Updated: Mar 15
First, we'll start with a big congratulations on your engagement! Your engagement is just the beginning of your beautiful love story with your partner. Now that you've decided on forever, it's time to talk about the journey of wedding planning that lies ahead.
"I'm newly engaged and know that I need to start wedding planning, but I don't know where to start. Should I book a venue first, look into hiring a planner, or lock down a specific type of vendor right away?"
Top 5 Things to Do After Getting Newly Engaged:
1. Tell Your Family and Friends
Pop the bubbly and celebrate! Shout it off the rooftops! You are engaged! Take a little time to soak in this special moment and enjoy the excitement. Share your good news with friends and family, then of course, make your obligatory social media ring posts.
2. Talk to Your Fiancé About Your Wedding Plans
Once you have sufficiently celebrated your engagement, it's time to get serious and start thinking about wedding plans. A good rule of thumb is to start first with having an open dialogue with your significant other. Wedding planning can be fun and exciting, but it can also present opportunities for misunderstandings or miscommunication. A great first step to wedding planning is to have a conversation about your expectations including the desired season of your wedding, who will be involved in the planning process, target all-in budget, who might offer to pay for elements of the wedding, as well as style, size and location. Considering a Texas-based destination wedding or elopement? Check out our previous blog post about the Top 5 Quaint Texas Cities to Get Married here.
3. Interview and Book Your Wedding Planner
Once you've had a conversation with your future spouse, your next most important conversation is with your future wedding planner. There is no defined moment to book your planner, but typically the sweet spot is about 4-8 weeks after you are engaged or are seriously starting the planning process. Statistics show that hiring a qualified professional to assist you in planning your wedding can not only save you time and stress but can also end up saving you money. Connected wedding planners like at Happily Ever Houston Events have a large network to get you the best exclusive discounts and negotiate on your behalf. It is recommended to put aside about 5-10% of your total all-in wedding budget towards planning services, including full-service planning, partial planning or day-of coordination. Wondering what type of planners are available and what it all means? Read our previous blog post here to find out. One of the biggest reasons to hire a wedding planner early is to keep your wedding planning timeline on track to ensure a seamless and stress-free planning experience.
4. Create a Budget and Determine Your Top 3
Creating a budget can be difficult and inevitably expenses pop up unexpectedly or end up higher than you planned for when setting the original budget. Another great reason to hire a wedding planner is to get assistance in not only creating a budget, but in allocating money towards each category and then staying within that budget. Another important step I recommend while determining a rough budget is to consider your "top 3." This is not a spin on your Myspace Top 8 (I'm dating myself here), but rather the three most important items to you in the wedding process. For this, I'm not talking about including special family members or the color of your flowers, but rather the three most important or key big-ticket items. Some couples may prioritize the food and beverages served above all else, while others may put more weight on hiring an extravagant band to keep the party going all night. Each couple and each wedding are completely different, so take a moment to reflect on what is important to you and let's start there.
5. Plan Your Estimated Guest List
One of the biggest reasons why I see weddings go completely out of budget is the estimated guest list. While adding a plus one here or there or a handful of distant relatives might not seem like a big deal when you are extending the invitation, the ripple effect can be felt throughout the whole wedding planning process. A bride I worked with previously had planned to stay within a set budget and through no real fault of her own, ended up with around 75 more guests than planned due to her family continuing to add on to the guest list. Increasing your guest count can impact the potential amounts spent on food, beverage, servers or bartenders, floral arrangements, size of cake, transportation, room block, invitations and in some cases, even the venue itself. Best to estimate higher rather than lower on the front end to avoid any potential mishaps in your budget.
At Happily Ever Houston Events we plan unforgettable experiences for all of life's happily ever after events. We offer services including full-service planning, month-of coordination, destination wedding planning, and the planning of other wedding related events like showers, engagements, rehearsal dinners and more. Click the link below to setup a time to chat with us about your wedding and learn more about how we can help. We can't wait to be part of your wedding planning journey and your big day!