It's post-holiday season, which was the biggest time of the year to get engaged. If your fiancé just popped the question and you find yourself in this blissful whirlwind, CONGRATS!!!! At this point, I'm sure you've already called the necessary people, posted on your social media and have been showing off that beautiful ring to anyone and everyone.
While I know you're very much enjoying this happy moment in your life, as you should be, the lingering thoughts of wedding planning are right around the corner. Those times can be stressful and amazing, all at the same moment! I was a bride once, and I can honestly tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed wedding planning. I seriously might be the only person I know to say that, but I'm obviously in the wedding industry because I love it. Since I've been through it, I want to share with you some of the things I've learned on my quest for my dream wedding. There are going to be stressors that are way beyond your control. This happens with literally EVERY. SINGLE. WEDDING. There are also things that you CAN control. These things generally revolve around early wedding planning and really doing your research to make sure you know what you need to get done and when it needs done by. Before booking any vendors, you really want to get a sense of the when, how much and how many guests. Do you want a Summer wedding? Rustic wedding? Big wedding? Small, intimate wedding? Winter wedding? Lots of time to save up money? Already have savings for the budget you're looking to stay within? These details are important to figure out before you start booking vendors.
Did you know that many wedding vendors book their clients AT LEAST a year in advance. Some wedding venues book two years in advance, especially with peak season wedding dates. So if you're planning a Fall 2017 wedding, you better jump on the wedding planning train soon, boo.
To put things into perspective, I'll tell you this story. When I got engaged, Lou and I knew we wanted our wedding to be on a Saturday in October of the following year. Once I nailed down the venue that I loved, there was literally only one Saturday available for that month. It wasn't the exact date I wanted, but it was what was available. We ended up getting married exactly one year after he proposed.
Having your wedding venue booked really helps get the ball rolling on planning. Many vendors will not allow you to book with them if you don't have your venue and wedding date on the calendar. Once that's solidified, your search for an event planner, photographer, videographer, DJ/band and caterer will begin. Once these vendors are booked, you're in for smooth sailing for a little while to focus on all of the fun, pretty details. The pressure to book these vendors can be pretty high, but it's definitely worth getting this taken care of ASAP. There's nothing more discouraging than trying to book the wedding photographer of your dreams and constantly getting email replies that they're already booked for that date. I know, I've been there - and I was emailing togs as soon as I got engaged!
My last bit of advice as you begin this wonderful journey to becoming a Mrs. is to keep a folder with all of your wedding notes, contracts, calendar with important dates such as payments due and a wedding checklist so you can keep tabs on your progress and be a little less stressed! In your binder, add a list of great blogs to get inspiration from and also helpful tips as you plan your wedding. Burnett's Boards, The Knot, Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, Fab You Bliss and Ruffled Blog are good resources! Many of your local photographers have a blog that showcase some beautiful, real life weddings. The best part is that they're usually local weddings, and I bet you can find some great blog posts from togs who photographed at your particular wedding venue. That can help you see the big picture and learn what you can actually do with the space you're getting married in. Best of luck and happy wedding planning!