So, he really liked it, and put a ring on it! What to do next?
Besides post a shining pic of the rock on your facebook and informing all your nearest and dearest, you can start by setting a date! Most well thought out weddings are planned 12 months or more in advance. Okay, so having a well rounded Pinterest board helps, but you also need to search out a venue and reserve your date. You'll need plenty of time to try on dresses, and taste cakes, and review all the details. Hiring a great wedding planner will help because they will be able to handle all of the daunting tasks. The point is, it can get overwhelming, so I'm offering you some baby steps and down-right truthful advice.
1. Set a Date and Location.
Consider the season, the weather, whether travel is involved, and potential conflicts. I included location because if you are like me and my husband, our families live across the US. We decided upon Las Vegas because it was mutual and we wanted both families to have the same opportunity to attend. We chose early January because most people have a holiday from work and school and would be more likely to attend. Some people want to marry on their anniversary, or others for the irony of the date, such as 7-7-7. You may have dreamed of being married on the beach, so you'll need to pick a time with warm weather. If you are set on having your favorite flower throughout, check to see if it's in season.
2. Set a Budget.
It's easy to ignore the budget and just wing it, but I promise you will want to do this from the jump. Maybe you'll find that you need more than 12 months to save up. Most venues and vendors require a deposit up front, so there will be expenses early on as well. Whether you revise your budget down the road or not is another story. Regardless, it will be a great tool to use in allocating expenses and to negotiate prices. So, be reasonable and honest, and use all the information available to set it. It will help you select your venue, your cake, your entertainment, your favors, your decor, and so much more. When you get to this step it's a great time to contact a wedding coordinator, such as DPL Event Design. Why? Because we offer a free consultation where you will sit down one on one with a coordinator to discuss your dream wedding. Your coordinator will put together a comprehensive package incorporating all feasible ideas within your budget for you to review. You can make changes to this package up to 3 weeks prior to your event. Your event planner will offer money saving options to you and take a huge load off of you by setting up your appointments and doing your research for you.
3. Announce your engagement.
Some people choose to skip the formal engagement party, but I find it a great way to round up the troops. I once attended one for a couple who rented out a dance hall and asked that each person bring a bottle of liquor as admission to be used at their BYOB wedding venue. You may have access to a pool, a beautiful backyard, a private room, etc. Make it personal to you and your fiance and within your budget. Again, a great wedding planner will deliver a bang for your buck and work to get as many of your "wants" incorporated within your budget.
4. Schedule Engagement Photos.
These are great to send out with your save the dates and invitations. These are also great to frame for showers and your wedding day. If you are local to DFW I would recommend the following: Fountain Designs, Teshorn Jackson Photography, Cinnamon Dreams Photography, Keith Evans Photography. These are vendors I know whom are professional and deliver good quality.
5. Select your Bridal Party.
These will be your go-to people. You want to pick those which are dependable and just as excited about your wedding as you are. Don't think just because your fiance has a huge family or has a ton of college frat brothers and will have 7 on their side, that you have to have as many. It's about quality, not quantity, in my opinion. Weddings are stressful enough. Planning is a journey, and the wedding day is when it comes to fruition. Make that experience a pleasant one by building a team of people who will be there for you.
6. Pick your Colors and Theme.
There are a ton of great ideas out there. Pick one that you and your fiance agree upon. Find a theme that you can do fun things with. One that reflects your personality. One where you can incorporate your best memories together. You can pick any theme out there, as long as you stick with it throughout. Again, a wedding designer has a trained eye and will help you as you plan. You may be tempted to incorporate feathers, diamonds, pearls, rustic, etc., but always revert back to your theme. Afterall, a theme is unifying idea, per dictionary.com.
7. Start Planning.
What? You thought we already had? Well, kind of. You have a map now. Now that we've discussed the basics, it's time to understand the process of a wedding and all the details that go along with it: the etiquette and the tradition. If you're reading this, it's probably because you've never planned a wedding before, and that's okay. I will warn you, others may try to influence you. They will try to relive their day through you. They will be pushy at times or misinterpret your vision, but that's why a wedding coordinator is a wonderful idea. Have you heard of a scape goat? The Knot, Pinterest, and those other resources are wonderful, so use them accordingly. Too bad they can't plan it for you, and do it for free! That's exactly why you need a passionate event planner who will work for you.
So, that's it! I truly hope this gets you off to the right start! Don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (817) 897-3035 to schedule your free consultation to get started. Trust me, my husband is used to me responding to emails in the grocery store, in bed, at all times. It's part of my job description. I am dedicated to my clients. I am even dedicated to helping you if you are out of town. How is this possible? Well I can send you an idea board for your theme, which I will put together just for you. I can coordinate your vendors, develop a timeline, develop a monogram, etc. and still build a package just right for you. I'm fortunate that event planning comes naturally and doesn't seem like work. It's quite enjoyable actually.
Best of luck in your planning endevour, and congratulations again!