOT dismiss this step!
3) It’s A Good Day For A Spa Day
But, like who doesn’t love a good spa day? Massage, nails and toes, facial, eyebrows and lip treatment? You name it. It is extremely important to treat yo’ self. A spa day will not only relax your mind before diving into all things “wedding”, but act as that refresh. Plus, you’ll be in the spotlight and it’ll feel good to look your best!
Now that you’re feeling refreshed from your spa day, go get yourself ready to celebrate! Throw on your favorite dress, curl your hair, put some fresh lipstick on, book a reservation at the fanciest place in town, and freakin’ enjoy! You’ve hit a milestone worth documenting!
5) Lay Out The Basics
The wedding planning will sneak up on you quicker than expected! I’ve noticed that a lot of couples today are moving forward with bookings before brainstorming / talking out some of the most important items. The key to setting yourself up for success is to lay out the basics before all else: getting organized, setting a budget, determining the guest list, picking your date ranges, and deciding on a theme.
Get Yourself Organized, First.
From bridal blogs, emails, magazines, Pinterest boards, social media, & more, there’s a heck of a lot to take in! That said, the number one step to laying out the basics is getting organized. Buy yourself a planner to document tasks leading up to the wedding / hold yourself accountable, invest in a wedding-specific email address to avoid wedding-related items getting lost in your personal inbox, and start creating those Google Docs to help streamline logistics and enhance collaboration with vendors.
Set A Budget.
Most people avoid asking themselves the hard money-based questions such as “What is the absolute max amount I’m willing to spend?” You and your fiancé will want to agree on a realistic budget. It’s supercritical that you highlight the elements you just cannot live without, first. From there, you can start adding other items to the mix (including a safety net or splurge fund that you can dip into if need be) and determine where you might be able to cut back / eliminate. Lastly, couples don’t take into consideration that costs can in fact increase as you add more guests to the mix. That said, be sure to monitor as you go and try to stick within the means of the initial plan.
Determine The Guest List.
Before even thinking about the WHO, you need to decide the count. Some questions you’ll want to ask yourself are: how many people total does the venue allow, how many do I feel comfortable with, what fits my budget? The biggest piece of advice I can give here is, DON’T FEEL BAD. Setting ground rules and sticking to them is a good thing. It isn’t ideal nor fun, but it will all work itself out in the end!
Pick Your Date Ranges.
Picking dates can be the simplest or the most difficult beforehand task. What most couples fail to do is select a handful of date ranges as opposed to specific dates before stepping into a venue meeting. A few other things to consider that can have a big impact on the date you chose are: key parties involved, no-go dates, season, year and how long you have to coordinate the wedding itself. You need to plan to be flexible and go into your venue meetings with an open mind because hey, the venue of your dreams might require you to do so!
Decide On A Theme.
What’s your flavor? The vibe of your wedding is everything and shouldn’t be overlooked. Plus, it’s the best part! Are you going for vintage, boho, modern chic, farmhouse, etc.? Do you want a black tie or lax look/feel? You should consider the season (especially if outdoors). Then, you can factor in the decor. It all comes back to your personalities and what themes fill your heart with immediate passion. Remember, you can always settle on a basic look and incorporate specifics later on. Don’t be afraid to get creative here.
Do you find that even laying out the basics is difficult? This might be because you’re in fast forward mode and not taking the time needed to set yourself up for success. Am I right? I got you, friend. In my first live training EVER, I highlight the biggest mistakes couples make before booking vendors, tips and tricks on how to avoid the mistakes and real examples of the impact they can have.
6) I’ll Take You To The Venue Shop
Are you ready to go venue shopping? Whether a long or short engagement, you should always be actively looking for venues. As soon as you’ve laid out those basics, get groovin’ friend!
Want to ensure you make the most of your venue tour? Here are my top five tips.
7) Hire A Wedding Planner
How many of you already have a wedding planner? For those that don’t, you’re probably wondering why investing in one is so crucial. Regardless of whether you’re the most organized person in all the land, having a wedding planner can save you time, energy, and a heck of a lot of stress. A wedding planner will take endless tasks off your shoulders and allow for a more relaxed experience leading up to your wedding. Even though a wedding planner is a significant part of your budget, a good one can save you money in the long run. Yep! If planning is not your niche or you just do not want to overload yourself with the overwhelming details and decisions, hiring a wedding planner makes total sense for you. They will not only be your expert in the industry, but your best friend that stands by your side throughout the planning process. Your right hand person. They’re there to take the pressure off of you. You’ll benefit from tips and tricks, input on overlooked details, logistics management, and so much more.
Looking to hire a planner? You can inquire here.
Once you have a solidified date, you’ll want to research photographers. My tip for you here is to pick someone you vibe with as they are going to be capturing all the precious moments that make up your big day. If you book sooner than later, it’ll give you more time to brainstorm your engagement and wedding photos. Trust me, you’ll need time for this. Also, there’s just so much value a photographer brings to the table. PRO TIP: If you hire a photographer for your wedding (which every couple should), be sure to always show up ready to rock and roll. You want to maximize the time you have.
9) Your Wedding Website
Every couple needs a wedding website to call their own! You can start by researching the different site options and see what best fits your style. The Knot and WeddingWire are of course the staples! Your wedding site is where you’ll share your beautiful story, photos, wedding details, registry information, and more. Your guests will have questions, and what better place to send them than your wedding site! If you’re interested in hearing more on the specifics of what to include on your website, check out my live.
Registering for gifts is not necessary at this stage of the game, but it sure as heck serves as a good break from planning! Go ahead and create a standing list of everything you and your fiancé need as a new married couple (eek!). Then, research some of your favorite stores. Kirkland, Amazon, Target, Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. You get it. PRO TIP: Start with your top three stores! Then comes the fun part, saying YES to all the things! Like I said, let this serve as time away from planning. I mean, who doesn’t love a good shopping spree?
Three Tips To Avoiding Procrastination Pitfalls
Handle One Thing At A Time.
As we all know, taking on a ton of items at once can be quite overwhelming. PRO TIP: Slow it down! Instead of zipping through, you need to set realistic goals. What are all the things you’re hoping to accomplish over the months leading up to your wedding and when do you plan to accomplish them? You want to set a reasonable number of goals for each week and hold yourself accountable to completing them, but try your best to avoid adding more to your plate once the week’s to-do list has already been initiated. You feel me?
Factor In Breaks.
It’s important to always take breaks throughout the process. It’s OKAY if you leave the planning to fend for itself while you go for a quick walk or even take the weekend off! Who knows! I promise, it will be there when you get back. If you don’t enjoy the process, it will only lead to unnecessary stress and overwhelm which is what we set out to avoid from the start of it all!
Practicing gratitude will keep you focused and in the right mindset. I suggest setting aside 5-minutes in the morning and at night for this practice. Every morning, focus on all the things you’re grateful for and layout the top three things you want to accomplish that day. Every night, document what you accomplished and show yourself some love.
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