December is a popular celebratory month–as it should be. It’s the perfect time, surrounded by family and friends, to enjoy your newly engaged status. But, after reveling in the glow, we understand how daunting wedding planning can appear to be. To keep you stress-free (and on the right track), here are 10 things to do once you’re ready to start planning your own day:
1) Share the news. It’s perfectly acceptable to share the news (if you haven’t already) with all your loved ones. Facebook, Twitter, on the phone, e-mail or in person–now’s the time to let those closest to you know that you’re engaged.
2) Start a wedding website. Many places, like Weddingbells have templated wedding sites and apps/tools on the back end to keep you organized. All you do is plug in the required information, and voila you’ve got an instant schedule and wedding site at your fingertips.
3) Talk to your fiancée about your celebration. Communication is key. Both of you should be on the same page–have the same vision, ideas and goals when it comes to your affair.
4) Budget. Although you may not know exactly the type of wedding you want, having an approximate wedding budget will make things easier in the long run (i.e. this could affect your venue, how many guests you invite, etc.).
5) Guest list. Once your budget is established, write down the names of guests you anticipate on inviting. This does not have to be a set list, but this will give you a more rounded number on how many people to expect, how much to spend and the type of venue you choose. Note: as a courtesy (if you wish) you should also ask parents (and in-laws) their number of guests–as they may want to include a few guests of their own.
6) Pick a date and find your venue(s). Choosing a date (try to choose more than one, as many venues book up to a year, or more, in advance) is key. Once you have a tentative idea, securing your reception and ceremony sites are a must–especially if your ceremony venue is separate from your reception space.
7) Once date and venue have been secured, create a to-do list or use a online tool list to help you plan and manage your time wisely. This will make planning your day less overwhelming–yet fun at the same time. With your budget, you’ll be able to slot tentative amounts accordingly.
8) Visit wedding shows. January is high time for wedding shows galore. It’s worth a shot to go out and visit vendors within your region. Don’t feel the need to book right away, go simply to obtain information. Plan a successful trip with our easy-to-follow wedding show tips.
9) Think about your bridal party. It’s not necessary to pick and choose your bridesmaids/groomsmen right away, but asking them in the early stages of planning does have its advantages–your bridal party members are wonderful people who may be able to assist you before the big day–such as gown hunting or attending bridal shows.
10) Research. Now comes the fun part–creating your inspiration board. Buy a ton of wedding magazines (make tears, flip through pages), go online (print photos), read up on vendors you may be considering (or saw at a show), scroll through blogs, and check out our real wedding page for inspiration galore. Gathering images are a wonderful way to garner inspiration for your own day. This is the fun part of planning, so enjoy it and all things will fall into place.