Getting engaged is one of the most exciting days of your life! But for many of us it is quickly followed by lots of questions. When is the wedding? What kind of dress will you get? Do you know what colors you'll use?
This can cause some serious anxiety. Yes, most of us have dreamed of our wedding our entire lives, but when it is staring at you head on we might not know where to start.
As a wedding photographer I have had more experience than most when it comes to wedding. However, when I got engaged in July I felt like I had no idea where to start. Now that I am nose deep in the planning process I want to take a moment to share some tips on how to get started!
1. Take a Breath
My biggest piece of advise is to not jump right in the day after you get engaged. You're entire engagement will be filled with planning and meetings so take a week or two and just enjoy the newly engaged bliss!
This could also be a great time to start talking with your fiancé about some surface level planning. Like the season you would both prefer or the color scheme. Nothing too in detail though just yet!
2. Create a Guest List
This is the perfect place to start the actual planning process! Before you can really start planning anything it is important to know how many guests you want to have. It is important to note that the more people you invite the more expensive your venue and catering tend to be.
Personally, I started by creating a shared Google Sheets document that both myself and my fiancé had access to. In this document we began a list of the people we would absolutely want at our wedding. We also used color coding to group couples and families in this list. To expand on the list we added a column for their address, their relationship to us and whether or not we had already given them a save the date.
This excel sheet has quickly become the backbone of all of our wedding planning. We went on to create a budget per vendor table and later wrote our actual costs and how much we had paid so far. It is super helpful to have a central place to go and look at where you are in the planning and spending process!
3. Choose a Venue
The next step is to secure a date, in order to do that you need a venue! Find 5 venues you absolutely love and ask for their availability (especially if you have a certain month in mind) and then schedule tours!
Once you have a venue you will be able to start inquiring with other vendors and let them know what your date is so they can make sure they are available. One thing to note, if you have a vendor you ABSOLUTELY want, let's say a photographer, you can reach out to them first and ask what dates they have available before locking in on a venue. This is a great option if you aren't totally sold on having a certain venue but would rather prioritize something else.
From this point the real fun is about to start! All the little details. Don't be afraid to ask for help and lean on your bridal party because I guarantee they want to help in any way they can.
Helping my brides plan their weddings beyond just photography has become something I really enjoy. If you ever have any questions about the planning process feel free to reach out. I also recommend heading over to the Bride Tools section of this site and checking out the Vendor Catalog for some other suggestions on vendors to book after the venue!