The love of your life just got down on one knee. You screamed, said yes, and shouted from the rooftops that you’re officially ENGAGED!! But now what? Wedding planning can seem like a daunting task when you don’t know where to begin. I’m not a wedding planner, but I have planned my own wedding, worked alongside planners, and photographed countless weddings. So here’s a quick breakdown on what you need to do first to get this ball rolling and start planning the best day of your life!
There’s no need to jump into wedding planning right away. Take some time to celebrate this amazing news. Tell your friends and family. Post on social media. Show off your new bling and just take it all in. Then once you’ve come off the high and are starting to daydream about what you want your wedding to be like, jump into the planning! (For me, it was the very next day. Lol. But everyone is different)
Start thinking about what time of year you’d like to get married. Each season has its pros and cons depending on where you live. But it’s important not to get too attached to a particular date yet. Just get a general idea like Fall of 2020 so you can start thinking about things like venues, colors and themes that fit with the season you’ve chosen.
Speaking for Dallas, TX since that’s where I’m based, here are some things to think about with each season:
Before you do anything major, decide if you want to hire a wedding planner. I HIGHLY recommend it and can even give you some recommendations. A planner will help guide you through every step of the wedding planning process and help bring your vision to life on the big day. If you can’t afford a planer, or just really want to do it all yourself, then consider getting a day-of coordinator to help bring everything together at the end and take the stress of you and your family.
Time to start making things official! It’s time to book a venue! This needs to be your first big decision because it’s honestly the most important. Think about where you’d like to get married, schedule some tours with venues you’re interested in, and put a deposit down on your favorite. Now that you’ve done this, you should officially have your exact wedding date! Get excited, this is really happening!!
Next up is the photographer. Photographers can book up a year or more in advance, so it’s important to start looking as soon as your have your official date determined. Check out my blog on How to Find Your Dream Photographer for more info on how to go about this.
Now comes the really fun part….it’s time to get engagement photos done!! Engagement photos are so dang fun and exciting, so I recommend taking them pretty soon after you book your wedding photographer before you get too stressed with planning. You’ll definitely need to get them done before you send out “save the dates” about 6-8 months before the wedding. Check out my blog on the importance of engagement photos to learn more.
A lot of brides will get excited and want to do this right away, but you really should hold off until you have some definitive wedding plans. Plans change, relationships change, and you don’t want to ask people too early. Once you know what your wedding will look like and have an idea of how big it will be, how many bridesmaids you want, and what the style will be, then you can start asking your friends! The only exception is the Maid of Honor. If you know for sure who it will be and you want help doing steps 1-6, then by all means, ask her right away!
Okay, I know I said getting engagement photos was the fun part, but buying your dress is equally as fun! A lot of brides don’t realize this, but unless you buy a dress off-the-rack, wedding dresses can take upwards of 6 months to come in, then you’ll need alterations. So you need to begin looking for your dress about 8-10 months before your wedding.
You’ve done the major things now. At this point, even if you do nothing else, you’ll have a venue, a dress, a wedding party and a photographer there to document it. Even if no one shows up because you never sent invitations. Lol. I’m not going to go through every step of planning because that’s your planners job, but if you sign up for The Knot or Wedding Wire, they’ll provide you with a detailed checklist and timeline to keep your planning on track! Good luck! I’m sure your wedding day will be beautiful!
If you want me there to document it, be sure to check out the rest of my website and send me a message 😉