There's no denying it. Something about cooler temperatures sets hearts ablaze! With the holiday season, comes engagement season! In fact according to womangettingmarried.com, 18% of all engagements happen in December, almost doubling the percentage of the second most popular engagement month of February (ahem, Valentine's Day!)
So, odds are you or someone you know just received (or gave) a big ol' shiny rock and extended a promise to put up with your partner's own set of crazy forever-ever. But, what happens after the one hundred "Congratulations" comments on FaceBook (complete with balloons), and after you have had the ring sized, insured, and posted it a million times on Instagram? What are the first steps to actually planning a wedding? Well, we have some tips to get the process moving, and make it enjoyable to boot!
one | PRESS PAUSE
Breathe this moment in. Now that the flurry of the initial excitement has dissipated, take a few weeks (or even months) to just bask in this newly minted title of fiance--it is one you only get to have for short period of time. Have fun flirting with your love and carving out time to just be together before the next flurry of wedding planning excitement commences!
two | DREAM & DISCUSS
Dream of what your perfect wedding day looks like--and more importantly what it FEELS like. Do you want a large & lavish affair, or would you prefer an intimate elopement style soiree? Discuss what you have been dreaming with your fiance (still fun to say that title right?!) and invite him/her to share their dreams with you. Ideally they will align perfectly, but if not, this is the perfect time begin compromising and creating a dream together.
three | PLAN FOR COSTS
Will the two of you being footing the bill yourselves, or do you have generous parents willing to help with some (or even all). Once you have an idea of the overall picture, start thinking about how to best spend those dollars in areas that truly count. According to theknot.com here are the general percentages of where your budget should be spent.
Ceremony & Reception: 48-50 percent
Photography/Videography: 18 percent
Entertainment/Music: 10 percent
Attire: 8 percent
Flowers: 8 percent
Stationery: 2 percent
Gifts: 2-3 percent
Miscellaneous: 3 percent
four | VENUE & COORDINATION
Do some research and find the perfect venue. We are fortunate to work with some incredible on site planners at several venues in the Sacramento area on a regular basis--I can assure you, a strong point person at the venue is worth its weight in gold.
If your dream venue does not have a coordinator, evaluate the elements of your wedding and decide if a wedding planner or day of coordinator is necessary. They are even sometimes able to negotiate with other vendors (such as florists and bakeries) to get you the best deal possible AND can ensure your feathers stay unruffled on your big day.
five | PHOTOGRAPHY & OTHER VENDORS! GET EM’ WHILE THEY’RE HOT!
The vendors you love for photography, DJ/Music, and Hair/Makeup book up quickly (approximately 12+ months in advance). We are actively booking for 2018 & 2019 and would love to connect with you about YOUR special day. You can contact us HERE.
After photography, your next main vendors should absolutely be your DJ & Music-they set the tone for the entire party experience of your wedding. Trust us---book with reputable DJ’s to ensure your mics don’t squeal feedback during your vows (yes, this has happened), and that they don't imbibe on the adult beverages as much as the guests do (and yes, this has happened too).
Lastly, believe it or not but your entire timeline begins (and sometimes crumbles) with your hair and makeup team. Generally, we ask the HMUA to have our brides ready at a certain time---based on this info, their team knows their pace and what time to start. We regularly work with a handful of talented HMUAs who always ensure the timeline is met and that our brides look flawless. All. Night. Long.
More than anything else, this should be a joyful experience! Anytime that planning feels complicated or stressful , take a break and refocus on the one true goal---marrying the love of your life! Congratulations lovers, the best is yet to come!