1.Enjoy being engaged
Jump up and down saying "We're engaged!" Stare at the engagement ring. Take the time to write down in detail how you got engaged. Contemplate the wonderful things ahead of you. Take pictures of yourselves with the engagement ring.
2.Tell your parents
You should tell your parents of your impending nuptials before anyone else. (Unless of course, you are estranged.) Both of you should be present and ideally you will tell them in person - they'll have a chance to see your happiness up close, look at the rock, and start talking about the wedding. Then share the news with a few close friends - the ones who are likely candidates for maid/matron of honor and best man, or definite attendants in some capacity.
3.Purchase a diary if you don't already have one or write a wedding blog
This will be a time of ten thousand moments you won't want to forget, as well as some frustrating times that you'll need to vent about, and not necessarily to your partner. The journal you keep while planning your wedding will not only help you through this time, but it will be something you cherish for the rest of your life.
4.Announce Your Engagement
Tell everyone the good news! There are many ways of doing this, and no way is more correct or better than another. Click here to read about engagement announcement etiquette and see samples of engagement announcements. Consider:
•E-Mailing or mailing announcements to your family and friends
•Creating a wedding website
•Just flash that ring around!
5.Set the Date
One of the most important decisions you will make as you plan your wedding. Not only will it be the first question everyone will ask you, but you'd be surprised how difficult it will be to make any progress on planning your wedding without knowing the date.
6.Set the Tone of Your Event
This is the time to decide if you're having a formal wedding, a casual affair, or a theme wedding. It's also the time to decide on having a religious or secular ceremony. In short, you need to decide what you want your wedding to feel like. A good way to begin is to sit down with your partner and do some free writing about your ideal wedding. Look at the adjectives that each of you write and use them as a starting point.
7.Set the Budget
Start off by using a printable wedding budget worksheet. Look at your finances and figure out how much you already have in savings, and how much you can save each month. Talk to each of your parents and ask them if they'd like to contribute to your wedding, and either how much they'd like to give you, or what specific things they'd like to pay for. Lastly, decide how much you feel comfortable going into debt. Couples should avoid debt as much as possible. Since married couples fight about money more than anything else, why start marriage with debt on your backs? At this time you may consider opening a new credit card just for the wedding that will earn you airline miles, cash back, or other incentives. It's a good way for you to keep track of wedding expenses, and can help you pay for your honeymoon. Just try to pay it off in full each month. If you're not sure where to start, just send us an e-mail requesting for our Dream Wedding Scope form. It's free!
8.Choose Your Bridal Party
As your bridal party will do a lot more than just stand next to you on the day of the wedding, now is the time to get them involved. While some couples opt not to have any help at all, especially if they're having a casual event, most choose between 2 and 12 members of the bridal party. Look over these lists of responsibilities for bridesmaids and groomsmen before you make your final choices. If they live nearby, its nice to ask someone in person, but a phone call is fine for those who live far away. Do take note that the reception table should have a relative standing by to identify family members from the other guests.
9.Start Looking for Venues for Ceremony and Reception
Many venues are booked a year in advance, so the further in advance you start looking, the more likely you are to get the time, date, and cost that you've planned for.
The successful bride and groom do not plan their wedding alone - they get help! This may be from professionals, respected publications, or trusted friends who've planned their own weddings. A good start is reading this blog!
•Consider hiring a wedding planner or consultant. Especially if you are a busy person, or just feel a little lost, a professional can be invaluable in putting together your ideal day, and can often save you money.
•Use checklists - they're especially helpful if you're planning with your mother or future spouse in another state. The most important of these forms is the overall wedding checklist which will help you stay on top of all of your important to dos. You can get a complete check list and constant reminders from BEST EVENTS once you engage our services.
•If you're like most couples, you'll come home from the bookstore with a few thousand pounds of wedding magazines - why not throw in a wedding planning book as well? While the internet offers many useful tools, a book is portable when you visit vendors and can accommodate the many brochures, swatches and other items you'll be collecting. If you are budget conscious, purchase a three ring binder, and build your own planner with printouts from the internet.
You can also get to discuss wedding matters with other brides in the forum below:
Now that you've made all these decisions, you have a solid foundation for your wedding! It's now time for the fun stuff - dresses, tuxes, flowers, music, favors and more! Remember to use a checklist to help yourself stay organized and on top of it all.