So you're Engaged! Now what?!

So you’re engaged! Woohoo! Mission accomplished...well, almost.  All that’s left now is to plan and pull off a successful wedding. What’s that you say? Not sure where to start? Not to worry because weddings are what I do and I’m here to help. Here are seven things that every bride (or groom!) should have taken care of before they start booking vendors or setting a date.

1. Budget

Sit down with your fiance and work out a budget...not just a number in your head but written out on paper. Not sure where to start? There are many free wedding budget planning worksheets available online. Or, if you hire a Certified Wedding Planner, we can provide you with the tools and assistance you need to create a realistic budget that will allow you to stretch your money as far as possible. It’s important that you have a budget in place before you start booking a venue or vendor to avoid the stress of financial overcommitment.

2. Set a Timeline

So you’ve already been asked at least a 100 times when your wedding date is. It’s always question numero uno once that ring hits your finger. In reality, you won’t be able to set a firm date until major decisions have been made such as booking your venue. Discuss your wedding vision with your partner and narrow down a date range that would works for the both of you.

3. Theme and Location

Before booking any vendors or making any purchases it is important to have a clear vision of the style of wedding you want. Discuss with your fiance what you’re both envisioning for this big day. Is it a small, intimate elopement? How about a big, glamorous wedding with 200 guests? Are you thinking of a hot summer afternoon or a snowy winter evening? Outdoors or indoors? Modern, romantic, vintage, classic, glam or rustic? Pinterest is an amazing tool to consolidate, discuss, and share wedding ideas with your fiance, friends, or the world.

4. Guest List

Create a draft guest list with everyone that you and your fiance want to invite. It’s also helpful asking your parents who they feel they would like to see at the wedding, especially if they’re helping foot the bill. Once you have your guest list compiled you can start ruling people out, like children if you decide to have an adult only wedding or people that neither you have spoken to in years. Having a guest list drafted is extremely important before choosing your venue as you want to ensure you can accommodate everyone.

5. Choose your Wedding Party

Now it’s your turn to ask your besties to be involved in your big day. The earlier you ask them the sooner you can enlist their help and have them involved with the process. Be sure to inform them right away as to their roles and responsibilities in the wedding in order to avoid future surprises. Email is a great tool for communicating with your wedding party; it keeps everyone in the loop and can be referred to later.

6. Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner or Month of Coordinator

Pulling off your dream wedding is possible but don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy! Life is busy and the planning, budgeting and logistics can become incredibly overwhelming. Hiring a WPIC Certified Wedding Planner is the ideal way to make your dream wedding a reality without compromising your health, career, finances or relationship. Remember, when your special day arrives you want to look and feel your best! A Certified Wedding Planner can help you with full wedding planning, month of coordination, or something in between. Need specific or custom services? Don’t be afraid to ask!

7. Book a Venue

Now that you have your budget finalized, picked your wedding style, and have a draft guest list, you’re finally in a position to book your venue! Do your research, read reviews and talk to the event coordinators before putting money down. A Certified Wedding Planner knows the questions to ask and what to watch out for. Should you choose to plan your own wedding, there are a number of free checklists online to help DIY brides pick a suitable venue.