Valentine's Day is one of the most popular days for proposals. If you're one of those lucky girls who received a proposal last night, first CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Second you're probably wondering what next. The wedding planning process is looking to be very overwhelming. You may not know where to start or where to look. Don't fret, in this post I'm going to give you some resources and next steps that will hopefully ease your stress and give you a starting point to what should be one the most enjoyable times for you as a couple.
Create a budget
First and foremost you should create your wedding budget, trust me, the last thing you want to do is start your life together in a mound of debt. Figure out what areas are important to you and how much you are willing/able to spend keeping in mind what is realistic.
According to The Knot, the national average cost of a wedding in 2017 was $33,391. Couples on average spent $15,163 on the venue, $2,630 on photography, and $2,379 on flowers. Click here to read the full article.
I know these seem like big numbers, but during the budgeting stage, this is where you and your fiancé will figure out how the wedding will be paid for and who will help pay for it. In a recent blog, Traditions: Who Pays For What, I discussed who used to pay for what, but nowadays couples are footing a majority of the bill if not all of it. This is something that you and your fiancé will need to discuss, taking into consideration the financial situation on your families.
If you're not sure where to begin and maybe you aren't an excel or budgeting whiz, there are some great online budgeting tools, like this one from WeddingWire, that can help you set your budget and track your spending.
Start creating your guest list
This is actually something that you will be working on while creating your budget and through the whole planning process. Having a good idea of how many guests you are inviting, will help you in selecting the right venue and how much to budget for things like food, drinks, and favors.
When creating your guest list you might want to talk with your parents to see if there are any family and family friends that should be invited, this is especially important if your parents are helping pay for the wedding.
You'll also need to decide if kids will be invited, or will it be an adult only event. Adult only allows for couples to get dressed up and go out without the kids. Most couples will see this as a nice date nite and may take advantage of the babysitter and get a hotel room for the night.
As a rule of thumb you can expect about 85% of the people you invite to attend.
Select a date
When selecting your wedding date you'll want to keep a few things in mind such as holidays and your own work schedules. Of course during the busy season at work, you may not want to get married because it might be too hard for you to get the time off every year to celebrate your anniversary and, if you are able to get the time off, you'll probably be too stressed to enjoy it.
Consider what season you might want to tie the knot in, and what colors go with that season. Do you like the orange fall tones or the bright vibrant colors of fall? You also want to keep in the mind the weather in the location you want to get married. An August wedding in Arizona may not be ideal unless your goal is to melt down the aisle.
If you find yourself struggling to decide on a date, try picking one that has meaning to you both. Maybe the first day you met, or the day you had your first date.
Another way to decide on a date is find your venue and make a selection based on their availability. Some venues can be booked out years in advance, so if you have a venue in mind, start there before selecting a firm date.
Splurge on a wedding planner
I highly recommend investing in a wedding planner. They know the industry, they have connections to vendors and can connect you with ones that they personally have experience working with. A good wedding planner will help relieve a lot of stress by taking on the coordination of vendors and making sure the wedding day events go smoothly. Having a wedding planner will allow you the freedom to enjoy the day without having to worry about the flowers, the catering or getting the DJ to flow with the wedding day schedule. You can read about my experience with my wedding planner on my post How My Wedding Planner Kept Me Sane
Congratulations again lovely. Embrace the wedding planning process and allow yourself to enjoy this time in your journey together.
Happy wedding planning.