Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Said Yes! Now What? The First Three Steps in Planning Your Wedding

He popped the question and you said "YES!" It was magical. It was romantic. It was timeless.

Now you have to pull your happily engaged self back to planet Earth and start planning the biggest party of your life.

But what are you going to do? Where do you look first? Where do you start?

I'm going to assume you've already belted your newly-engaged status from the top of your roof, told your parents, his parents and all of your friends.

I'm also hoping you haven't already promised all your friends, your fiance's siblings and your co-worker's cousins a place in the wedding party. You haven't have you ... because we'll discuss selecting your wedding party next week ...

For now, here are the first three steps in planning your wedding ... once your feet have returned to the ground and your head is more or less out of those clouds.

#1 - Get Organized

Even if organization is not your thing, no especially if organization is not your thing, you need to make "getting organized" your top priority. You will want a place to collect pictures, magazine ads and notes and there is no better way to do that than in your personal wedding binder.

Sure you could purchase a pre-made wedding binder at your local bookstore. They have inspirational photos, checklists and wedding planning tips that might come in helpful through your planning stages.

However, I recommend making your own binder. Purchase a three-ring binder, dividers, plastic protector sheets and erasable tabs. The sections of your binder will change as you get closer to the Big Day, so having erasable tabs and sections you can easily move around will be essential to staying organized.

On another note, organized brides make a better impression on wedding vendors and they will be more likely to take you seriously and possibly offer you a better price, than your unorganized counterparts.

#2 - Have a tête-à-tête with your fiance

Before you can make any major wedding-related decisions, you have to ensure you and your fiance are on the same page. You might not be able to discuss a wedding date at this point (you will need to confirm with vendors and venues first) but you should discuss a general wedding season, or better yet, a wedding month.

Ask your fiance what he thinks of when he sees your wedding day. Discuss the "feel" of your wedding, estimate the number of guests you want to invite and set a budget.

It is also a good idea to ask him upfront how involved he wants to be in the decision-making process. Some grooms defer most details to the bride and only want to help with major decisions - such as date, location and guest count. I've seen other grooms who want to help choose linens and fonts.

See where your guy stands so there are no hurt feelings down the line.

#3 - Brainstorm

If you aren't on a strict time limit with your wedding planning - less than six months, for example - then allow yourself time to dream. Peruse magazines, websites and bookstores and save anything that might be remotely interesting to you - and put it in your new binder.

Dream big at this point. If you fall in love with a $2,000 wedding cake you can't afford, save the picture anyway. You can likely find a local baker who can recreate the cake at a fraction of the cost. Don't think in terms of what you can't do - think of what you can!

What are some of the first things you did when you got engaged? What would you do differently if you could go back? What advice do you have for other newly engaged gals?

Photos courtesy of disneymike, bigcharvey, rmathus, romanlily


Hannah Noel said...

It took me a while before I got my planner.

The first thing I did was design and order our postcard save-the-dates! I acquired the addresses and mailed them as soon as I could!
I also built a wedding website at mywedding.com and placed our web address on the save-the-dates so guests could go ahead and start keeping up with everything.

Whenever I started my planner, I bought one from bookamillion, then I tore it apart and stuck it in a 3 ring binder so I could make it more of my own!!

Cherrye Moore said...

Ha. That is funny. I tore pages from books and magazines for my binder, too.

I also had a wedding website for guests ... they loved it.