Ok so I'll admit, I am still to excited to actually focus on anything at the moment, but I did manage to put together a little to do list for us to follow.
1. Announce your engagement
Shout it out! Tell family and friends however you would like but be sure to not let the stress get to you. If they start asking about the wedding date and you haven’t set one yet just let them know that you’re really just enjoying being engaged and that they’ll be the first to know when you do decide. Just remember – they’re excited for you and that’s why they’re asking! Even though it may be stressful, just know that they mean the best and be sure to take the time to bask in your new status.2. Imagine your dream wedding
I know you’ve been thinking about it for a while now, so sit and think how would you want it? Without worrying about budget, guests, or any of the things that come up late have some fun and decide on the theme or feel you will want your wedding to have. Be sure to talk to your fiancé about this, he may have something I mind that you never would have guessed.3. Get organized
Plan where you’re going to keep all your thoughts, plans, details, and lists. My advice? A giant binder. That way you can easily move it from place to place. But what it is doesn’t matter – it could be a shoe box if you knew exactly where to find things.4. Set your budget
This is the least fun wedding thing but also the most important. In order to help you from stressing out about the credit card debt you’re piling up on wedding décor – sit down with your FH and whoever else may be contributing and find out exactly what you have to spend on your fairy tale wedding. Then, with your FH, decide on the three most important aspects of your wedding day. Is it the photography, the food, the music, or the décor? This will let you know what things you may want to splurge on and where you can really cut back. For me, I really don’t want a videographer – but photography and the venue is a big deal for me. So I can adjust my budget accordingly. And while it may be a little more work, it is still possible to have the wedding of your dreams while on a budget. You just need to focus on what is important to you and use a little magic dust.5. Pick a date
This is a little tougher. I’d suggest picking a few dates, like maybe three, that will work for you, your fiancé, and your families. Having multiple dates set aside will help you be able to still get the venue you’d like. That way if it turns out to be booked on one of your days, you always have two more to choose from. Also remember, if you are planning a budgeted wedding, some dates will be less expensive than others. Consider having a wedding in the “off” season where you might find some incredible discounts. Some things to consider, according to the Knot, are the symbolism of your date (what does it mean to you), the season, the price (like I stated above), holidays, VIP preferences (can your family make it?), and any major dates to avoid.6. Make a first draft guest list
See here for a list of dates to avoid in 2010 and 2011.
See here for a list of dates to avoid in 2010 and 2011.
My FH and I are paying for almost all of the wedding (if not everything)so technically I didn’t have to invite any of the people our parents wanted, but to me it was important that they each choose a few people who are important to them to have at our wedding. In order to do this while still keeping a handle on our small (50-75 guests) and budgeted ($5000) wedding I asked them to make a “dream list”. They can write everyone down that they would like to invite, I ask them who matters the most to them on this list, and then I drop the ones I don’t know or don’t need to have at the wedding. And voila – I have a manageable guest list where I know and care about mostly everyone invited but our parents still get to have a few of their closest and dearest with them.7. Find the ceremony and reception venue
Some of you out there will be shocked when you start looking into venues. These things are booking up fast! One place I’ve looked in the past had dates booked for the next 2 years! So as soon as you get the above things figured out I suggest you start looking around and touring some of the places. Also, if budget is an focus for you, remember that the more unique the venue is – it usually costs less.8. Pick your colors
I actually did this way before we got engaged. But it may be easier to pick the colors after picking the venue. That way you can use the venue in your decorations. Find a ball room with a blue and brown floor? Consider using one of those in your wedding. Decorating will get much easier. (In my case, because I am so set on my colors – I’m actually trying to find a venue that fits my vision.)9. Pick your attendants
Pick them as soon as you are sure of whom you want to be a part of your day. You will have even more fun planning and searching for things if you have your favorite bridesmaids to do it with!10. Start looking for vendors
I have a giant binder filled with tons of these guys and soon I will need to go through and start thinning out the herd. Hehe. Better Homes and Gardens suggests finding your photographer, caterer, videographer, and florist at the 10-month mark. Some things to consider when looking for a vendor is your vision of the wedding, the different types of possibilities, for instance photography has photojournalistic, artistic, and traditional (you may want to familiarize yourself with a few key terms before interviewing). And be sure to interview multiple people, other people may click with you more than the first you see.11. Look for dresses
Better Homes and Gardens suggests starting to looking 7-10 months in advance to allow enough time for ordering and alterations. The Knot also suggests that you study up on your wedding dress 101 before you go, “Learn the lingo before stepping foot in a dress salon. Read up on silhouettes, necklines, trains, and hues that might flatter you. Season will also affect your choice. Getting married in the sweltering summer? Go with lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, linen, or organza. Having a winter wedding? Brocade, faux fur, and velvet fabrics will keep you warm. Satin, shantung, silk, and tulle are perfect year-round.”12. Book hotel rooms (if needed)
I like the idea of booking out blocks of rooms for your guests and including the hotel options in your save the dates. This way your guests won’t be stressed about having to find a hotel room close enough to the venue.