Embrace the joy. Dance, sing, smile widely – do whatever makes you feel happiest and enjoy the moment. You may also want to schedule a manicure – there are going to be plenty of people ogling your sparkling new ring.
Notify your family and friends. We suggest that you call those closest to you and share the exciting news. You don’t want them to be hurt by hearing it secondhand or seeing it on social media, so also ask that they refrain from posting anything on social media for a few days, allowing you and your fiancé the time to spread the news personally.
Determine a date and locale. The two of you should discuss your ideal time of year and location for the celebration. If you are able to settle on an actual date, even better! However, it may be wise to be flexible with the date, as a venue you love may be booked on your original date.
Settle on a guest list and consider your spending limit. This will probably be one of the hardest items to check off your to-do list. The guest list will start out much longer than you imagined in your head and you may have to whittle it down a bit, especially once you add the people that your parents will want to invite. Guest lists are important because this area greatly impacts your spending limit and you may need to make adjustments to either the number of people invited or the amount of money allotted in your budget.
Locate the perfect venue. You’ll want to start figuring out what’s most important to you in regard to your wedding venue. Do you want the ceremony and reception held in the same place? Do you want it at a hotel where guests can make arrangements for accommodations? Do you prefer something casual and beachside or a sit-down dinner service in a formal ballroom? These are all characteristics to consider, as well as the maximum number of guests that the venue accommodates, time limitations, liquor license requirements, and what in-house vendors are required vs. those you can hire outside of the establishment.
Visit bridal gown salons. Thoroughly enjoy your hunt for the perfect dress. Pamper yourself and make appointments at a few salons, where you’ll indulge in glasses of Champagne, try on gorgeous gowns, and feel very much like a bride. We don’t recommend taking more than a couple of close family members or friends on each appointment, though. Besides the possibility of minimal seating, you don’t want the opinions of too many people to cloud your judgment or steer you away from a dress you truly love.
Contact primary vendors. You’ll want to start meeting your main vendors, such as a photographer, florist, planner, and entertainment/musicians. These professionals typically book a year out, so if you have your heart set on a particular person, it’s best you reach out as soon as possible.
During all of the wedding planning and stressful challenges you may face during this process, try your best to enjoy it together. Don’t lose focus of what’s most important about the celebration – your love and the joining of you two as husband and wife.
Cheers, and happy planning!
Opening photo by Jana Williams Photography