Congratulations on your engagement! Now that you’ve spilled the sweetest details of the proposal to family and friends, you’re ready to face the not-too-romantic reality of engagement: wedding planning.
But don’t worry; you don’t have to do a deep dive yet at this point. Take it one step at a time. The following are the initial things you need to iron out to start the wedding planning on the right foot.
Plot your timeline
Ideally, you want to decide on the date of the wedding early on. But of course, the final date will be largely dependent on the venue you’ll book. So for now, just think of the wedding day as a range, say, on the third week of this or that month.
Consider the season you like, holidays or family events you don’t want to clash with, and of course, the amount of time you need for the planning. Once you plot an estimated date, work backwards.
For instance, six months before the wedding, you should have booked a videographer or a florist already. Just broad strokes of plans would do. Do note, though, that you should have finalized the wedding catering, entertainment, and venue — whether you’re having a destination wedding in Malibu or a formal ceremony in New York — at least a year before your big day.
Set the budget
Money talk should come before all the busyness of wedding planning comes. Sit down with your partner and discuss how much each of you is willing to contribute out of your pockets. From there, talk to your parents.
Ask them politely if they could chip in a specific amount or cover a specific aspect of the wedding, say, the flowers or the catering. It has to be clear to them that they’re giving you this as a gift, not as a loan (you don’t want to start your marriage in debt, do you?).
Combine your couple budget with that of your folks’. This is now the estimated figure that should be in your mind while you consider the wedding details. As you go to that step, evaluate each whether you should splurge or save on them. Consider the number of guests you’re willing to accommodate with your money game plan.
Pick your wedding party
Beyond the numbers, date, and budget, you should also be thinking about the people, particularly the wedding party. The earlier that you invite people to be your bridesmaids and groomsmen, the better because you’ll be able to maximize the help they can give.
Now, there are many ways to inform your friends that they’ll be part of your wedding party. You can send them a special gift, with a “will you be my maid of honor?” card. You can also host an intimate dinner for them, giving a toast in honor of them in the middle of the night.
Just make sure that after the sweet gesture, you talk and lay down expectations for each other. This way, there won’t be missed assumptions or whatnot.
After being on cloud nine on your engagement, it’s time to get down and dirty in the wedding planning. Take this huge task one step at a time with these first to-dos.