Congratulations! You’re engaged to the man of your dreams and everything couldn’t be more perfect! Now it’s time to plan that beautiful wedding you’ve been dreaming about since you were a little girl – the dress, the hair, the flowers, the linens, the centerpieces… the list goes on and on! Where to begin you ask? While this question can be overwhelming for some, here at LUXE Weddings and Events, we have come up with the top 10 things you must do as a newly engaged bride in order to keep your head above the water and ensure smooth sailing all the way to your wedding day!
1. Be Organized
It is a cardinal rule for any bride that organization is the key to keeping your wedding planning (and head) in tact! Pull out that oh-so-cute wedding binder you’ve been dying to use and keep all of your ideas, pictures and contacts handy. It will be very helpful when you decide to make initial contacts with vendors so that you can show them all of your fabulous ideas as well as keeping all your contacts in one neat and safe place.
2. Create a Joint Email Account
In today’s busy and web-driven world, more and more couples are creating joint email accounts for all of their wedding-related correspondence. This is a great and often free way to keep your wedding organized and separate from your day-to-day busy schedule. By creating a joint email account, both you and your partner will be able to keep better track of your contacts and appointments for your wedding.
3. Set a Date
While this may be easy for some brides who have a particular date in mind, for others it may be more difficult trying to decide when to celebrate your nuptials. The best way to start is by speaking with your partner and breaking it down by season. Make a list of pros and cons in each season and together pick a season that suits the two of you as a couple. Whatever your choice may be, this process will get you a step closer in pinpointing the exact month, and date for your wedding. Just keep in mind that long weekends and holidays are popular choices among many couples, so make sure to book your vendors, and venues early to ensure that your top choices are available.
4. Jot Down Your Guest List
Together with your fiancé, write down you guest list to get an idea of your total head count. While this may be a preliminary list, it is important to get a general idea of how big or small your wedding (and budget) will need to be. It is common for food and drinks to be the bulk of the wedding budget, so this number can significantly affect your overall budget. It is also good to determine your guest list early on, to avoid getting caught up in the wedding excitement and inviting people who you may not have room for later on down the road.
5. Talk Finances
Regardless of who is paying for the wedding, – your parents, in laws, or you and your fiancé as a couple, it is important to discuss who is paying for what early on so that everyone can be on the same page when it comes to spending. Figuring out your finances early on can help you to stay on track and keep to your budget. Figure out how much you want to spend on your wedding and then break it down into specific categories, including décor, flowers, venue, ceremony, dress, rings, food and drinks. Your budget may fluctuate over time, but coming up with a preliminary budget is a great first step.
6. Choose Your Bridal Party
Choosing your bridal party is a fun way to ask your best girlfriends and family members to take a special part in the most important day of you and your partner’s lives. You might be inclined to ask every one of your girlfriends to be a bridesmaid, but it is important to keep in mind that these ladies will be required to play an active role in the planning process, and that includes being present for fittings, showers and rehearsals, so choose someone who will be a good and reliable support system for you. While that out of town acquaintance might sound like a great addition to your bridal party at the time, in the long run it might be better to ask someone closer to home and closer to heart.
7. Book Early
It is never too early to book your ceremony space, reception venue and decorator to name a few! Some venues and vendors fill up fast, especially on long weekends and holidays, so it’s best to get in early and secure your date with deposits, and avoid the disappointment of not being able to book your preferred vendors for the most important day of your lives.
8. Consider Marriage Prep Courses
For some couples marriage preparation courses are a mandatory requirement by their religious institutions, however it is definitely something to consider before you exchange vows. Marriage preparation courses are a great tool to help you strengthen your relationship. It opens up topics that so many couples should discuss before making the decision to spend the rest of their lives together, including the decision to have children, where you will live, the division of labour in the home and so much more, as well as teaching conflict resolution in a healthy and safe way.
9. Take Time Away from Planning
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning your perfect dream wedding, but don’t lose sight of what got you there in the first place – your love for one another! So take time away from the hustle-bustle of planning your wedding down to the last detail and focus on your relationship – go out for dinner and a movie, go bowling, play mini golf – just have fun and let loose – no wedding talk allowed! It is important to keep a healthy balance and maintain your relationships with your partner, family and friends. Your wedding is one day in your lives, and while it is undoubtedly one of the most important days in your lives, your relationships live on past the wedding day and last a lifetime.
10. Just BREATHE
It is important to remember that your wedding will be a beautiful and wonderful time where you and your partner make the decision to spend the rest of their lives together in front of family, friends and loved ones. At the end of the day, that is what matters most, so just enjoy the moment, smile, and remember to just breathe