If you have started off the New Year by getting engaged – Congratulations!
Now you have some exciting times ahead. So many decisions to make and plans to set. But it can be difficult remembering everything you have to organise, so to make things easy here is our ultimate Just Engaged checklist to help you start your planning.
Of course, a wedding can be planned in as little as a few months, with 30 days being the minimum amount of time you have between signing your intention to marry and actually saying ‘I do.’ But most people will allow at least a year and maybe even up to 2 years to plan the perfect wedding and get all of the details just right.
The more popular venues, photographers, bands and other vendors will book out early, so if you are particular about what you want you will need to get planning straight away.
As you get closer to the big day you will have lots of smaller decisions to make and details to work out, but for now, this checklist will get you on your way. These are all of the things you should start thinking about in the first couple of months after you’ve said the big ‘Yes!’
This is not really the first thing on your mind, but it is one of the most important and savvy things to do right now. That gorgeous new piece of hardware on your hand could be worth quite a lot, and you don’t want to lose it or damage it.
Get this little job done straight away and then all the fun stuff can follow.
You will need to decide how long your engagement is going to be, and set a date for the big day. In the beginning, you might narrow it down to a month you would like to get married, leaving a little flexibility to lock in things you really want such as the venue.
If you want to give yourself enough time to plan properly you give yourself at least a year’s head start.
Figure out your wedding date based on:
Before you plan anything for your wedding you will need to work out how much you have to spend. Figure out if you can access this money easily or if you need a loan.
Everything that comes after really depends on the budget you come up with.
Start tracking what you intend to spend on every individual item. Don’t just include the big ticket items, but make sure that you cover little every cost as well (this is where the money really adds up!)
Estimate what you have for each item, prioritise the ones you really want to splurge on, and figure out where you can save some cash by DIYing. Factor in at least 10% extra for emergencies or blowouts in your budget.
You may also want to do a preliminary guest list at this time to get a good idea of venue size and price. Do you want more people in a bigger venue with a lower cost per head? Or you could cap your guests around 100 people and then choose a more expensive and boutique venue.
Knowing your preliminary numbers will give you an idea of what budget you need (or knowing your budget restrictions might give an idea of what numbers you can have).
Do all of this early enough to let yourself to start saving if you need to.
You should tell the people closest to you in person, but once you get past your inner circle it’s probably ok to let everyone know on social media. You could arrange for a super cute engagement photo shoot, or use pics from the proposal if you have them to announce to everyone your happy news.
Get the word out as soon as you can, then the fun part of celebrating and planning can begin!
This might be an easy decision for you, or it could be a difficult juggle of numbers and relationships. Many people have a bit of a challenge choosing those special few people to be in their bridal party.
Ask people early on so that you know what is coming up in their lives – some may decline because of pregnancy or other commitments. Some may like to use this as a goal to lose weight and look their best, so give them as much notice as possible.
There are no rules with your bridal party any more – you don’t have to have only females on one side and males on the other, you don’t need even numbers. You don’t even need a bridal party at all. But if you do want one, make these decisions early and let people know.
This way you can recruit your helpers and start delegating as soon as possible!
I think this is actually the most exciting part of all.
Before you pick a venue, a dress, or anything really, you need to decide on the overall vision or feel of your wedding. You may not want a specific theme as such, like Gatsby or Rock and Roll, but you will have a general idea of how you want your wedding to feel.
Do you want big or small? Grand and opulent or rustic and casual? Modern or vintage? City or rural? Morning, afternoon, or a three-day festival?
What sort of couple are you? This day can be anything you want it to be, but the best place to start might be to work out what really defines you as a couple and tells your love story in the best way possible.
How can you share your story with your family and friends and celebrate this momentous occasion, to give yourselves the best start to your future together?
There are plenty of different ways to create your wedding vision – it will depend on whether you create better visually, in writing or digitally. You might like to buy a corkboard and start pinning up pictures of venues, themes, flowers, and colours. You might work better in apps like Pinterest or using an app designed specifically for wedding planning like WeddingHappy.
Make sure that you check out our gorgeous Pinterest page to help you get started as well!
It’s all so exciting, and we are excited for you. For more ideas on planning your wedding check out our regular Bridal Bling blogs.