Now that you are engaged, the wedding planning will begin. There are lots of things to think about...the wedding dress, the bridesmaids dresses, the wedding invitations, etc., etc. It all seems completely overwhelming! Whether you choose to take on the task of wedding planning on your own or hire a wedding planner, there are a few things you want to do to get started.
Start a wedding binder. Browse through wedding magazines and on the internet to find gowns, invitations, decor, etc. that you like. Clip out the pictures and add them to your binder. Use these as inspiration for your own special day.
Budget. Determine what your budget will be and where the funds are coming from. Will you and your fiance be financing the wedding? Will either of your parents be helping? These are all very important things to consider when determining what your budget is.
Choose your wedding party. The moment you announce your engagement your friends will begin to wonder if they will be included in your wedding. The type of wedding you choose (very large and grand or small and intimate) will help determine how many people to include in your wedding party. This can be tricky, so think it through carefully.
Start your guest list. If finances are a concern, the best way to cut costs is to keep your guest list low. Start with your close family and most treasured friends. Move on from that point as your budget allows.
Hire a wedding planner if you have chosen that route. A professional wedding planner has relationships with many vendors. If you think planning your wedding will be more stress than fun, you may want to consider using a professional planner. Although it may seem to be just one additional cost associated with your wedding, the planner may actually save you some money because of their relationship and contracted fees with local vendors.
Reserve your date and your venue. This needs to be done as soon as possible; especially if you choose a date that is very popular. You don't want to have your heart set on a specific date just to find there is nowhere to actually hold the wedding.
Book your officiant. Again, very important to do this relatively early if your wedding will be held at a popular time of the year. You don't want to have your wedding all set up and no one to marry you!
Check out photographers, caterers, florists, bands or DJ's. If have chosen to hire a wedding planner this will be done in conjunction with your planner. The wedding planner will have many different vendors for you to choose from. If you are not using the services of a planner, be sure to keep contact information and other important information about each vendor in your wedding binder.
If you desire, now is the time to have an engagement party. This will make your engagement "official" to all the friends and family that have not already heard the wonderful news.
When planning your wedding, a wedding checklist should be used to make sure all important elements are included. This will be in your wedding binder. Many good planning checklists can be found online.
If you think you might do the wedding planning yourself, check out the YouTube video below for some helpful hints.