Congratulations friend! You just said yes to your fiancé and you’re over the moon excited and can’t wait to start planning your dream wedding! But where should you start?
Before you get in over your head, let me take your hand and walk you through the first post-engagement must do’s.
The very first post-engagement must do is to take a moment to enjoy the moment. Your engagement season will fly by quickly and I’d love for you to take a breather before you dive into wedding planning. You and your fiancé have made a monumental life decision and it deserves it’s time to be celebrated.
Once you’ve taken your time and lived in the glorious joy of being newly engaged, you can get to work planning your dream wedding!
There is no one right way to start wedding planning. That said, a lot rides of your date and your venue. So your second post-engagement must do has two options.
If the venue is more important than the particular wedding date, I recommend reaching out to your top two venue choices and ask what their availability is. Once you have their availability, pick a date you like and lock it in asap.
If, on the other hand, the specific wedding date is more important, I recommend reaching out to your top 5 favorite venues and see if they have that date available and go from there.
Now that you have confirmed your date and venue you can start putting together your team of wedding vendors.
You don’t have to start with your photographer but I highly recommend it. Why? Because photographers often fill their calendar a year or more in advance. This is true for videographers, too.
Pro tip: If you’re starting to plan a 2021 wedding, you will 100% want to confirm your photographer asap. With all of the 2020 postponements, many of my photographer friends – myself included – have limited availability in 2021, particularly in the summer and fall months.
A good rule of thumb is that it takes about 8 months from the day you buy your wedding dress to the day you can pick up your wedding dress. For example, I bought my dress around Thanksgiving and was able to pick it up in early May.
If you need your dress altered, you’ll want to allow plenty of time for that, too. Typically, you’ll have between 2-3 alteration appointments depending on the amount of work that is being done. I only had the hips taken in and a bustle added to my wedding dress and I went in 3 times total: one for the initial consultation, the second to make sure it fit and the bustle was what I wanted (everything was perfect but there was still some final work that needed to be done), and the third to pick up my dress after everything was finished. That took between 1-2 months.
So basically, all of this to say, your dress takes time and if you have a short engagement season getting a jump on dress shopping is in your best interest to ensure you have your wedding dress in hand, fitting properly, in time for your wedding. That’s why I think it’s a top 5 post-engagement must do!
Order of which vendor you should confirm first is 100% up to personal preference. I tell my couples to reach out to and book the vendors whose work they’ve fallen in love with. If you’ve always wanted to work with a certain florist, reach out to them sooner rather than later. I mean, why not, right?
And if you need help finding all of your vendors, you can certainly lean on the vendors you’ve already hired. They’ll undoubtedly have recommendations for you!
Planning a wedding can be a little intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. Remember to take it one step at a time and you’ll be just fine!
How do we even start to say thank you for all the work and effort you put into our wedding day?
- Josie and Scott
Lauren played such a meaningful role in our wedding, capturing the day in photos that we'll look back on for the rest of our lives. She kept Scott and me calm and sane - Lauren is a miracle worker! She put in 100% effort and gave us her very best, and that means so much to me. Seeing our photographs makes me so excited and so happy that Lauren was with us on this journey.
Lauren made the process so easy and made us feel so comfortable!
- Amy and Luke
We just wanted to say thank you again so much for your amazing work. You were seriously incredible to work with and we loved the locations you suggested for both our engagement shoot and the spots in Stillwater. We were very worried about getting professional photos done since we had never done it before, but you made the process so easy and made us feel so comfortable. Thank you!
Working with Lauren was easy breezy and FUN! She gave us our most treasured photos ever!
- GRACE AND NICK
There was a chunk of time in our wedding planning when we thought we'd go without a professional photographer to save on cost (terrible idea!) but once we met with Lauren, we knew we'd be in good hands. She checked in often and asked questions that got us thinking about other parts of the wedding that we probably would've missed. Lauren captured exactly who we are as a couple!
Lauren's enthusiasm and passion make the photo-taking process so fun – she made me feel like a star!
- Alisa AND Adam
Lauren and her team are so much fun to work with! She made us feel so comfortable on the day of our wedding, providing both silly and helpful cues to help us relax and be ourselves in our photos. Lauren’s background in dance is super helpful in recognizing simple posture changes that make a big difference, too. Oh, and the photos we got are just stunning!
Lauren was pivotal in making our wedding day perfect!
- Emma AND Erik
My husband and I looked FOR MONTHS to find the perfect photographer and after meeting Lauren we knew was the best fit for us. She made our day so much fun and easy. She found little opportunities to make the perfect photo all with a calm ease that comes from someone who has an artistic eye along with experience in understanding the flow of a wedding.
Not only is Lauren an amazing human being, but she is an awesome photographer!
- Haley AND Erick
I've been in several weddings and have worked with a multitude of photographers and I never felt as confident as I did with Lauren. I love how professional she is. She helped with the timeline way in advance and we stuck to that timeline the day of. She was also able to professionally and firmly keep unruly family members settled and focused and navigated family drama beautifully!