Step 1: Enjoy Being Engaged!
Tell everyone you know, shout it from the roof top & celebrate your engagement! You just said "Yes" to your partner, your best friend, the person you want to make memories with everyday, for the rest of your life! Congratulations, this is such an exciting time for your and your fiance. Bask in the excitement together before diving head first into wedding planning!
Step 2: Get The Big Conversations Out Of The Way First
The biggest, and possibly the hardest, step of wedding planning is figuring out budget, location and wedding size. These three things are the foundation to all of your wedding planning, so they should be figured out before anything else! You and your fiance should be on the same page when it comes to overall budget for your wedding. Be open and be realistic on what you can afford so you DO NOT go into debt with wedding expenses. (You can ask if any family members or close friends will be contributing to your wedding & factor that money into your budget).
Make a list of who you'll be inviting to your wedding so you can figure out an approximate guest count! Your guest count will help determine the cost of your wedding (food & alcohol per person costs) and the size of the venue you'll need to hold all of your guests.
Your ready to set a date and move on to step 3!
Step 3: Vendors & Planning
Phew! At this point, I bet your pretty happy to have the biggest decisions out of the way! Now you and your fiance can move on to the fun stuff like cake tasting! I mean, the fun stuff as in planning all the details and choosing an amazing team of vendors to help bring your wedding vision to life! I recommend booking your venue and photographer first, about 12-18 months prior to your wedding date, as they are two of the most important pieces to your wedding day. From there, research multiple businesses for each vendor category (photographer, venue, dj, coordinator, hair, makeup, videographer etc..) so you can see who will be the best fit for the vision of your wedding! Now you can spend the next few months choosing wedding colors (my personal favorites are different shades of one color OR a color palette variety), important individuals who will be in your wedding party, (don't be afraid to have "bridesman"/"groomswoman" OR no wedding party at all) food & wedding decor (food trucks, booze carts and photo booths are unique to have & fun for your guests)!
Step 4: Its About You And Your Fiance
Now that wedding planning is in full swing, everyone.is.going.to.have.an.opinion (insert hand claps after each word!) on decision making & what your day should look like. (Trust me, its coming!) Don't get me wrong, some of the advice can be helpful, but most of the time its not wanted and can make things awkward. Do you want to know a little secret? It does not matter! Want to know why it doesn't matter? Because it is you and your fiance's day and you two are the only ones who should be considered during decision making! Just smile, say thank you and go about your planning :)
On that note: Your future hubalicious wants to be included in wedding planning! So, be sure to include him because in the end, you'll want your wedding to reflect both of you!
*Separately make a list of your wedding day wants. Exchange your lists and discuss what you can eliminate and/or compromise on.
Step 5: Engagement Photos Are A Must!
Whenever I am asked by couples if they should book engagement photos, my answer is always YES!
A perfect reason to book an gagement session is to document you and your fiance together, in this phase of life you are in, as an engaged couple! An engagement session will also help you and your photographer work out the nerves, get comfortable in front of the camera, and lets you get to know each other before your wedding day! Need another perfect reason for booking an engagement session? Here it is: You can use the photos from your session to send out save-the-date cards to all of your guests! (Etsy is a great place to order custom save-the-dates)