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Wedding Planning 101: You’re Engaged, Now What?

The First 5 Steps to Take After You Get Engaged

Getting engaged is such an exciting time, especially when you begin planning your big day! There is so much that goes into planning a wedding that it’s often difficult to know where to start 0r to easily become overwhelmed. Here are the five things you should focus on first when you begin the wedding planning process:

1. Set a Date

Before you start searching for the perfect venue, you’re going to need to have a date in mind. Think about the location you wish to get married along with the season. For example, you may not wish to get married outdoors in South Florida in July due to the heat. Keep in mind that not all venues will have your date available so it’s best to have a few options in mind so that if you do happen to find a venue you both love, you will have several different dates to choose from.

2. Have a Budget in Place

Your finances can very quickly get out of hand if you don’t create a budget right from the start. Plus, you don’t want to start your life together as a married couple drowning in debt. By setting a realistic budget before you start planning you will make the entire process a lot less stressful.

3. Draft Your Guest List

Not only will your guest list affect your budget but it will also play a role in your venue search. Your guest list doesn’t have to be final but it helps to have a rough idea of how many people you think you will be inviting to your wedding. Remember, a solid wedding planning foundation is key to designing the wedding of your dreams so start the planning process off right.

4. Begin Looking at Wedding Venues

It’s best to start broad with venue selection and pare down once you get an idea of what you might like in a venue. You may find that making a wish list for your ideal venue keeps you on target. You may have a vision of an outdoor ceremony or prefer a venue that lets you select your own vendors rather than choosing from their list of pre-approved vendors. If you decide you need help with venue selection you may choose to skip this step until you’ve completed step five.

5. Research Wedding Planners

Wedding Planners typically begin working with couples 12 – 18 months prior to their wedding date. Because of this, their availability tends to fill up prior to other vendors particularly during peak wedding season (March – November). It’s best to research wedding planners as early in your planning process as possible and inquire as soon as you’re ready to secure your date.

Wedding Planning Tip: Steps four and five are interchangeable depending on whether or not you want your planner to be involved with the venue selection process. If you prefer to have your planner help with this step, you should have an idea of the location you wish to have your wedding.

What’s Next?

Of course, finding your dream dress and deciding on the flavor of your cake are all fun decisions to make, but before you even go there it’s important to take these initial planning steps. Once you’ve taken these critical steps early on, you’ll have a clear path on your wedding planning journey! Your planner can guide you through the next steps you will need to take and the order in which you need to hire your remaining vendors.

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