Thursday, January 5, 2012

Engaged, now what?

Happy New Year!!

A little sparkle for the new year! Britta's BHLDN wedding shoes; photo by Stephen Hughes (c) 2011

If you're recently engaged, you're probably wondering now what?

Here are some quick tips to get you on your merry way:
  1. First, congrats! Bask in the afterglow of your engagement.
  2. Spread the word -- tell your parents, besties, update your status on Facebook. But, surprisingly -- you don't have to pick your wedding party just yet -- until after steps #3-5. You can definitely start thinking about who you want in your wedding party. But, having a huge wedding party may not make sense for a wedding where you can only afford (or want) 50-100 people.
  3. Set your budget. Broaching the subject of who foots the bill may be tricky, especially if you're not comfortable asking your family or other relatives for financial help. Or perhaps you and your fiance prefer to fund your wedding. Take stock of what you can reasonably afford without going into outrageous debt. The venue and catering will be 40-60% of your budget.
  4. Based on your budget, set your estimated headcount and start looking for a venue according to your priorities (location, outdoor/indoors, BYO catering or in-house, etc). If you want to get married in 2012, you might find it challenging to book popular venues especially during peak season. Be open!
  5. Hire a wedding coordinator (partial or full).A wedding coordinator can point you in the right direction for securing vendors and/or a venue. They can also offer advice on etiquette, related tasks, and your budget. Believe me -- from firsthand experience -- you will definitely want someone else to handle the details of the day so you can actually enjoy your wedding!
  6. Prioritize line items for each vendor/expense. Consider whether you care more about the food, photos, music, etc and budget accordingly.
  7. Open a Pinterest account unless you already have one. This is my favorite way to curate your wedding wishes and dreams. You can organize your vision by genre (rustic, modern, vintage), colors or elements (sparkly, chevron, faux bois) and easily share it with prospective or current vendors as well as families and friends. Caution: you will get addicted to pinning!
  8. Finally, breathe and enjoy a little "me" time every day. It's easy to get caught up in the details -- and sometimes, the drama -- of planning. Don't forget to do what you need to do to get back to center. Cook, do yoga, meditate, write in your journal...
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