It was magically...he knelt down on one knee in front of Niagara Falls (like my husband did ! ) or...he hid the ring in your favorite Cereal Box for you to find... or he asked you at the top of a mountain summit at sunset...?
How ever he did it... You said YES! And now you are Engaged ! WooHoo!
So now what?
Let Everyone Know....!
I know you can't stop looking at that ring! ... I know this because I couldn't ! But it is time to take a moment to tell everyone, Mom & Dad are First, of course!
And Naturally...you gotta show off that Rock!
And with that said, you may want to get that sparkling beauty insured. Try calling your home owners or renters insurance and get that ring added on there! It's worth the added piece of mind!
Set the Date
Everyone will want to know when the Big Day is...
Take some time to consider what time of year you both enjoy and narrow it down from there, whether your answer is this Summer or next Spring it gives friends and family that "I'm in the know feeling" Don't over commit by being too specific until you know for certain that the date works for you first its okay to talk in general terms.
Don't get too involved in the minor details, before the Big Picture...
Although is may be awkward, you need to have the talk with your parents or significant relatives about whether they will be able help contribute financially to the wedding to see just how much budget you have to work with and whether or not you are also needing to contribute or if you may have to pay for the entire thing. This step is one of the most important first steps in my book as it will determine everything to follow.
Guest list or Venue
Once you have determined how much you have to work with it is a toss up for me...Guest list or Venue is next .
Guest list is important to determine how many guests you are planning for....however, if the venue is really important to you, finding out what the maximum capacity of the venue is may help determine how many can be invited. Keep in mind that Venue -Catering-Cake-Rentals will take up about 50% of the budget (Venue & Catering is the Biggest Chunk).
And whatever you do, don't over invite...consider plus one's...and only invite Family & Friends that you keep in touch with...Facebook Friends excluded....I mean actual friends that you talk to or meet up with from time to time. Do Not leave out Mom & Dad...have them put together a list of who they want invited with the most important guests at the top of that list...let them know this is preliminary and sit with them later then it is time to really finalize. Best to plan for what you can afford should everyone decide to come and celebrate with you.
Whose in the Bridal Party?
Make the sections wisely...consider who and why they should be part of your important day. And remember sometimes, "Less is More"
Next is a Biggie! Planner or No Planner? That is the Question...
I say, at the very least find room in the budget for partial planning services. Someone that you can work with and turn all your stuff over to and who will help tie up any loose ends. Good planners offer you peace of mind and help guide you through the process. They can offer a lot of great advice and in the long run will likely save you enough money in the process to have paid their services, believe it or not! Its always good to have that non bias opinion to bounce your ideas off of. Good planners will help make the day flow smoothly, be that one point of contact for all vendors, have all the answers :o) AND run the event on time with a team, because as you know it is impossible to be more than one place at a time. They are your go to person through the process and they are invested in the success of the event as they have been involved from the early stages of planning.
It is important to keep in mind that a Venue Coordinator is not a Wedding Planner they are really just there to coordinate only the staff and set up associated with the Venue itself. They do not typically field vendor calls or hang out till the end of your event.
And a Day of Coordinator means just that...they have a very short term investment and are typically operating on their own....they will be there to manage the rehearsal, line up the bridal party before the ceremony, they may have a few answers to peoples questions and they will be there for you ....but to be honest when we are not providing planning services and we are just providing decor, I have rarely met a Day of Coordinator that has all the answers or has even reached out to myself ir other vendors prior to the wedding.....For $400 -$600, at the very least ...be sure your DOC has at least one more person with them, they ask to review your contracts, they manage the Rehearsal and contact all your vendors ( a vendor itinerary would be a bonus!)
So Keep Calm... Hire a Planner
We have a saying at Carolina Event Services ..."Dwell in Possibilities..."
Buy wedding Magazines, get on Pintrest, set up accounts with the Knot and Wedding Wire or the may other Wedding websites our there (they offer great wedding day money savers)
Buy a Wedding Organizer Book to keep all your inspiration photos and information in and keep it with you in the car so you can have it at the ready if you are meeting a vendor or talking to one on the phone.
Go Dress Shopping!
Go get registered at your favorite places with your fiancee'.
Set up a Wedding Blog or Wedding Website! This is fun and like a journal of sorts it makes your journey known to your friends and family. They will love being "in the know "
And most Important... make sure that you are making decisions with your Partner. Choosing Colors and Design Styles together. This is a great pre-cursor to your life of decision making together.
With the Budget, the Venue, the Guest list, the Bridal Party, the Planner & the Inspiration finished...now you are prepared to talk with Vendors to find the right fit for you.
Remember Brides and Grooms....Go with the flow....Compromise will be inevitable...that is a Fact! Don't get yourself caught up in the details ...no Bridezillas...no Groomzillas ...just two people ENGAGED at last and ready to tie the knot and Live Happily Ever After.
These are just my observations from 25 + years of planning weddings and events. It is certainly not the rule, but rather a rule of thumb to go by and help you through this exciting time of your life!
Carolina Event Services offers some great Planning & Decor Packages that are worth taking a look at. We are a true "Quintessential One Stop Shop " for all Planning & Decor...have a look and "Dwell In Possibilities..."
Always Yours In Planning & Design, Ann Marie Baird