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Just got Engaged? Your Ultimate Guide to Navigating the Exciting Journey Ahead!

Congratulations on your engagement! This is undoubtedly one of the most exhilarating moments of your life, here is a quick 5 step guide to lay the foundation of the exciting journey that lies ahead. With the thrill of the proposal still fresh, it's time to channel that energy into some essential action items to kickstart your wedding planning process.

1. Create a Wedding Planning Email:

Communication is key during the wedding planning process and there is A LOT of it. Create a dedicated email address for all wedding-related correspondence. This will help keep everything organized and easily accessible. Plus, it can double as a family email after the wedding, capturing the memories and moments you'll share as a newlywed couple.

Pro Tip: Choose a simple and memorable email address that reflects both of your names or your new family name!

2. Discuss the Priorities:

You and your partner grab a beverage, sit down, and discuss what the priorities and preferences are for the wedding!  Here are a few topics to get you started: 

  • Size of wedding 

  • Do you want a wedding party?

  • Of the various vendors, which are you most inclined to spend more money on? Photographer, Videographer, Florist, Food, Drinks, Decor, etc.

  • When is an ideal time for the wedding? 6 months? 1 year? 1.5 years? Fall? Spring?

  • If you are contributing to or paying for the wedding, keep that in mind for how long you want to contribute to the wedding budget.

3, 4, and 5 can happen in this order or can be rearranged based on your priorities, budget and desired event date/venue. 

3. Discuss Budget:

The budget is a CRITICAL aspect of wedding planning that requires open and honest communication. It’s good practice for marriage! Sit down with your fiancé and family to discuss financial contributions. Understanding your budget early on will shape your choices regarding the venue, guest list, and overall scale of the celebration.

Pro Tip: Allocate a portion of the budget for unexpected expenses – it's always wise to have a buffer.

4. Draft Your Guest List:

Your guest list significantly impacts your budget and choice of venue. Begin by outlining a rough list of guests you'd like to invite. This will give you an estimate of the size of your celebration and help you narrow down potential venues. Keep in mind that the guest list may need adjustments as you progress in your planning, and that is ok! 

Pro Tip: Ask your parents if they are planning to invite anyone - you may be surprised they have their own list!

5. Choose a Venue + Set the Date:

With your budget and guest list in mind, start researching and visiting potential wedding venues. Whether you envision an intimate garden affair or a grand ballroom celebration, finding the perfect venue is a significant milestone. (And once it’s booked, you will feel relief - trust me!) Check for availability, amenities, and catering options to make an informed decision.

Pro Tip: If a certain date is important to you, lead with that question when reaching out about availability. 

Pro Tip 2: Consider an off-season wedding date to help with the budget.

6. Hire Individual Vendors (aka the vendor that can only do 1 event a day):

This could be a photographer, videographer, specific DJ, or band. If you like their work and know you want them for your wedding date - book them! Talented professionals often book up quickly, so don't delay in making this decision. Review entire portfolios (not just the highlight photos), read reviews, and meet with potential candidates to ensure they align with your vision.

We have created a vendor comparison spreadsheet to help you! It is organized by vendors and has prompts to assist when comparing their packages!

7. Select Your Wedding Party:

Choose the friends and family members who will stand by your side as bridesmaids and groomsmen. This decision involves more than just selecting close friends; consider the dynamics within your relationships and how each person will contribute to your special day.

Uncommon opinion: You don’t HAVE to have a wedding party. Many couples are opting to have just 1-2 people on each side or none at all. This makes the morning of the wedding streamlined and less time sitting in chairs for hair and makeup! 

Ultimately it is up to you and your partner - there is no wrong decision

8. Research Wedding Vendors:

Research and reach out to potential wedding vendors such as florists, caterers, and bakers, musicians, hair and makeup stylists, etc. Collect quotes, read reviews, and schedule tastings or consultations. This will help you make informed decisions and ensure you secure the best professionals for your wedding day.

Remember, wedding planning is a collaborative effort that can be enjoyable for both partners - there WILL BE moments where you don’t agree or one of you doesn't have an opinion and that is ok! Welcome to marriage and working through decision-making together!

Also, it’s a marathon - not a sprint. Embrace the journey, make decisions together, and cherish being engaged leading up to your magical day. 

Cheers to the love-filled adventure that awaits you!

If you are looking for more support from a planner for a fraction of the cost of a full-service wedding planner - check out Wedding Blueprint! Your digital wedding planner will assist you in all aspects of wedding planning! And you get access to a pro wedding planner when you join! 

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