Engagements are exciting and overwhelming times. Here are 10 tips on how to navigate the initial stage of your journey towards your big day!
So you just got engaged, congrats! Now take the time to just revel in it, to enjoy it, and just be happy and breathe. Soon enough planning will begin, and there might not be a whole lot of time for reveling. Wedding planning, for most, starts to if not all encompass then mostly encompass your life for the next X amount of months. (See # 5 below about hiring a planner) Take this time to just be in the moment, you'll be glad you did.
2. Insure your engagement ring
Life happens, and if you've spent a good amount of money on a ring (I'd say anything over $1000), I'd protect it against lose. Try a company like Jewelers Mutual, or call your homeowners/rental insurance company to see if it's covered (check $ amount) or how to add a rider if it's not already covered or simply not a high enough dollar amount.
3. Inform your parents
A simple phone call should suffice, just don't let them find out via Facebook at the same time as your kindergarten classmate.
4. Set a date
Whether it's a sentimental date, a certain time of year or just a date that works for both of you, figure this out pretty early on. Try to avoid national holidays. I know people do it, but unless it's like the day you met or something of the sort, give your guests a break on this. If you really like Christmas, have your wedding a couple of days before or after, and do it Christmas themed. Let grandma make her ham on Christmas Day like she does every year.
5. Hire a wedding planner
Whether you want (and can afford) to hire a full planner or just a day-of-coordinator, this will be the best thing (besides your officiant) that I would recommend you put some of your budget aside for. A planner/coordinator can save you so much heart ache and stress (and a lot of time money). Your wedding day should be one of the best days of your life, you don't want to spend it worrying about whether everything is going perfectly. Nor do you want one of your family members to have to miss your wedding because they're trying to make sure everyone is where they're supposed to be. It's the first day of the rest of your life, spend it wisely!
6. Think budget
Be realistic. Now-a-days, most couples do not follow tradition in regards to who pays for the wedding. Most couples end up paying most of the bill. Think of an over all budget, and your planner can help you determine approximately how much should be designated to where.
7. Start envisioning locations/venues
After deciding your date and hiring your planner, the next most important item to decide is your venue. Some venues are booked a year or more in advance. Your dream venue availability could also help you establish your wedding date, if that venue is that important. Usually a deposit is required to hold your wedding date at most venues.
8. Decide your bridal party/attendant members
You don't have to ask them yet, but you should have an idea in your mind who you and your partner would choose. You can also start planning how you would ask them. You might be the simple type who just calls them and asks. Or you could be the type who comes up with a very creative way to ask your attendants. Whichever one you are, start thinking about it.
Start buying magazines (I used to love getting the area specific ones), sign up for updates from The Knot, or start looking at wedding pins on Pinterest to start working through decor ideas to figure out how you'd like your wedding to look
10. Guest Count
Come up with a rough estimate of how many people you think you'll invite to your special day. Just so you have an idea when you start researching venues. If you're planning on inviting 200 people, a venue that only holds 75, no matter how lovely, just won't work for you.