Congratulations! You’re engaged! Getting that shiny ring on your finger is an exciting moment but can also lead to an overwhelming feeling of “Where do I even start with planning the big day?” Well fear not, we’ve put together the top 10 things to start thinking about when beginning your wedding planning journey.
1. Get Your Ring Sized and Insured
One of the first things people will ask once you tell them the big news is “Let me see the ring!” You want to make sure the ring fits properly on your finger when showing it off (and so you don’t lose it!) Getting it insured right away will also give you peace of mind in case anything were to ever happen to it. You can get jewelry insurance or you could inquire about adding the ring onto your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
2. Plan a Special Date Night (And Don’t Talk Wedding Details)
Planning a wedding can be stressful and crazy but being engaged is an amazing period in your life that you won’t have again and it should be celebrated. Try not to start planning for the first week or two after you get engaged and plan a night out with your fiancé to enjoy the engagement with each other before the wedding whirl ensues.
3. Collect Ideas and Inspiration and Create a Binder or Pinterest Board
Start thinking big picture about what type of style you want your wedding to be. Get ideas from bridal magazines, engagement sites, and the endless bounty of inspiration Pinterest offers. Collecting ideas that you like will help you start shaping a vision for your big day. It also makes it easier to show others who are helping with the planning to see what look you’re going for.
4. Set a Budget and Start a Wedding Savings Account
Even simple, smaller weddings can add up quickly so it’s good to set a budget early on and create a savings account specifically for the wedding. That way you can deposit a set amount of money from every paycheck and won’t have to rely on putting so many wedding expenses on credit cards and risking major debt. You can set up an account through your bank or even online with sites like ally.com or etrade.com for higher interest accounts. If your parents or anyone else will be contributing, it’s a great idea to sit down and discuss the budget and expectations with them before you begin planning.
5. Draft a Guest List
Start creating a preliminary list on both sides of who you want at the wedding and be sure to ask both sets of parents who should be invited as well. Create the guest list into tiers of top priority vs. lower priority so that it will be easier to edit and make cuts later on. Creating a rough draft of the guest list can also help determine the budget and venue size you will need.
6. Start Looking Into Hiring a Wedding Planner and Venues/Vendors
The venue is arguably the most important aspect of wedding planning. It not only determines your wedding date, it also sets the tone for what type of wedding it will be (casual vs. black tie), guest size, and in some cases the other vendors (some venues have a list of the vendors you must choose from). Venues can book up a year or two in advance so if there’s a location you have your heart set on, it’s ideal to contact them as soon as possible. The same applies to photographers, videographers, florists, etc. Hiring a wedding planner can help with booking the venue and vendors and they also have insight into which vendors would be best suited for your wedding.
7. Create A Wedding Website
Starting a wedding website is a fun, creative way to keep everyone up to date of the wedding details, gift registries, and your “how we met” story. It’s fine to just have a few things posted at first and add on as you nail down more details later. Feel free to share the website link in an email to close family and friends who would be interested in checking it out. It’s also nice to include the website on your Save-The-Dates if you choose to send those out.
8. Register For Gifts Early
Shortly after you get engaged, the engagement parties and celebrations will start. While many will wait until the bridal shower or wedding to give you a gift, some will ask right away. Start creating a wedding registry and have at least a few options on there for those who are asking up front. Just be sure not to include registry information on preliminary party invitations until the actual bridal shower so you don’t look presumptuous.
9. Choose Your Wedding Party
The earlier you ask those closest to you to be in your wedding party, the sooner they can help you with the planning. Those involved will be spending their time and money to help make your day extra special so be considerate by letting them know the details well in advance and let them know how much you appreciate them. There are a lot of creative ways to ask someone to be a bridesmaid or groomsman. Do a simple search on Google or Pinterest for some fun ideas.
10. Relax And Enjoy the Moment
You are sure to be incredibly busy with all of the planning you need to do, but this is such an exciting time in your life. Make sure you take little moments out to relax, get a massage, get a manicure, and do the things you love to enjoy this exciting journey you’re embarking on with your best friend.