Congratulations on your engagement! No doubt you are anxiously anticipating the period of time between now and the big day. The Wedding Belle is here to help iron out the basics so you can be off to a great start planning your wedding. Each task in the list we've compiled below will help to assure that you and your fiancé are on the right track from the beginning. While planning your wedding will be overwhelming at times, it will also be a ton of fun! You and your partner should take time to enjoy the opportunity to spend time making fun decisions together!
1) Be On The Same Page: Discuss with your fiancé what you both want for the wedding day! What type of venues do you both like? What time of year will the wedding take place? Would you like to have a theme or not? What are your favorite colors, and will they play a part in your day? Have fun, dream, and just enjoy the excitement and each other!
2) Be Ahead of the Game: Decide on the size of your guest list from the start. Will it be an intimate wedding of close family and friends? Or the bash of the decade including that girl you sat next to in 8th grade biology? Many couples wait to form a guest list, but knowing the number you plan to host has EVERYTHING to do with how you will plan many of the other details. If you figure out the guest list in advance, it will be a lot smoother sailing in the long run.
3) Be Realistic: Decide on a budget. This is probably the most challenging task for couples because many have no idea what typical prices are when it comes to planning a wedding. Be flexible and realistic when deciding on your budget. Leave some space for "surprises" along the way. With a little wiggle room, you'll be in great shape come the final months before your wedding (and hey, you may even be able to afford that last minute splurge! Raw bar anyone?)
4) 2-for-1: Choose your ceremony and reception venues at the same time. This is HUGE! Do not put a deposit down on a reception venue if the church isn't also available on the same day. This mistake could complicate a number of other decisions you'll be making along the way so take your time to decide, and book them both at once. Once your venues are coordinated take a deep breath and celebrate: your wedding officially has a location! Now get back to work :)
5) The Help: Hire a wedding planner! This step could also be listed at number one, but many couples only start researching planners in the beginning, and hire one only after the venue has been booked and dates are set. However you choose to go about it, remember that a wedding planner can be an enormous weight off your shoulders, especially in the days leading up to your wedding. Find a planner who you feel comfortable speaking with and who listens to your thoughts, ideas and concerns. If you feel the connection is off, move on, there is a perfect one out there for you! Ultimately you want a planner that understands your vision and can help to make that vision a reality. After all, it is your wedding!
Alright, so you are now off to a great start on your dream wedding! You have many exciting months ahead of you both. As a final note, remember to cherish these opportunities to make decisions as a couple. It's great practice and you'll have fun doing it! Good luck in your planning, and again, congratulations on your engagement!