You’re engaged! The weeks after getting engaged are one of the most exciting times. But they can also feel like the most overwhelming. As soon as you share the news, friends and family are probably beginning to bombard you with questions about the wedding. What’s the date? Who’s your photographer? Have you picked colors? It’s enough to make your head spin, especially when you might be wondering these same questions yourself. How do you even start to make decisions?
Take a deep breath! Over the next few weeks’ blogs I’ll be sharing a ton of advice on how to plan along with advice from some incredible vendors. While in the past I’ve written some articles here and there, this is the start of a new series For Brides that you can follow along with! Any time you need some advice just navigate to the blog and click on the For Brides category to see all the posts written just for you.
Planning your wedding should be a fun and exciting experience. Check out this list of 5 steps you should take after first getting engaged to get started
5 Steps To Take After You Get Engaged
- Budget- Before you get too ahead of yourself you’re going to want to sit down together and tackle the toughest question. How much money are you going to spend on the wedding? It’s definitely not a fun question. You are probably tempted to close out of this tab and move on to looking at pretty pictures of bouquets. Stick it out! Once you set this you’ll have a solid base for planning your wedding. You’ll know what you can say yes to and when you need to search for lower cost. Starting out with the budget discussion isn’t the most thrilling part of wedding planning, but it makes everything that comes after easier.
- Prioritize – This is where the planning starts to get fun! Think about what you’ve imagined for your wedding. Are there any things you’ve been dreaming about? Make sure you put these to the top of your list! I recommend narrowing in on 3 things you can’t imagine your wedding without. These top priorities are where you focus most of your budget. Maybe it’s your dream venue or a photographer you have to have. It could be a designer dress or incredible food. Once you’ve set must haves reach out to them to check their availability. Venues and vendors will happily share when they’re available if you have your heart set on working with them. This way you never have to sacrifice your wedding dreams if you wait until later to book them!
- Date – When setting a date you want to start by considering if there are any special dates or conflicts you need to consider. If your little sister is graduating college you probably want to look at other weekends. For some people wedding dates mean a lot – it could be a special numerical meaning or your dating anniversary. You should also consider how long you want your engagement to last. Some couples I’ve worked with have gotten engaged and married in less than 6 months! Others have opted for engagements that have lasted almost two years. There’s no right answer – just what works best for you two!
- Venue – This may have come up for you when thinking about a date, but if not it’s time to start thinking about your venue! Northern Virginia has a wide range of venues from vineyards and farms to historic homes and gardens. There are a ton options to choose from! If you date is extremely important to you then maybe you’re picking your venue off who has it available. However, if your venue was one of your top 3 must haves reach out to them ASAP! Some venues can book up more than a year in advance so you should start reaching out as soon as you know where you want your wedding. If you’re unsure now’s the perfect time to start touring. Research places you think have the right vibe and set up appointments with them to visit.
- Guests – Alright so it might seem crazy early to start planning your guest list, but hear me out. The amount of guests you plan on having is going to affect a few other factors. For example– how much you need to budget for food and drinks. Some venues also only host certain size weddings. If you’re dreaming of a wedding bash with 250+ guests you might need to cross of the venues that cater to intimate 75 people weddings. Spend time creating a rough draft of your guest list. Write out the family and friends you have to have there. Be sure to account who might bring a plus one! You can always go back and add in a few extra people later if you find you’ve got more room.
These suggestions above are meant to give you 5 steps you can take right after you get engaged to get organized. The beginning of the wedding planning process always seems like the most overwhelming, but once you get through these 5 (especially #1!) everything gets easier! I’ll be posting more wedding planning blogs in the coming weeks, along with guests articles by some amazing wedding vendors who will give you insights on hiring a wedding planner, florist, makeup artist, and calligrapher. Click here to bookmark where new For Brides blogs will be posted every week. You’ve got this!
P.S. Newly engaged and thinking about wedding photography? Send me a message! I’m currently booking brides for 2019 and I’d love to work with you!
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Welcome to my blog! I'm so glad you're here! I'm a Virginia senior portrait and wedding photographer based out of Loudoun County and the Shenandoah Valley. Take a look around the blog to see the amazing couples and seniors that I get to photograph! Looking forward to getting to know you!