A mutual friend of ours recently got engaged. Since I’ve been through the wedding planning process once, she asked me if I had any suggestions or advice as they start this huge endeavor. I wrote here a few points upon which Joe told me it would make a good blog and I should share this information with others…so here you go. My advice for “phase I wedding planning” for the newly engaged.
As for the wedding tips, I won’t pretend to be an expert, but it’s not like you plan one of these every day!! These were things that I remember or thought as helpful in retrospect.
1) Before you jump into planning (unless you are thinking wedding in less than 6 months)…remember to just enjoy being engaged for a bit. It’s huge!! Relax and celebrate a bit first… 🙂 (Look through magazines, at dresses…whatever is fun for you!)
2) Talk directly with you fiance and discuss what kind of wedding you both want. Family oriented? Destination? Small? Huge? Formal? Casual? Make sure you are on the same page because that scope determines everything else in the planning. Also, see how involved he wants to be. This will help eliminate disagreements down the road.
(Joe and I thankfully both really wanted all of our family there and we wanted it to be easy for out of town people to get to. This resulted in a medium sized wedding in Atlanta. Part of me would have loved the small beach wedding though!! ha!)
3) Create a budget and a rough guest list/how many people you expect to come*. These are the LEAST fun things to do, but if you find the perfect location but it won’t hold all your guests or is way out of your price range, it just leads to disappointment. Also, doing the budget early allows you to see what kind of trade-offs you have to make. If you have $10,000 to spend, but want a $5000 dress, that means you’ll have to give up a lot of other things.
(*Early on, we did a rough count and figured out ~X number of people were in our budget. Later on in the planning process, we actually estimated the probability of an individual showing up. (my mom = 100%, distant cousin currently overseas probably not coming = 0% or 5%. This also allowed us to say both our family, “You can invite Y number of your friends…choose wisely.” haha! Joe and I are also slightly more nerdy than others and organizing keeps me sane, so I made detailed spreadsheets for both the budget and the guest list. Even if you don’t like this, it’s an easy way to keep track of it without all the information cluttering up your head! I highly (HIGHLY!) recommend it!)
That’s all I have for now. I may add some lessons learned through the rest of the process, but then again I may not. 🙂 Good luck!