So, You're Engaged. Now what?

OMG! You're engaged -- absolutely celebrate it is such an amazing time in your life. Once you have let it sink in, it's time to get to work. There are a lot of things to discuss with your partner when planning a wedding. Do you want a big wedding? Small wedding? Budget? Guest count? Theme? Long engagement or short engagement? And the list goes on and on! I am here to help you navigate this big checklist of things to check off when planning a wedding, and this blog is here to help you fall back on something to double check when you are unsure where to go next.

I would say the best advice I can give you for wedding planning is, once you set a budget and start looking at vendors. Make sure that you are inquiring with vendors that are in your budget. If they don't put their pricing on their website, move on. You want vendors that you transparent with you, and list out what is included and their pricing. At least a basic starting price. I'd also make sure the the vendor is a reputable source -- do they have reviews? Just to make sure that you don't end up getting screwed out of money because of a scam or a person that is unprofessional.

Picking A Venue

Once you set a budget and figured out if you are wanting to have a micro wedding or a big grand wedding it is time to start touring venues. There are a million venues out there, but only one that is perfect for you and your fiancé. I recommend narrowing down venues by price, what they offer, the ceremony spaces available, the overall aesthetic of the venue (is it your style or not) and then I would pick your top 10 favorite venues.

Once you have narrowed it down to top 10, this is where you need to be very critical with your decision. If you are bad at making decisions include a very trusted family member or friend to help you with the deciding process. Eliminate 5 venues, base it upon what you get for the money, is it an inclusive venue or are there extra fees that you would have to pay, are the venue owners nice and professional, does the venue have reviews, does the venue offer a back-up plan just in case it rains on your wedding day (and if so, is the indoor option a place where you would want to get married), does it have a place to get ready for both you and your fiancé.

Once you have your top 5 then I would start touring your favorites. Touring is so important. It lets you see the ceremony spaces, getting ready spaces, meet the owners and staff, and let's you see the property for the venue and any potential photo spots.

This is where it gets hard. Once you have toured come to an ending decision about what venue is perfect for you. And honestly, when you know you know. If you feel like a venue isn't for you don't go with it. If you get an instant feeling that "this is the venue" moment then you know that you have found the one.

Once you decided on a venue, pick and set a date. And BOOM! You are on the right track of wedding planning and are ready to continue the wedding planning process.

Wedding Planning Timeline & Checklist

First Month Engaged:

  • Set wedding budget

  • Start guest list

  • Decide wedding colors

  • Start venue search

Second Month Engaged:

  • Narrow venue search

  • Start tracking your wedding budget

  • Schedule venue tours

Third Month Engaged:

  • Book your venue

  • Create your wedding website

  • Hire a wedding planning (if you are wanting one)

  • Go dress shopping

Fourth Month Engaged:

  • Start creating save-the-dates

  • Block out hotel rooms for out of town guests

  • Start searching for photographers

  • Start searching for caterers

  • Choose your wedding party

  • Schedule consultation calls with photographers

  • Finalize guest list

Fifth Month Engaged:

  • Order save-the-dates

  • Schedule alterations for dress

  • Book your photographer

  • Book your caterers

  • Schedule engagement photos

  • Create registry or cash fund

Sixth Month Engaged:

  • Send your save-the-dates (typically 8-10 months before your wedding day)

  • Buy your wedding attire

  • Have your partner buy their attire

  • Research florists

  • Research bands and Djs

  • Schedule a call with florists

  • Research cake bakers

  • Research officiants

  • Schedule a call with bands and Djs

Seventh Month Engaged:

  • Book your florist

  • Decide on bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages

  • Research videographers

  • Schedule a call or meeting with cake bakers

  • Book your band or DJ

  • Schedule a call or meeting with officiants

  • Schedule a consultation call with videographers

  • Think about potential honeymoon options

  • Book your cake baker

  • Book your videographer

  • Research ceremony music

Eighth Month Engaged:

  • Book a wedding day coordinator (unless you already have a wedding planner)

  • Choose wedding party attire

  • Meet with wedding day coordinator/planner

Ninth Month Engaged:

  • Order rentals

  • Book honeymoon travels

  • Research hair and makeup artists

  • Schedule a trail with hair and makeup artists

  • Book your officiant

  • Book your hair and makeup artist

Tenth Month Engaged:

  • Mail your invites

  • Buy wedding favors

  • Plan your big exit

  • Buy all ceremony extras

  • Add RSVP to website

Eleventh Month Engaged:

  • Make honeymoon packing list

  • Get your marriage license

  • Finalize ceremony readings

  • Finalize cake/dessert menu and quantity

  • Finalize catering menu

  • Buy gifts for wedding party and parents

One Year Engaged:

  • Create seating chart for reception

  • Send reminders to RSVP

  • Finalize ceremony outline

  • Buy or make a day-of emergency kit

  • Pack for honeymoon

  • Prepare your vows/toasts

  • Finalize the song list for your reception

Wedding Month:

  • Confirm payments with vendors

  • Confirm details with wedding party

  • Finish the seating chart

  • Provide guest count to reception venue and caterer

  • Relax...!!

  • Get married!