Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You're Engaged!!! Now what...?

First, allow me to say CONGRATULATIONS!!!  It is so exciting to be newly engaged! And I read somewhere that 60% of American proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day. So a heartfelt welcome and congratulations to all of the newly engaged. :) Hold on to your seats - you're in for an adventure!

So the question has been popped, the ring is fitted and the news is being spread. What's the first thing you do when it comes to wedding planning? Find the perfect dress? Decide on the exact date? You're ready to get this ball rolling! Here's my advice for stress-free wedding planning, step by step:

  1. Enjoy this moment. Take a deep breath to just live in the "I'm engaged!" excitement. Don't let the pressure of wedding planning hit just yet. Enjoy the bliss, then start tackling the many decisions you'll need to make.
  2. Where will your wedding be? Talk with your fiance (*squee!!* fiance!) about where in the world you want to host the celebration of your upcoming lifelong marriage. Austin? Houston? Turks and Caicos? Disney World? We've done it all. :)
  3. Figure out a rough budget. Mainly, who's contributing what? It's a tough talk to have, but things are so much smoother once everyone is on the same page.
  4. Hire your wedding coordinator. Before you pick your venue or select a date or assign dollar amounts to each item in your wedding budget, be sure to hire your wedding planner. Don't try to go this on your own - you've never done this before. You need an expert on your side, keeping you well-advised, and the wedding planning process manageable. 
  5. Once hired, your wedding planner will help you create your detailed budget.
  6. After your budget is established, you're ready to look for your venue. It's good to have a general idea of when you'd like to get married, but avoid setting your heart on a specific date. There are few things more frustrating than to find the perfect venue for your wedding only to then find out that they no longer have your date available.
  7. Budget and venue done, you now have your date! From here, your wedding coordinator will guide you through the selection of each vendor, starting with caterer (if needed) and then photographer. You also get to do the fun stuff like dresses and showers.
  8. As you continue planning, remember the point of all of this time and money - you're planning an amazing celebration where the people who mean the most to you will get to witness and celebrate the beginning of your marriage. You have something to celebrate, don't let it become something you dread. Much joy to you. :)
Happy planning!

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