Don't know where to start? Well, we got you covered!
First off, CONGRATS! This is such an exciting time in life and should be a time of celebration, not stress! You've seen the movies and heard horror stories of wedding planning gone wrong, but in reality you can make it fun and memorable. I won’t lie, by the end of my wedding planning, I just wanted to be done thinking about it and just be married already. I think that’s normal but we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help get you started.
The most important thing to do after you get engaged is not to quickly find a venue or lock in a photographer. Yes, these are important but the most important thing to do is soak it in! Look at your ring every 10 seconds and smile. Refer to one another as fiancé and giggle at the fact that you just called them your fiancé. Tell one another 100 times a day, “I can’t believe I get to marry you!” Take time together and just embrace it. There will be plenty of time to plan your big day! At some point during this celebration, you’d have at least told your family and close friends! Let them shower you with all the 'future Mrs.' and 'does this ring make me look engaged' gifts and social media shout-outs congratulating you.
Alright, it's time to talk about the B word - budget. Setting a realistic budget will help hold you accountable throughout the process. Talk to your fiancé, parents, grandparents, whoever will be helping with costs to get exact numbers they're willing to contribute. If you're the one doing most of the planning, chances are your counterpart is not fully aware of the costs that go into your big day so try to keep them informed and up to date with where you're at with the budget. I can assure you, this will keep the peace and ensure there are no financial surprises for them. If you are one of the lucky ones to not have worry about a budget, get it girl. If you're like the vast majority of brides who have a budget, don't fret. There are definitely ways you can cut costs and still have an amazing and memorable wedding but having a budget will set the pace for planning.
The next order of business is determining when OR where you want to tie the knot. I say 'when or where' because either you're set on a date or you're set on a location. You might face obstacles if you are set on both so try to be open minded! There are a few things to consider with the when - summer and fall are the busiest seasons for weddings so consider a Friday or Sunday (if you can). Most venues have more
Friday's and Sunday's available than Saturday's, at a lower rate even! Do what is best for you and your budget! Trust me, your guests will be more than willing to take a day off work to attend a Friday or Sunday wedding. If you're focusing on the perfect venue and are open to a date, just
communicate with the venue and ask about "off season" dates. This may broaden your options! Everyone will be inputting their opinions as to when a convenient time is for them and their schedule but this is your wedding! Set all opinions aside and you two, as a couple, make that decision.
Once you have set a budget, set a date, and picked a venue, it's time to lock in other vendors. Something Daniel's Vineyard always appreciates seeing is hiring local vendors. We are a family-owned vineyard and always encourage supporting small, local businesses. When shopping around for vendors, always ask around on social media to see if anyone has any recommendations. It's more than likely you know someone who knows someone who knows someone - use your connections! And remember, when asked if you want a food and cake tasting, the answer is always YES! Take advantage of all the free perks you get as an engaged couple. Even if they are not free, do it anyway. Consider it a date night. Oh, and while we're on the topic of date nights, stay consistent with them. It's easy to go through your engagement and be so focused on planning that you stop dating one another. It's important to still take time for yourselves, and when you do, skip the wedding planning talk. You talk about that all the time already!
I'm sure by now you've Pinterest'd all your wedding decor inspo, which is perfect! Now you need to decide, 'do I want to take the time to do DIY decorations or buy them new?' I love the DIY option personally because you can totally make an event out of it. Get your besties together, pour the wine, and craft away! This is also one of the ways you can cut costs. If you're more on a time crunch, you might want to consider saving the little time you have and skip the DIY route. In the end, time is money so do what's best for you.
Now that mostly everything is settled upon, you'll have all the minor details to focus on! This is where most brides start to stress out because the little details are what you think people will remember. I can assure you, they are not. Yes, we all love the detail photos and the aesthetic but you don't have to make it stressful. If you're having trouble deciding on this fork or that one, let your fiancé decide. Make them feel like they're contributing to planning. We all know you have not let them make a decision thus far other than picking new grilling utensils or bath towels for your registry. It'll be good for them, I promise.
Well girls, that about covers the basics! I hope you find this helpful and may your planning be filled with cake tastings, wine nights, and no stress! Cheers!