If you’re reading this – congratulations!
Getting engaged is exciting but that excitement can soon turn to overwhelm at the thought of planning your wedding. Venues, flowers, guests, where to start? We’re here to help you with just that.
Keep reading to check out the 8 things you need to do after you get engaged.
Tell Your Family
This seems obvious but please tell your family and close friends before posting it all over social media. We know you’re excited, as you should be. Your parents and loved ones will appreciate you telling them before the rest of the world.
2. Determine Your Guest List
You may be thinking you should figure out a date or venue first, but without knowing how many guests you plan to invite you won’t know what venue to look at. Having a list a guest list of over 130 guests may automatically eliminate some venue options due to their capacity limits. Once you have that settled you can start inquiring with venues that suit your needs and get a list of the dates they have available.
3. Hire A Wedding Planner
This may even go in tandem with booking a venue, as some venues require you to have a planner for your wedding day. If you’re on the fence about investing in a planner, here’s a few reasons why it may be in your best interest. Planners save you countless hours communicating with vendors, developing designs, and creating thorough timelines. Use your time back to go dress shopping, brunch with friends or research the perfect honeymoon spot.
Another lesser known reason is that some vendors may be more inclined to turn down weddings when you don’t have a planner (or again recommend you have a planner). It makes such a difference when there is a planner because it lets your vendors focus on what they are actually hired for providing you with the best services.
So many times we’ve heard how the photographer had to develop the timeline, manage the guests and go beyond their scope of work because their couple didn’t have a wedding planner. Do yourselves and your fabulous wedding vendors a huge favour and hire a professional planner.
Your wedding planner works for you and act as your guide, designer, logistical planner, confidant and more!
“Planners save you countless hours communicating with vendors, developing designs, and creating thorough timelines.”
4. Book Your Priority Vendors
Your priority vendors are vendors who can only take one wedding a day. This includes your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, DJ or band, caterer and of course your venue. Speaking of venues, securing your ideal venue will also secure your official wedding date so you can then book the rest of your priority vendors
We recommend hiring these vendors at least one year out (or as soon as you can) to guarantee you get your top picks of vendors. Make a list of your top three for each category, then start inquiring and setting up consultations. Vendors tend to take on a limited number of weddings per year or month. If you have a dream vendor you’ve been admiring for a while, reach out to them asap!
5. Book Your Engagement Session
You will want to do this as early as possible to get your preferred dates and season. Your photographer can get booked up fast for engagement sessions, so when they give you options, be sure to get back to them as soon as you can. Engagement sessions are great for getting comfortable in front of the camera and for your photographer to get to know you better so you get the absolute best out of your wedding day photos!
Nicole, owner of Nicole Sarah Photography says “ Even though we are a studio with several photographers, we book so quickly! We encourage couples to send us options for engagement photography dates right after they have secured their wedding day to avoid disappointment. Typically we encourage having at least three weeks lead time so that we can thoughtfully plan your engagement session together. We love to work with our couples to create an editorial style, and that is achieved by collaborating on wardrobe selection and location, which represents a couples story and personality. Having this planned out well in advance, also ensures a cohesive look to your images.”
6. Find Your Wedding Attire
Whether you want a gown, a suit or a thrifted frock, we suggest you find your fave bridal or tux shops and book your fittings. Here’s what the bridal boutique experts from Blush & Raven had to say.
” Right now, with the number of increased brides and increased lead times, we encourage you to shop early and order your dress with plenty of lead time! Starting your wedding dress shopping journey about 14 – 12 months prior to your date is ideal. This will allow for enough time to try as many gowns as you need and order in a comfortable timeline. Made-to-order gowns take between 8-10 month to arrive in store, and we suggest leaving 2-3 months to allow for alterations. Therefore, your ideal time to order is about 12 months prior to your wedding date.
This is the ideal, not the absolute. Keep in mind, most designers will require a rush fee with less than 4-5 months prior to the event date. “
7. Choose Your Wedding Party
Talk to your partner and figure out how many people you want to have standing by your side at the ceremony. Then start reaching out to those special people and ask your big question. This can be a financial and time consuming commitment for them, so it’s best to ask them earlier in your planning stages.
We love when you ask your friends and family in a unique way with gifts or fun surprises.
Seriously, once you have your wedding planner and priority vendors secured, take a breath and relax. Trust your vendors to work their magic and let your planner take the lead in the wedding planning to do list. Enjoy the extra time back in your day and trust it will be the perfect day you’ve always dreamed of!