I'm Engaged! ... Where Do I Start?
Congratulations! You said yes! After the initial celebration and announcement to family and friends, you might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the idea of planning a wedding. It's true - there's a lot to think about, but don't freak out! (Or do, it's totally normal.) When you're ready to start considering dates, looking for venues, and trying on white dresses, here are some other planning ideas to keep in mind.
Save the Date
When choosing a date for your wedding, you'll want to consider the local weather and events. If you plan on having any part of the wedding outdoors, always have a back up plan in case of scorching temperatures or freezing rain! Keep in mind that until you have a venue and date set, you won't be able to book other vendors.
If you find a vendor you really love, inquire right away! Especially if your wedding is less than six months out, you want to ensure their availability as soon as possible.
Many brides are choosing to capture the “first look” with their dad or other close family. In addition, first looks with your significant other before the ceremony are becoming popular. Even though you might initially be turned off to the idea, there are a lot of benefits to a first look. The reveal makes for incredible photos and video, and gets the photography of the bridal party out of the way before the ceremony so you can jump right into your cocktail hour and spend time with your guests. It’s also a great way to calm your nerves, being able to spend a moment with your almost-spouse. Brides say it absolutely doesn’t take away from that special moment you come down the aisle - instead, it’s complimentary to it.
Think about if you'd like to say traditional vows, write your own, or a combination of the two. You can also choose to repeat after the officiant, or read them on your own. Make sure your venue and officiant are both on board with your decision.
Will you have a bouquet and/or garter toss? Cake cutting? Dances for dad & daughter and mother & son? Speeches from the bridal party, or any family members? Will you have a special send-off at the end of the night, like bubbles or sparklers?
If you plan to have a traditional multi-course dinner at your reception, consider your options with sit-down service, buffet style, or stations around the room. You may also want to take into consideration food allergies or preferences of your guests when putting together your menu.
If you feel like there's just too much to do on your own, consider hiring a wedding coordinator. They are your one stop shop for brainstorming, planning, and execution. If a full wedding coordinator isn't in your budget, you can also hire a day-of coordinator just to make sure things run smoothly on the actual wedding day.
This Is Your Day
Despite everyone's best efforts to offer their input, this day is for you and your fiancé. Make sure you put your own preferences above all else, and remember what you're actually celebrating - your marriage!