1.) Enjoy the moment
Congrats on your recent engagement! You're off on an exciting adventure! During this time, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with so much to do! The very first thing to do is to enjoy the moment!
Pro Tip: Keep the moment intimate with just you and your new fiance, or if your engagement includes family and friends stay in the moment with them!
2.) Declare the news
Now that you're engaged, it's time to share the news! Take your time and share the news how you would like. Before posting on social media, be sure to tell anyone whom you would like to personally tell. Then if you'd like to post on social media, go for it! Ultimately you need to do what you want to do during your engagement season.
Pro Tip: Many couples choose to announce their engagement with a funny caption such as "(Insert last name) has a nice RING to it!" There are tons of fun captions you could use!
3.) Insure your ring
Now that you have that beautiful new ring on your finger, it's time to take care of it! Be sure to insure your ring, the sooner the better! If your ring needs any adjusting or resizing, be sure to get that done as well!
Pro Tip: If your ring is a little too loose and you need a temporary fix, try these ring adjusters Here!
4.) Talk to your Fiancé
Communication is a critical key in wedding planning. Now is the time for you and your fiance to get on the same page for your expectations of your wedding day. Set a date for you and your fiancé to discuss expectations over dinner or coffee.
Pro Tip: It can be an awkward subject, but be sure to go over who is expected or planning to cover certain expenses. For example, traditionally the bride's parents pay for the wedding while the groom's parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. You'll just want to make sure you're on the same page with expenses and expectations.
5.) Start your inspiration board
There are many ways to start your inspiration board. Pinterest is a great free resource to utilize for wedding inspiration and planning. If digital isn't your cup of tea, try looking through bridal magazines! Some recommendations include Rocky Mountain Bride, Brides, and Style Me Pretty to name a few!
Pro Tip: While looking for inspiration, now is the time to narrow down what season you'd like to get married in. Each season offers many different pros and cons.
6.) Set your budget
Probably the most daunting task while wedding planning and the most stressful. Money... You must set a comprehensive budget and try to stay within your means. Before starting your budget, do some research on what to expect. Many factors can change what to financially expect including time of year, location, availability, and party size to name a few.
Pro Tip: Want to save some budget? Consider shortening your guest list! Many costs vary depending on the number of guests including food, beverage, cake, etc
7.) Start setting your guest list.
Time to start drafting your guest list! When it comes to making your guest list, be sure to only invite who you want to invite. It can get messy quickly if your goal is to please everyone.
Pro Tip: Large parties are out of style and intimate weddings are in! Consider a micro wedding instead of hosting a huge party if that's more your style!
8.) Consider hiring a wedding planner
Wedding planners are an excellent resource to assist with navigating the plans for your dream wedding. Consider the pros and cons of hiring one and see if you can work it into your budget.
Pro Tip: If a wedding planner is out of your budget, look into hiring a month of coordinator or even a day of coordinator instead! These services can make your wedding day so much more enjoyable without adding the price tag of a full wedding planner.
9.) Choose a Wedding Venue
One of the first vendors that you'll need to secure is your wedding venue! Booking your venue will help you narrow in on so many details including the date, location, and theme of your wedding. Consider your theme when looking at wedding venues. For example, if you want a rustic theme, look for barns and ranches to host your wedding. Looking for a more elegant vibe? Check out more modern venues or ballrooms.
Pro Tip: Many venues book out in advance. For example, here at LaBelle Lake, we book out about a year to 18 months in advance. Have your heart set on a specific venue or date? Check on their availability and get your tour scheduled!
10.) Build your dream vendor team!
Now that your venue is booked, it's time to secure some other vendors! Your photographer is another vendor that needs to be booked ASAP!
Pro Tip: When looking for a photographer, pick one photographer for both your engagement photos as well as wedding photos! Photographers will often have specials if you book more than one service or a higher package with them!
Some other vendors to start looking into include a videographer, caterer, DJ, and florist just to name a few. Many vendors book out quickly, so if you have your heart set on one specific vendor, reach out to them ASAP to secure them for your date!
11.) Shop for your dress
Perhaps one of the most anticipated items on your checklist is wedding dress shopping! Gather your support team and set up an appointment to start trying on dresses! Go into your appointment with an idea of what you're looking for, BUT you should be open to trying on different looks even if you don't think that's what you want. Speaking from personal experience here, my wedding dress ended up being the complete opposite of what I thought I wanted!
Pro Tip: Many bridal shops will offer a discount if you commit to a dress at your first appointment. This can be a great way to save money, but don't feel pressured to commit if you're not ready!
Photography: @jennylynphotography @jacquesudbrockphotography