Are you engaged? Well, congratulations!! How exciting! By now you have probably told your engagement story thousands of times and looked at your ring millions more (I
know I did)! Friends and family may have already started asking you all about the pending wedding. When? Where? How many guests?
Now, you may have this sorted and know exactly where you want to get married, what you want to wear and who is coming! If so, well done you. But most likely you may
not have had a chance to think about it all yet! This article highlights the top 10 things to do after you get engaged.
- Celebrate – Tell friends, family (don’t forget those who are abroad) but also celebrate privately just the two
of you. Your engagement season is a very special time, so enjoy it. After this period the next celebration will be your hen and stag do! So, do lap up this engagement season as it can go by so
- Priorities – This is now the time to consider some of those questions that everyone has asked. First,
you and your partner need to discuss the essential things for your wedding that you won’t compromise on. For example, location, type of music, food or perhaps the time of the year you want to get
married, it may take a little while to agree on this! (It did for me and my hubby, 'compromise' was our friend ?). Make sure the two of you are clear on your priorities because EVERYONE will make suggestions, about your wedding. But
please remember a wedding is about the two of you. So, do it your way! Here are some key points to consider
- Big or small
- Indoors or outdoors
- Home or away
- Set a budget – This is the time to have that chat! The how much can we afford to spend conversation?!
It can be an uncomfortable discussion to have, but it's better to get it out of the way now so you have a realistic picture about what you can spend. Now if you are blessed, you may have a
family member or friends who want to contribute towards your wedding. So, do check how much money they are going to contribute, so that you can factor this in. The budget you set aside really depends
on the type of wedding you want and how much you can realistically afford. Another idea is to decide what 3 key things you want to spend more money on. For example, this could be the venue, dress and
your honeymoon or venue, flowers and great food or entertainment. Whatever it is assign more of your budget to these items and then less money to the others. My advice is to always make sure you set
aside money for a photographer as you will want to look back on this special day. Look out for my blog post on more detailed budget tips, coming soon.
- Venue - Decide where first, a location and if you already know a venue. Always check their availability. Some venues can get booked up years in advance! So, if you have your heart set on
getting married at a dream location book in early. Or if not do some research about venues in your chosen area. Find the date/s that work for you and decide whether you want to get married at the
weekend or during the week (which is often cheaper). In the UK, according to Bride book Trend report the most popular months for weddings last year were July, August and September and January was the
least popular. Also, if you are intending to get married abroad try and book this early so that you can give your guests as much notice as
- Guests – Create a rough list of the people you want to invite, so you get an idea of numbers. There
is no point hiring your dream venue and finding out they can only accommodate 60 people when you plan to invite 150! Save yourself the disappointment. Identify those who must come and those who
you would like to be there. Remember that each guest costs money, venues normally charge per head.
- Wedding inspiration – This is the time to start considering what type of wedding you want. Think
about the following
- Your style – is it romantic and candlelit, a beach vibe or formal sit down, glamorous or rustic
- Colour schemes – vibrant colours, pastel tones, or all white
- Fun elements you may want to include.
Keep your budget in mind (as mentioned above) as there is no point falling in love with some elaborate flowers or dress that you can’t
Inspiration is everywhere so don't forget to check out magazines, social media especially Instagram and Pinterest —and don't
limit yourself to the obvious sources. Something as unlikely as a wallpaper pattern or a scene from a favourite movie can spark your creativity. Or if you want some help with this consider my useful
- Marriage guidance- This can often be forgotten amongst the excitement of planning a wedding. But
getting married is a serious thing, you are committing to spend your life with this person. Consider whether it would be useful to have pre-wedding classes. This can be a great way to work through
key things like communication, how to deal with conflict, your families and your plans, where will you spend Christmas! (My hubby and I did this and it was so helpful). Even if your plans change (and
they will), it’s good to know where you both stand. You can arrange this through your church or if you are having a civil ceremony through signing up for pre-wedding counselling. Working through
these details can be challenging but so rewarding and will make you remember what this is all about. A wedding is a day, but marriage is for life!
- Choose your bridal party – For some this is an easy decision, for others it is painstaking, it’s
important to have the conversation early before one of you starts asking friends or family. One key thing to consider is to choose people who will support you throughout the planning. You will spend
time with the wedding party and they are donating their time for free. Keep the budget in mind too as you may want to pay or contribute to the bridal parties’ attire, flowers or even wedding
transport, all this adds up. The sooner you ask the better to ensure that they are available. If you can’t ask all your friends, consider them for other key roles in the day like doing a reading at
your church or civil ceremony.
- Choosing key suppliers – Start to research some of your key suppliers such as a photographer or
florist. With so many talented suppliers around, choosing them can be overwhelming. It is important to book your suppliers as early as possible once you have a venue booked. However, it is just as
crucial finding the suppliers that you are comfortable with, so take the time to locate those that are the right fit for your day. As a wedding planner, I have a range of brilliant suppliers and can
make suggestions for your consideration, for a small fee. Alternatively, also consider local wedding magazines, recommendations from family or friends, or if you have seen their work at another
- Hire a wedding planner – There is a long road ahead and it may feel like ages away, but time will
creep up and the list of to-dos will grow. If you have a demanding job, then hiring someone like me will help. Getting a wedding planner on board early is a great way to save time in the long run
because we can manage the budget, find the venue for you, make suggestions for suppliers for you to consider. I will ensure you are prepared for the entire event and be there with you throughout the
planning and on the day to execute your ideas. Alternatively consider having a wedding planner there on the actual wedding day, to ensure everything runs smoothly. You will need some help throughout
the planning so why not hire a professional as trying to do it all can be overwhelming.
I hope this article provides useful wedding planning advice on the key steps to take after you get engaged. If you need any help with
planning your whole wedding or parts of it, I would be delighted to assist. Planning weddings is my bread and butter and I love it. With my knowledge and experience, I can save you time and help make
your wedding planning seamless. Plus, by having me on board, I can do all the boring bits, which gives you time to focus on the fun stuff. You can find more about my services here. Please do get in touch.