CONGRATULATIONS, you're getting married! Whether you're planning to wed in a few short months or you are thinking it's a year or more down the road, there are a few things you should definitely do right away. And I won't delay, here are the five things you should get to doing right now:
1. Set a budget.
You have to know what you're working with in order to make the rest of your decisions. It's definitely not the fun part of wedding planning, but it will set the foundation for the rest of your decision making and will ultimately eliminate added stress if you stick to it. Once a budget is set, you are able to make better, more focused decisions on style, theme, location, etc.
2. Discuss your wedding style/theme.
Is it going to be big or small? Fancy or low-key? Rustic? Classy? Modern? Indoor our outdoor? Church ceremony? Traditional? What are your colors going to be? How many attendants are you going to have? Is it going to be near the bride's hometown or the groom's? Maybe you want to have a destination wedding. If so, is it going to be tropical or in the mountains? See where I'm headed here - there will be so many things that come up, so be sure to give each other room to give their input and make the decisions together.
3. Start working on your guest list.
This is one of the most difficult tasks in all of wedding planning. This is where you realize that everyone wants to have their say. Your parents want to invite their lifelong friends and distant family members you've never met and Joe from down the street, and you get the point! You'll need to have an idea on how many guests you are going to have so you can select the right venue. This decision will also have a major impact on how your budget is dispersed. For example, if you have a small guest list, let's say 50, the budget for venue and catering will not need to be as large as it would if you are planning for 300.
4. Choose a venue & date...hint: it'll be helpful if you do it in that order.
You can set a date first if you want, but if you want to be able to book the venue that you fall in love with, then you should be prepared to be flexible on your date. Couples I work with tend to have the ability to book the venue they want if they have 2-3 dates selected that they can be flexible with.
Soak it up and enjoy this special time with your fiance. This is such an exciting, short-lived period in your life and it is important for you to revel in the JOY of being engaged. Don't lose sight of WHY you're spending all this time planning your wedding.