If you are reading this post then I think it is safe to assume that you are rocking a gorgeous new sparkly ring on your left hand, and if that is the case, CONGRATU-FREAKING-LATIONS!!!!! SO exciting!!!
Ring. Check. Love of your life. Check. Planning the wedding. What the actual eff?!
First things first, TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Enjoy these special newly-engaged moments. This is going to be the last time ((hopefully)) that you get engaged and you won’t be able to experience the excitement and butterflies ever again. My advice? Take a mini-vacation, visit that restaurant that is 3 hours away that you both have been wanting to try, check something off your bucket list. Once the wedding planning wheels have started rolling, there is no stopping them. If, though, you are feeling like those butterflies are making you want to throw up, then maybe it is time to set the wedding planning train in motion. Planning the wedding can be as stressful or stress-free as you make it, but just understand the majority of your free time will be dedicated towards some aspect of the wedding. And then the same thing with kids (if you decide to go down that road).
To keep your head from spinning like that chick in the Exorcist, we are keeping your initial wedding planning "to-do" list as simple as possible. When you are ready to hit the ground running, there are two major steps to take to get the ball rolling:
2 MUST DO THINGS TO DO AFTER GETTING ENGAGED
1. Wedding Budget. THIS. IS. KEY. Figure out what your wedding style will be with the help of our handy style guide and go with it. Once you start reaching out to vendors and are all like, “Hey!! I am getting married!!!!!!!” they are going to only hear $$$$$ signs. Not everyone has the budget for a wedding that is comparable to a mortgage, so you need to figure out what works for you as a couple. Are you paying for the wedding yourselves? Who else is contributing? How much? Vendors in the cities are going to charge more than vendors in rural America. With the average cost of a wedding being between $20,000 - $35,000 depending on the region of the country you live in, you need to know what you have to work with in the money department before you start booking the Four Seasons. Also a word to the wise, if you are a budget-conscious bride, consider getting married in an off-season (November - May). Prime season for most vendors is from June until the end of October.
2. Choosing Your Venue. Everything else pertaining to planning the big day hinges upon finding your venue and selected your wedding date, so don’t bother doing anything else before you get this squared away. Also, be flexible with your date! If you know you want to get married in the fall, be open to what your venue has available. Less stress, less heartache. You will find that you can cut major costs if you choose to get married on a Friday or Sunday (that ISN’T on a holiday weekend).
Once you have checked these two things off your wedding to-do list, then you can start planning the fun stuff!