You’re engaged! Congratulations, darling! But wait, is that the sound of your brain gears leaping into action to start planning the whole wedding RIGHT NOW?
Hold the phone, pal. We know you have a lot to do (and that’s an understatement) and it may seem completely overwhelming.
Keep it simple and follow our five steps to start planning your wedding, including taking the time to celebrate this wonderful news.
Getting the first building blocks down will help break a lot of the other work out into smaller, more manageable bites. You got this, superstar.
All work and no play makes for sad fiancees (it kinda rhymes…just roll with it). We know you want to jump on the planning and knock it outta the park, but how about celebrating this moment in your life first?
Take some time with just you and your love (or loop in your family and friends, if you want). Whatever feels like celebrating this big moment in your life–do that! You and this person just decided to go on a big adventure together, and that moment is worth savoring while it’s fresh and before you’ve made spreadsheets.
So take your time, some deep breaths, and enjoy each other and this milestone before all the other stuff piles up. Champagne toast, anyone?
You’ve already shared your news with your nearest and dearest, and now it’s time to have the bigger talks. Sit down with your newly minted fiancee (preferably over a glass of wine or a good meal) and talk about what your top priorities are for a wedding. This is a great time to have an exploratory conversation about what you both really want for this celebration.
Once you’re on the same page, call your folks, if applicable, or other close people who may be intimately involved with helping you throw the party. While holding your priorities close, ask them what is important to them and what they would like to contribute.
Communication is key for making sure that planning goes smoothly and your loved ones feel honored and included.
You have the details from the key players, now it’s time for some number crunching. What do you have saved that you can contribute? Is a family member contributing to your soiree?
Once you have a solid number, look up some sample wedding budgets for inspiration. See how other couples put it together for the same amount you have or less. There are also free budget spreadsheets you can use to take your overall budget and break it into industry standard percentages for different event categories.
Setting a date is almost as important as getting that budget in line: it determines a good deal about the wedding, including how much time you have to get your budget together and what kind of venues will be available. Remember to chat with your SO about what season they would like, and choose a date that works for both of you and your families.
You may want to take pains to avoid family birthdays/anniversaries or you may wish to integrate them into your celebration. Be mindful of your desires and what’s realistic. When you have a date, then it’s time to….
Go get your people for an engagement party! You know the ones–your true blues. Give them the date as soon as you have it so you can make sure the most important people can be at the ceremony with you.
Approach them individually about being a part of your celebration. After all, they were probably with you before your fiance was even around. Don’t they deserve a bit of a proposal too?
If there are other parts of your wedding you’d like them to be a part of, this is a good time to discuss this as well (for example, if you want your bestie to sing a ditty at the reception).
When you’re done, treat yourself to some chocolate or something because honey, YOU DID IT.