Top 10 Things For Every Couple to do after they get engaged
You may be feeling a little excitement and anxiety all at once just thinking about all the planning to come.
I have written out the Top 10 Things to get you ready to plan your dream wedding. Even if you are thinking you will hire a wedding planner, there are a few details and decisions that a planner can not decide for you, like your guest list. By the time you are through this list, you can have some steps to take to get you started!
Deciding on a Budget
The very first step in planning your wedding is to decide on a budget.
If you have no idea what weddings cost, the average wedding budget is 31,000, with a large range on either side of that. It’s really up to both of you to decide what works for you. Plus figure out if any family is going to help with the budget.
Creating a Guest List
You don’t need a completed list. Its good to start putting together a general idea of who you want at your wedding, and more importantly the number of guests. Your guest count will be a large factor in deciding on a wedding venue. Depending on the size of your guest list it can have an impact on your budget for your vendors. This is probably one of the most stressful parts for couples – trying not to offend anyone. It’s ok to not invite people. It’s ok to limit the plus ones.
Deciding on a Date Range
Start by thinking about a few dates you’d both like. Unless you’re set on a special date like 10-10-2020, 4-3-21 or a date that’s special to both of you, being willing to be flexible will give you a lot more freedom in choosing your venue and vendors. Note, if you pick a holiday or a popular date you’ll often need to start booking farther in advance. You may also find there is a peak season charge for popular dates. So if the budget is a concern, choosing an off season date maybe a great option for you. In Tennessee and Georgia the off season is generally January- March and July and August. And the peak season is generally April-June and September-November. Thursday weddings are something more and more people are doing too!
Choosing an Aesthetic
Maybe you’ve had a pinterest inspiration board for weddings for months and you already have an idea of what you want your wedding to look like. Deciding on the look you want -Ballroom, City, Farm, Elegant, Boho,- will really help you in knowing what venue, dress, and decor to choose. It’s worth asking Venues what decor options they have, or if they can add extra touches to your package.
Picking a Venue
Choosing your venue is one of the most important parts in the wedding planning process. It sets the tone for the whole wedding. Knowing your budget, general guest number, date range, and general look you want, you will now be prepared to find the perfect venue. There are a number of resources for finding a wedding venue, like the nationwide directory sites like the Knot and Wedding wire. Also you can find my own curated list of Venues in the Chattanooga and Knoxville areas. Try also Instagram hashtags. Search #your location Weddingvenue.
Engagement photos are often taken in time to use for “Save the Dates” and your wedding website. When choosing an engagement photographer, ideally you want the same photographer for your engagement photos as for your wedding. This lets you get to know your photographer before the wedding and generally get comfortable in front of the camera. Many photographers offer discounts when engagement sessions and weddings are booked together.
Making a Wedding Website
After your guest list, date, Venue and engagement photos are done you are ready to make a wedding website! This can be a place to go to when family and friends want to know more about your wedding. Some wedding websites list places to stay in town and things to do for guests. And if you don’t have guests RSVP by mail you can have them RSVP on the website. Also you can post your engagement photos.
Save the Dates
Hunting down everyone’s addresses can take some time. But if you just set aside some time to email, dm and call people you want to invite you can have it done in a few days. Organize them somewhere. You’ll need them afterwards for thank you cards too.
Decide what is most important to you and book those thing first. After a wedding is over couples walk away from their wedding day with photos, video and their spouse. So ask yourself what those top priorities are. Write them down and then book vendors around that.
Booking other Vendors
As with picking your photographer, you can use resources like referrals from other vendors and friends. The most important vendors to get booked are photographer, videographer, DJ/band, florist, officiant, caterer, and at least a wedding coordinator. If this sounds like too much to keep up with, a wedding planner is the perfect solution! They can take care of everything or just do some things to facilitate carrying out your vision.
Hopefully this has been helpful and given you a place to start your wedding planning journey.
If you have any questions or are looking for vendor recommendations, I’m happy to send you my favorite East Tennessee and North Georgia vendors info. Just send me an email or mention it when you contact me here.