YOU GOT A RING FOR CHRISTMAS?! YOU’RE ENGAGED!!! CONGRATULATIONS!
What now?! Don’t get overwhelmed. Take a breath and read on. It’s a step by step process, so tackle the tasks one by one and let me help!
First, tell your family members (they should know before anyone else that wasn’t there when it happened) then tell your friends! Tell them in person if possible or over the phone, but not via text or social media. After your family and close friends know you can change your Facebook status!
I understand that most of you haven’t planned a wedding before, luckily I’ve been involved in the wedding business for years and as an assistant to a wedding photographer. I have lots of tips to help you get organized!
Plan to take engagement photos. You can use the session to see if you connect with the photographer and like their work before you hire a wedding photographer. You can use the photos for announcements in the paper or on your Save-the-Date cards, frame them for the sign-in table at your wedding, or just frame and enjoy new pictures of you two together (maybe with your dog, or in the spot he proposed or just at your favorite park).
Next, although you don’t need to set a date immediately, consider the time of year you’d like to get married – spring, summer, autumn or winter. Discuss the size of the wedding - how many family members can be expected on each side, make a list of friends and co-workers you would consider inviting. Is your count small like 30-50 people in total? Or is your list 60-100 people? Or is you list more than 100 names long and growing? Who do you envision in your bridal party? Remember the # of groomsmen usually matches the # of bridesmaids (but it’s your wedding so really YOU make the rules). The average cost of a wedding in 2016 the greater Portland area and Clark County in 2016 was nearly $32,000 with typical guest count approximately 130 people, but many weddings are budgeted for under $15,000.
A basic budget can be split like so: Venue (reception food & drink) 48%, Photography 10%, Dress/Attire 10%, Flowers 8%, Music/Entertainment 7%, Stationery 3%, Travel (hotel & transportation) 3%, Ceremony 3%, Rings 2%, Cake 2%, Gifts 2%, 2% padding/misc., but think about making a small investment in getting assistance from a planner.
Now that you have an estimation of how big your wedding will be and what time of year, you can start researching venues! Are you getting married in a church? Where will your reception be (and how will guests get from place to place)? Are you getting married at a place where the reception can also be held? Do you envision your ceremony to be inside or outside? Do you love the beach or the mountains (think about the time of year you want to get married then consider the weather)?
Ask your married friends for advice and recommendations on vendors. See my other blogs about some important vendors you’ll be working with for the next year! Check online for reviews. But before you make any decisions, meet them in person to see if you click.
As a certified wedding planner, I will help you research and edit all these vendor choices, but keep you within your budget and, maybe most importantly, run your wedding day so you can enjoy it!
You should have your engagement ring appraised and insured for damage, loss or theft.