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 5 things I recommend doing after you become engaged.
First and foremost, take a moment to enjoy this 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.
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.
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!