Getting engaged is one of the most exciting and memorable events in a person’s life. If you are newly engaged, congratulations! It is a beautiful time of life. This time should be relished and enjoyed to the fullest. Your engagement is magical in its simplicity and joy. Plan a romantic getaway, share the news, admire your ring and your commitment for as long as you need.
When you’re ready to begin thinking about the next stage—planning the wedding—don’t stress. Take a few simple, thought-out steps at a time. Planning your wedding shouldn’t take over the bliss of your engagement. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming and consuming.
There are a few steps that are important to decide on first. Here are our tips for what to do after you are engaged and ready to start planning your wedding!
Talk with your partner and make some big picture decisions.
Sit down with your partner and have some big picture discussions about your plans. You may have the same vision for your wedding, or you may differ on some key points. Either is okay. Just be sure to sit down and talk about your dreams together before making any big decisions. Great communication and making decisions together is the best way to start a healthy marriage—wedding planning included!
Some questions to ask each other (and answer honestly):
Do we want a wedding or should we elope?
Should the wedding be indoors or outdoors?
Do we want a traditional wedding or something more unique, like a cave wedding?
Will we have a big wedding or a small, intimate affair?
Do we want to get married in our home town or a destination wedding?
Who will be paying for our wedding?
Select a date or a few potential dates.
Once you’ve decided what you truly want for your wedding, pull out a calendar and start looking at dates. Most venues book weddings at least one year in advance, so it’s important to keep this in mind if you have your heart set on a popular wedding venue.
You may have one date that you know you want, or you may have a series of potential dates in mind. Jot them down as you approach venues. It’s always good to have options, especially if the wedding venue is what’s most important to you. Also, think about off-days. Saturday is the traditional wedding day, but you could potentially save valuable dollars by choosing a Sunday or a weekday.
Know your budget.
This is one of the most important conversations to have at the very beginning, and it’s not too complicated. Know who is paying for your wedding and how much you have to spend. Make a spreadsheet outlining the different categories of fees you will incur and start to fill in the blanks as you visit with venues and vendors. You can make adjustments as you move along, but it is key to know what your bottom line is before you start the planning process.
Visit venues and decide on the perfect fit.
Now the fun really begins! Once you’ve decided on your big picture items, you can really get moving towards the big “I Do!” We recommend first connecting with any wedding venue that fits your needs. Most wedding venues have an online form you can fill out as the first point of contact. This will get the process going and connect you to a wedding professional at the site. Once you’ve connected over email or the phone, schedule a site visit to tour the venue.
Meet with and select your vendors.
Wedding venues aren’t the only vendor you’ll need to book in advance. Florists, musicians and wedding planners are also in high-demand, especially if you have your heart set on a specific vendor. Once you’ve chosen your date and secured your venue, move quickly confirm your list of most-important vendors. If you’re struggling to find the perfect fit, talk to your wedding venue coordinator. Most venues have a list of preferred wedding professionals. Their list will be a great starting point.
Make your guest list.
By this point, you’ve already decided on the size of your wedding. Draft your guest list with your partner and then decide if you need your parents to review and revise with you. You should be thoughtful about wedding etiquette here, especially if your parents are paying the bill. Remember that it’s a special day for them too, and allow them to add their nearest and dearest to the celebration. You might want to decide on a limit to additional guests, however, before things grow beyond your desires.
Send a save-the-date.
Now you know the date, the venue, and your guests so it’s time to spread the word! While formal wedding invitations tend to be more elaborate, a save-the-date can be fun and casual. Choose a photo of the two of you, include the basic details, and send them off. It’s the first real step towards wedding day and it only gets better from here!
And of course, don’t forget the dress!
Of course, you won’t forget the dress. Many brides put this at the top of their list, and that’s okay! It’s a moment you’ve dreamed about your whole life. Grab your mother and your best girlfriends for your most memorable dress shopping yet. This can happen before you set your budget—we won’t tell!
Are you engaged and starting to plan a wedding? Contact us today to learn about the possibilities at Pronghorn Resort in Bend, Oregon!