Congrats! You are engaged! Now what? What comes first when it comes to planning your cherished event? Here are 7 Early Steps!

  1. Enjoy the moment! Take some time, just the two of you, to relish in your love and this momentous step you are preparing to take together. Share your news with family and friends and allow some time for celebration before you jump into the wedding planning process. It will go fast, try to soak in these early moments.
  2. Imagine your special day! Start thinking about what elements and moments come to mind when you think of your wedding day. A great way to get all of your ideas in one spot is to create a vision board or a Pinterest board. This is a great time to start working with a wedding planner or coordinator – especially if the idea of building your event on your own experience and knowledge alone seems like too daunting of a task. Even if full service planning isn’t in the budget, an early meeting with your day of coordinator can go a long way in giving you more focus in the early planning phase.

3. Set your budget! Aside from taking those very first steps in planning, many couples may argue that the discussions surrounding  funding of the wedding can be a difficult aspect that can lead to confusion and frustration. This is a great time to utilize wedding budgeting apps and forms and again, working with an experienced planner or coordinator can help alleviate a lot of otherwise unexpected costs that would sneak up on you at the end!

4. Choose a Venue & Set the Date! The venue booking is a huge step in any event! It’s important to try to leave your preferred wedding date fluid until you’ve found your dream venue. Keep in mind, the earlier you shop for your venue – the more likely they are to have your requested date available! Once you know what your overall look is for your wedding, search venues in your desired location and if you can, visit their open house to see the venue in person. If virtual is the only option, arrange a meeting or virtual tour with a venue contact prior to placing your deposit. Although tedious, be sure to review the venue contract in it’s entirety as there can be hidden charges as well as unique rules and restrictions that you will be expected to follow and abide by during your event. 

5. Send Save the Dates! I’m sure by this point, in this virtual world most couples will have announced their upcoming nuptials on one social media platform or another. Taking engagement photos and sending a personalized Save the Date card is a nice way to make it official for your intended guests. If you anticipate many out of town/state/country guests, I would send these out at least 6 months prior to your wedding date to give them plenty of opportunity to explore travel and lodging accommodations. Tip: Most wedding photography packages include an engagement session. Start looking for and book your photographer early!

6.  Choose your I Do squad and your Wedding Vendor Team! Maybe you knew who you wanted standing by you the moment the engagement ring was on your finger. Or maybe it’s taken many lists and debates to narrow down those select few. Either way, now is a good time to formally honor your bridesmaids and groomsmen if you’re going the traditional route of a bridal party. During this stage, you should be going down your list of vendors needed and hiring those businesses for your wedding day. Some of those vendors are your catering, DJ, bartenders, officiant and more a photobooth, videographer or any other vendors are in your vision. 

7.  Have fun! This may sound cliche but I’ve seen so many brides worry themselves sick or be overly concerned with others opinions during the planning process. It can add so much added stress during what should be a beautiful time for you and your partner. Staying organized is a great way to keep stress down. If staying organized isn’t your strong suit, or the idea of completing any of the steps above are already overwhelming, do you and your future spouse the best gift and hire a wedding coordinator. If the time spent with your coordinator isn’t enough, most coordinators, like myself, offer the option of adding to our day of packages to offer more services to take things off of your plate, if needed. 

Photography by Life n Light Photography