Congratulations!! You’re engaged!!  What happens next?    You have already announced your engagement and is “facebook and instagram official” .  Friends and family are calling and texting with congratulatory notes and the sweetest comments with the best intentions.  Now begins that overwhelming feeling of so much to do and where to begin.   Here are my top 5 items to do first right after saying “YES”!  Ready?

Photo by Eric and Jamie Photography 

Photo by Du Castel Photography 

  1.  Enjoy your engagement!  You don’t necessarily have to hit the ground running right into vendor meetings and mood boards.  Enjoy this time of just being engaged!  Enjoy a few days of being together doing the things you both love to do and have fun living this dream you have always had since you were a little girl.  My first goal as a wedding planner is to take away the stress and the pressure you may be feeling as all of the questions of where, when and what time start to come in.  Let’s just take a minute and breathe.

2. Vision –  Start a journal and write down all those visions you have loved since you were younger, ideas you have seen at your friends’ weddings you have been attending lately and all the pretties you see on Pinterest and Instagram.  Don’t worry if you are not quite sure of the color palette you want or how all of your favorite elements will come together for your wedding day.   I promise you this will all start taking shape once you begin to speak to wedding vendors and talking this through with your family and fiance.   Journaling or starting that pinterest board is where we begin to see your visions for things like wanting an outdoor wedding or indoors, country club or hotel, rustic warehouse, barn or family estate.  This will also help decide how large your guest list can be depending on what locations you are drawn to.

Photo by Angel Sheree Photography 

3.  Create your guest list – Before you make that final decision on your venue/location you will want to really get a start on your guest list.  This seems like a huge undertaking, but trust me this is a task worth investing your time in now rather than put this off until later.  You will need to know if your venue of your choice is large enough to host  your desired number of guests and your guest count is a critical piece for staying in line with your budget.   Of course you can spend a lot of time texting and sending out emails to gather addresses or you can use some useful apps that can assist in gathering and housing all of these addresses into one easy place.  A good portal I like to use is   Gathering all your addresses into one easy place will keep you more organized and you can easily copy and paste into whatever format your calligrapher or stationer requires.

Photo by Kelli and Daniel Taylor Photography 

4.  Budget – There are usually two things brides and her family will tell me about their budget;  1.) I have this amount of money and not a dime more so I have to make this work OR 2.) I have no idea what anything costs so how can I create my budget?   I will caution you on gathering information online for what weddings may cost because there are so many variables that will drive costs either up or down.  These are usually nationwide averages but do your search within the city or town you will be getting married.   Some categories will have that national average and it gives you a good idea of a cost however other categories will be way off and this will be like a punch in the stomach when you start to get your quotes back.  Start with a realistic budget and if you plan to have a wedding planner, he or she will be awesome at helping you with this!  Make sure you include all the little details as well and hidden costs that nobody really tells you about.  Here is a blog post to help you with things to put in your budget you may not be aware of..  Wedding expenses you want to include in your budget   

Photo by Eric and Jamie Photography 

5.  Where and When – Now that you have an idea of your guest list and a little about your visions and whether you would like indoor or outdoor, garden or country club, you may be ready to decide on the time of year for your wedding day and possibly the date you desire this to be.   Have a first, second and maybe a third choice of dates in mind and start inquiring about your venue.  It’s time to sign this contract so go ahead and get this booked.  You can now start thinking about completing your vendor team and pulling together all the details for the wedding of your dreams. 

Photo by Photos By Heart 

Of course now is a perfect time to hire your wedding planning if you chose to do so and meet me back here for more tips on planning your wedding day!! 

Cheers to your engagement sweet bride!!

Anita – xoxo~