Newly engaged and have no idea where to start? Whether you are a Type A bride who already has their wedding plan in place or a bride that feels like they are now staring up the side of a mountain of wedding planning we can guarantee you have had the thought, “where do I even begin?!” In following these 9 first steps for the newly engaged you are ensuring you will enjoy this exciting season, and set yourself up for wedding planning success!
The excitement is roaring, friends are excited, family is excited, and you are ready to shout your proposed commitment from the rooftops! One of the most important things to do right after you say YES is to announce your engagement how you see fit. This can be a formal mail announcement, a simple social media post, or a phone call for those that warrant a personal touch. The reason for doing so is not only to “go public” with your engagement, but also to start letting possible guests know that a wedding is in the future. This puts your relationship on their mental radar and officially gets the wedding gears turning!
We will say it time and time again friends! GET THAT BABY INSURED. Yes, you are so excited, yes it is stunning, and yes, you think you will never take it off. Trust us, we all felt the same way, but I can’t tell you how many times I, Amanda, have personally placed my rings on the olive oil cruet by my stove when cooking, forgetting it was there only to dump it into my dish sometime later. Even my husband’s ring fell to the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay shortly after our wedding as he was trying to catch our puppy jumping off our boat into the bay. You never plan for your ring to disappear, become lost, or God forbid stolen, but life happens and it stings a lot less when you have insurance to cover the loss.
When setting your date it is important to really think about how important it is to you. If your date is the most important detail, then be prepared for the possibility of having to look at several venues just in case your favorite one doesn’t have that date open. If you are more flexible with your date then you have a better chance of booking the location you want.
Ok friends, this is one of your bigger tasks. You don’t need to hammer out a hard budget just yet, but you need to start having the conversation of who will be a contributing factor to your overall budget, and start discussing where your financial comfort zone is. It is best to settle on a financial comfort zone early in order to start creating your budget. Keep this number in mind when you start interviewing planners, and be sure to check out our post on how to budget for your wedding!
This one sometimes catches couples off guard. One of the first design questions we ask our couples is “what three to five words would you use to describe your wedding day?” Most of the time people anticipate that we will ask them about the colors they want, or what trendy words they are using to describe their style. When we work with full and partial planning clients we are not here to take their Pinterest board and turn it into a wedding. We are here to learn who they are, and what they want the day to feel like for their guests and themselves; we then turn the day into a celebration of their love. Inspiration comes from all over, but the tone is all you!
Now is not the time to worry about listing every guest you wish to invite with full addresses and titles, however it is the time to decide how big you want your guest list to be. This will be something you will need to know as you begin to interview planners, and a number or range of numbers to keep in mind when looking for a venue.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! Regardless of your date flexibility, your location should be your number one priority in your early planning phase. Think back to the tone you both settled on and begin looking for a venue that suits that tone. Now, with that being said, don’t get too caught up in finding the perfect venue. Find the one that speaks to you, can align with your tone, and that will accommodate the design you and your planner will create. The bones of the venue can not be changed, but you can certainly transform a space with even the most minimal decor.
Good on you for seeing the value in a skilled planner. There are so many benefits to having someone who designs and executes weddings for a living. From vendor partnerships and the ability to keep planning on time and smooth, to all the day-of tasks that go into a wedding, a planner will easily become the best investment you can make. Because of that, it is important to find a planner that you feel comfortable with. Think about what is most important to you during the planning process and be sure to ask questions that will reveal where each planner stands in regards to those needs. For an easy go-to interview guide, check out (blog posting here) that will hit the website on the 18th of January where we give you some important tips and interview questions!
You just got engaged! Take a moment to actually let that sink in! We see so many couples come through our doors that are extremely eager to get the planning process started, and believe me we LOVE eager couples, but we always remind them to pause for a moment. Take a couple of weeks and just enjoy your engagement. There is always time for planning your wedding, and
your marriage to follow will last years upon years. Your engagement is one of the shortest seasons your relationship will have. Be sure you don’t rush it away.
As always, the entire Sincerely Jane team is here for you wherever you are in your wedding planning process and needs. From Virginia Beach Brides and beyond, we are just one email away!