I've officially been engaged 9 days and I've officially done more than I am willing to share and looked at my rings more times than I can count. I mean, what would you expect when a wedding planner gets engaged? I don't honestly know any other non-married wedding planners since I feel like so many get into the career after planning their own but I can imagine that they would be a lot like me... which is a lot less organized than you might think...
The night we got engaged I couldn't sleep due to overeating an insane amount of all-you-can-eat sushi from the best sushi place in Tahoe... and so I was up from 130am to 430am shamelessly scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram and Green Wedding Shoes brainstorming ideas. I may have even e-mailed a few vendors I found to start getting quotes. Yes, I am that crazy and no, my fiance only somewhat knows so I'm banking on the hope that he doesn't read this but I mean... even if he does he already knows I'm insanely excited to plan our wedding and that I'm holding back as much as I can so there's that. But it got me thinking... for your everyday girl who doesn't spend her normal workdays trying on wedding dresses... picking florals to go with a color palette... budgeting for a wedding... what truly is the first thing you should do do after getting engaged other than tell all your friends & family!? So here's my step-by-step guide that I am failing at following and I hope it can help you be a little less scatterbrained than me...
Set a Budget & a Date / The How & the When
I think the first 2 big steps to planning a wedding is to figure out how & when. How comes down to money... How much money is going into this wedding and who is paying what. And then trying to find a date that works for you, your fiance and families. My work schedule made the When for us pretty damn easy because we have so many amazing clients (WE LOVE YOU) and are pretty much completely booked every weekend September - December 8th, which left December 15th. Okay, I'll take it! It's mine!! These two steps set the groundwork for filling in all the little details with the perfect vendor team to make your dream wedding come to life. I can't stress enough having a budget prior to booking anything. Just imagine falling in love with a band, booking them and then booking a budget after and figuring out you can't even afford the venue you want because your band just took up 3/4 of the budget and now you have to get a credit card and it's not worth it and just say no to credit cards unless you're like me who is only using my credit card for the fundamentals and paying off immediately but only because I'm trying to rack up those points so we can fly to Thailand for our honeymoon... Run-on sentences are my jam.
Make a Vision & a Guest List / The What & the Who
Now that you have the big things in place, time to create a vision and a guest list - the what & who. I think these steps are huge because just like not wanting to book a band without a budget, you don't want to book some rentals later to realize the floral print linens you picked clash with the dusty blue and rose gold color palette you chose... For our vision I wanted our wedding to feel like us. So this was maybe the easiest part for me. I told Alex the other night, you know... I want our wedding to feel like our home. I want it to be filled with things we love and that make us feel like we are home. And fortunately Alex trusts my taste and likes how I decorated our home and was all for this. So a vision and a mood board was born. Having never actually made a guest list before I was shocked at how easy the guest list actually was. We were both home with the flu last week and sat down for about 30 minutes going through our phones and my Facebook making a list. And bam, guest list done! I will add in here that the guest list helped us develop a budget and we did take our guest count into consideration.
So then... after you have the who, what, when, how (instead of where) and why (because y'all are in love and ready to commit the rest of your life to each other!!!!!) then you can really start with the fun parts. These 5 things are the big things that lay the groundwork for all the fun pieces to fit into place. They help you pick vendors that align with your vision and wallet, pick outfits for engagement sessions that fit with your style, buy random things off Craig's List and say yes to some ideas that pop into your head and no to others. And yes, I did already buy an outfit for our un-scheduled engagement photo session and a Persian rug off Craig's List for an undisclosed location at our wedding... But they fit with everything and it's awesome.
I wanna hear from you!
What is the first thing you did after getting engaged? What is the first wedding purchase you made?