You’ve been waiting for this moment, and now you’re finally engaged! All of the feelings are flooding in and you feel like you’re on Cloud 9. Once you start to settle, it hits you – Now what?! You know there’s a long list of to-do’s, but where do you start? No need to get overwhelmed, this list will help you to start on the right foot.
After getting engaged, I know you’re feeling excited, overwhelmed, on top of the world… Basically, you’re feeling all of the feelings at once. Some couples are ready to dive into wedding planning right away, while some put it off for months. My recommendation is somewhere in between. Take some time to soak it all in and enjoy this exciting time! Spend lots of time together, tell your family and close friends, and if you want, put it out on social media. It’s okay to spend some time gushing and let others gush for you!
Once you’ve taken a couple of weeks to soak it in, it’s time to get planning. 2022 and 2023 are having a record number of weddings, so if you’re planning to get married in either year, you’ll want to secure your vendors very soon.
You will first want to decide where you’re going to have the wedding. Will you do it in your hometown? Your bae’s hometown? Will you have your wedding where you both currently live? Or maybe you want to do something destination!
Once you decide where you will do the wedding, you’ll want to pick a date. I highly recommend choosing a flexible date. Pick a season or month you’d like to get married in and go from there. That will give you more flexibility when booking your dream vendors.
Once you’ve decided when you’d like to get married, come up with an estimated budget for your wedding. Wedding planning sites like Zola or The Knot can help with this. Start researching the average cost of vendors in your area. You’ll also want to consider what your priorities are, whether that be the perfect photographer, magnificent florals, a phenomenal videographer, an open bar, etc. You’ll also want to think through your guest count, as that will be a major factor in cost. Keep your budget somewhat flexible until you dive into finding vendors.
You’ll also want to find out what your venue provides. Is catering in-house, or will you need to secure an outside caterer? How about rentals? Do they do the set-up, or do you need to book someone for that as well? What about bar service?
Simultaneously, after getting engaged, you will need to gather inspiration for your wedding day. The vendors you book should be based on the desired look and feel of your wedding. Are you wanting a casual, backyard elopement with feel-good food? A luxurious, upscale affair with no detail spared? Do you want a photographer that is more posed and classic, candid and documentary or a mix of both? What about the colors, vibe, and overall theme of your wedding?
Now that you’re engaged and have completed your initial steps, it’s important you schedule your vendors as soon as possible. The two vendors that get booked up the fastest are typically venues and photographers. Decide which is most important to you, and book that first.
Wondering how many hours you really need a wedding photographer? Read this.
After you’ve booked your venue and your wedding photographer, you’ll need to start securing your other vendors, including but not limited to a florist, cake, hair and makeup artist, wedding attire, DJ, and so much more.
Pro tip: Make sure all of your vendors have a contract that protects you. Read it and understand it before signing, and don’t be afraid to ask questions left unanswered.
A great way to celebrate your engagement and check something off of your list is to do your engagement session! Engagement session photos are great for so many things – Save the Dates, invitations, photos to display at your engagement party, wedding shower, on your wedding day, and more. These are photos you’ll turn back to time and time again to remember this sweet time in your lives.
Not sure where to do your engagement session? Check this out for the top 5 St. Louis engagement photo locations.
Throughout all of these steps, be sure to take time for yourselves and each other. Planning a wedding is fun but can also bring stress! It’s important to remember your love for one another and do things to celebrate along the way. Have wedding planning dates where you bring your to-do’s to a winery or a brewery to make planning extra fun.