Engagement season is officially upon us. If you’re one of the lucky ladies in your friend group who is sporting a new sparkler, you may be wondering where to begin as you embark on the journey to plan the happiest day of your life. Take it from a professional wedding planner – you’ll want to choose only a few must-do items to start. Keep your list small to reduce stress and feelings of overwhelm, as getting started is half the battle.
The fab team behind Aisle Planner put together a list of the first five things to consider to start your journey to “I DO”.
#1 – C E L E B R A T E !
If you haven’t done so already, take a well deserved celebratory moment with your significant other. Go to dinner just the two of you, stay up late on a work night with a bottle of champagne, indulge in a spa day with massages and his and hers pedicures. While you’re at it, add on a manicure to prep your photo worthy hands! Make sure you’ve spent enough time reveling in the glory of your love, then prepare to share it. Call you closest friends and your family to spread the great news.
#2 – THINK ABOUT TIMING
Selecting a wedding date is the best jump-off point to begin planning. Start thinking of a few potential dates that may work for both of your schedules. There’s no need to get terribly specific at this point, but you can begin to think about the time of year you’d like to get married, Spring vs. Fall, or any particular months you’d like to avoid – December because of holiday commitments, March because of too many family birthdays, or possibly September because of a tough work season. Once you’ve narrowed it down to your preferred months, for an extra gold planning star, select a minimum of three potential dates to consider. When you begin to reach out to your important vendors like the venue, the photographer and wedding planner, they may already have a few blocked dates, so it’s good to have a backup.
#3 – HAVE “THE TALK”
It’s best to get the money conversations taken care of during the early stages of planning. Find out who will be contributing to your wedding budget, and the amount they are offering. Establish if you and your fiancé will be covering the cost of certain aspects of the wedding, or if particular family members would prefer to take care of ancillary events like the rehearsal dinner, a welcome cocktail hour, or possibly a sendoff brunch for all of your out of town guests, instead of giving you a lump sum. Save this final number for now, as you’ll begin breaking it out into different areas of the wedding down the road.
#4 – GET ORGANIZED
Sign up for a free Aisle Planner account, the stylish and streamlined online wedding planning system. Take a tour through the tools you’ll use most: the Guest Manager, the Budget, the Planning Checklist and the Design Studio, where you’ll keep your wedding inspiration. Once you get a feel for the platform, add your fiancé as a planning partner and start assigning tasks to complete!
#5 – BUILD YOUR TRIBE
Begin thinking of the important people in your lives who you want to be a part of your wedding. Not only the bridal party, but important family members who may be readers, ushers, bachelorette party invitees and more. Then, begin to think about your event partners, and the person you want to lead the charge – a professional wedding planner. Your planner will be absolutely essential as you embark on the journey of finding a venue, building your team of vendors, establishing your creative vision and most importantly, keeping you on budget and on time!
If you follow these five steps to start your wedding planning adventure, you’re already ahead of the rest. Enjoy your newly engaged bliss, and never lose sight of the real reason you began this process – an amazing celebration is only the start of an incredible life together.
Photography: Shane and Lauren Photography