Congratulations on your engagement! The Lady has Said Yes, so now what? Fear not, my lovely ladies, for I have compiled a list of the steps to be taken between now and the big day. This is the first post in a series entitled Wedding Checklist (original, I know but hey I wanted it to be concise. The time for witty titles comes later…). Below is a list of tasks to tick off your list within the first month or so of getting engaged. Let the planning commence!
You’ve just got engaged so enjoy this magical time. Share your wonderful experience with friends and family and make sure to savour every moment of it. The day I announced my engagement to my whole family was one of the best of my life so far. Nothing beats the screams of joy (some louder than others, yes I’m talking to you Kennedy ladies…) and all the smiles and happy tears and cuddles…
2. Talk Numbers
The sooner you sit down and figure out your budget, the better. That way you’ll have a more realistic idea of the wedding you can actually afford as opposed to the one you’ve been planning on Pinterest… Sit down with both sets of parents and find out how much they want to contribute. Work out how much you and your fiancé can put towards the wedding. Add these numbers together and this is your budget. Stick to it. I would recommend setting up a spreadsheet with categories for all the main expenses and inputting approximate amounts into each one so you can see where your budget is going.
3. Date Night
Or you know just ‘date day’ or whatever… Anyways the next step is to have a chat with your fiancé about what time of year you would like to get married and work this down to a few key dates. Do you want a fresh spring wedding or does the height of summer feel more like your scene? What about a crisp white winter wedding? It’s also worth having a chat with your family to make sure your chosen date doesn’t conflict with any other major event.
4. Be Our Guest!
Closely linked to your budget is your guest list. Even if the wedding date is a long way away now is a good time to get an approximate guest list on paper. The largest percentage of the budget for most weddings goes to the reception and is a direct result of the number of mouths you plan on feeding. Choose wisely. Will it be a family affair or will you have more friends at the wedding? Who is most important to you and your fiancé? This is your day so invite who you want. And don’t be scared to be bold!
5. Who Will Perform the Ceremony?
Does anyone else hear Phoebe strumming this on the guitar when they hear this phrase? Just me? OK then…
Are you having a civil or religious ceremony? Now’s the time to have that chat with your fiancé. It may not be something which has came up in conversation before so it’s best to chat about it now so that no assumptions are made. Once you’ve decided what kind of ceremony you’re going to have it’s time to consider who will do the honours.
6. Buy a Wedding Planner
This one is for all you stationary fanatics out there! I nipped out to Paperchase quick smart after getting engaged and purchased this little number seen in the photo above (if you’d like me to do a review on this planner then let me know). Every one will have their own preference as to how to keep track of their wedding plans but I like having a physical folder which I can add things to or remove things from. This is a good place to stash any leaflets you get from suppliers and to note down your budget and guest list from above.
7. Set up a Wedding Email Address
This is something which takes minutes to do and will save you lots of time in the long run. Rather than sifting through months of unsorted emails in your personal account to find that quote from the florist, it is much easier to have a separate wedding account. That way all the wedding stuff is in the one place and less likely to get lost. Having an account which you can both access will also be beneficial (just make sure you don’t have any details of The Dress sent here!). You can also ask guests to email the address by means of RSVP-ing and that way it’s easier to keep track. Clever, eh?
8. Take out insurance
This is something I have yet to do myself but when I think about all the money about to go into the big day it is definitely something we are going to get sorted. A lot of comparison websites can be used for this. When we get ours sorted I can let you all know if you’d like.
9. Make Your First Booking!
With a date, budget and approximate guest list now’s the time to book your venue! It may seem soon but popular venues can book out fairly quickly. One piece of advice given to us by the wedding planner at our venue is to make sure you have someone to perform the ceremony who will be available on your chosen date. Most venues will require a non-refundable deposit to secure the date so if there’s a particular person you would like to marry the pair of you, speak to them first.
10. And Relax…
Whew… That was a lot! Now you’ve sorted the big important bits take some time to chill. Enjoy browsing through wedding magazines, Pinterest and blogs (i.e. this one) for some inspiration for the next stages.
Did you find this helpful? What else did you organise soon after you got engaged?
Look out for the next post in the series on what to do 12 – 18 months before the big day!