Now that the holidays are past us, our social media newsfeeds are filling up with diamond rings, happy couples, and insanely sweet stories about how the proposal happened. It’s really the most wonderful time of the year 🙂 But you’re reading this and thinking, “Wait a second, that’s me! I got engaged!” to which I say, first and foremost, congrats to you!! But now what?! That wedding isn’t going to plan itself, and so many brides see the daunting task ahead of them, and just don’t know where to start! So where DO you start?
Before you begin, you should definitely consider hiring a wedding planner. They can help guide you through the whole process and help you in getting things done. For those of you getting down in the planning trenches and knocking it out of the park yourself, I commend you! I planned my own wedding that way, and let me tell you, it’s hard work, but so rewarding when it all comes together! There are also tons of recourses online, including TheKnot.com which is always filled to the brim with helpful planning tips.
As for what I recommend, there are two tips that I recommend before doing anything else (setting your date first should go without saying 🙂 ! First, I highly recommend setting your budget! Not only will setting your overall wedding budget help keep you in line while planning but if you also set budgets for each individual vendor, you won’t waste your time blindly searching. Secondly, it’s super important to select the vendors that book up quickly (i.e. venue, photographer, wedding planner, videographer, caterer, and florist) at least 12 months out from your date to ensure you are able to snag the vendors you absolutely love! Many of these vendors, especially photographers, book dates well over a year, sometimes two, in advance. If you’ve absolutely fallen in love with the work of a specific vendor, don’t hesitate to contact them! Once those vendors are booked, it’s much easier to relax and think about the little details to follow. Around 8-10 months out, you’ll also want to think about scheduling your engagement session with your photographer so that your save-the-dates can be sent out in time!
Don’t let the time ahead of you make you stress. Enlist the help of your tribe (your fiance, your maid-of-honor, your momma, or a few friends you trust, especially those that have planned their own weddings) and write things down as you do them! I’m a big lover of paperwork and binders, so keep checklists, inspiration, vendor contact info, etc. all in one place. If you ever feel like the stress is becoming too much, schedule a date night with your fiance and just forget about all the planning for one night. Have a glass of wine together, talk about your day, and remember what the finish line was all about: a beautiful marriage with the person in front of you. This a very short season in your life, but one that should be enjoyed, because, let’s face it, saying “fiance” is sooooo fun. Soak up every second, because the big day that you spend months planning will be here before you know it! XO