December and January are popular celebratory months–as they should be. It’s the perfect time of year, 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. Contact your loved ones (if you haven’t already) to let them in on your exciting news. You’ll want to tell close friends and family members in person or on the phone before you send any tweets, change your Facebook status or share photos of your ring on Instagram.
2) Start a wedding website. There’s a ton of choice out there when it comes to creating a templated wedding site. All you do is plug in the required information, and voila you can easily share all of the necessary details with your loved ones.
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 the date and venue have been secured, create a to-do list or use a online list tool 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 and meet potential vendors face-to-face.
9) Think about your bridal party. It’s not necessary to pick and choose your bridesmaids and 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 with things such as gown-hunting, creating decor and interviewing vendors.
10) Research. Now comes the fun part–creating your inspiration board. Buy a ton of wedding magazines (make tears, flip through pages), scour Pinterest, read up on vendors you may be considering (or saw at a show), scroll through blogs, and check out our real wedding section for inspiration galore. Gathering images is 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.