You said “yes” now what? An engagement is a once in a lifetime experience that can be both the happiest and most stressful time of your life. Wedding planning isn’t easy, nor is it the same for everyone. Here’s a quick guide you can follow, whether your engagement is two years or four months.
- Announce Your Engagement
Once you’ve reveled in your excitement and slowly subsided from your initial engagement bliss, it’s time to share the good news with friends and family! Every couple is different, as is every engagement. Your announcement should reflect your personalities—whether humble or bold, it will set the scene for your lives together as husband and wife.
Whether you send out a web blast, make an engagement video, or plan an engagement party where you surprise your guests with the good news paired with a champagne toast, it’s sure to be a spectacle. Personalizing your engagement is easier than ever with today’s technology, so go out there and spread the word!
- Choose a Date
Choosing a date can be more difficult than you think. In addition to planning around family schedules, holidays, and other important festivities, it is essential to consider in which season you envision yourself walking down the aisle.
Spring and fall make for beautiful weddings with gorgeous mild temperatures. Winter weddings are popular and can embrace the many holidays that fall on winter months. Summer weddings are most popular, especially if you are considering an outdoor wedding June and July being the most popular summer months.
Whatever season you choose, have a couple possible dates in mind. It’s a good idea to be a little flexible in order to secure that perfect venue.
- Find a Ceremony & Reception Location
Once you’ve chosen a season and a date, the search for the setting of your “I do” is in full throttle. Nebraska and Iowa have so many different options, from hotels & banquet halls to barns & wineries!
Venues fill up fast, so it’s important to start looking early. Visit as many potential locations as possible, re-visiting your favorites on event days to get a glimpse of what your wedding could resemble. Take your time and utilize the full facility tours to ensure that your appointment is worthwhile and informative. After all, this is the place where you’ll transform from a Miss to a Mrs.
- Set a Budget
Big, beautiful weddings can be pricey, but determining a budget before you blow out your bank account can help you plan and prepare. Often times, parents of the bride and groom are more than happy to dish out some dollars towards the celebration. If this doesn’t sound like your circumstance, though, not to worry!
Budgeting is now easier than ever with online tools and a wide array of do-it-yourself options. Local vendors should also be aware of your needs, and finding quality flowers or wedding packages at a lower cost is possible—all you have to do is communicate!
- Create a Guest List
More guests mean more money, but that doesn’t mean that you have to exclude some of your favorite people. Are your parents inviting some of their friends that you’ve never even met? Have a sit down with your families to discuss the cap of your guest list and how it coincides with your venue’s accommodations and catering costs.
- Get Ready to Pose
Engagement photos are the perfect opportunity to get high-quality, professional photographs of the two of you in your pure, engagement bliss. Whether you utilize them in your Save-the-Dates or frame them in your first home together, you won’t regret taking some time out of your busy schedules to pose for the camera.
- Send Out Those Save-the-Dates & Invitations
Save-the-Dates are an easy and fun way to give your invited guests a heads up on the big day. They should be sent out several months before your wedding date in order to allow out-of-town guests to plan their travel arrangements and in-town guests to plan their schedules around the festivities.
Your official invitation should be mailed about eight weeks before your wedding date. As the RSVPs come pouring in, the excitement for your perfect day will only grow with anticipation.
- Get That Gorgeous Gown
You’ve been waiting for this day since you were a little girl, and it’s finally time to find that perfect dress. With hundreds of different silhouettes, materials, necklines, and price ranges at your disposal, your options are endless!
With the help of your favorite bridal salon, best girlfriends, and family, your fairy tale wedding gown will be discovered in no time. Try on as many dresses as possible—after all, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Remember your gown will most likely need some sort of alteration, so make sure you order or purchase your gown allowing enough time to have it altered so you dream gown will fit you perfectly.
- Book Your Vendors
Without a wedding coordinator, planning can be an intricate task. Finding an officiant, photographer, videographer, entertainment, transportation service, caterer to work your wedding as well as placing orders for your cake, flowers, décor, linens, and party favors takes a great deal of time and effort.
Finding quality vendors through referrals and recommendations is a fantastic way to gain valuable products and services. Establishing meaningful relationships with vendors can also increase the splendor of your wedding—even on a budget.
- Relax & Escape
Wedding planning can bring up some sticky situations during the stressful times, but it’s important to remember why you’re getting married in the first place—to spend the rest of your lives with each other. Getting carried away with the details of your wedding shouldn’t discourage you from spending quality time with the one you love.
At least once a month, plan a non-wedding based date night. Or to take it one step further, plan a trip before the wedding to rest and rediscover that pre-planning enchantment that began when he first got down on one knee. The wedding of your dreams is only a snapshot of your lives together. The marriage of a lifetime, though—well, that’s a true treasure.