So, you got the proposal of a lifetime and now you have a new, sparkly, left hand accessory? 💍 Congratulations! We are SO excited for you two and cannot wait to walk you through this amazing journey! But...where to start?!
Never fear...we're going to tell you the first 10 tasks you should check off your wedding planning list! 🙌
1. First, e n j o y it. 🥰 You're engaged to the love of your life!
Stare at that gorgeous bling on your hand, take a ring selfie and tell your close friends & family, "We're engaged!!!" 💍 Enjoy one another, look longingly into each other's eyes and maybe have a candlelight dinner every night for weeks on end. Too much? Probably. 😂 The biggest point here is to slow down and soak up this time before you get knee deep in the wedding planning!
2. Decide how long you & your fiancé want your engagement to be! 💒
I don't mean down to the number of days or anything crazy! What I mean is...decide the time of year you're looking at getting married and see if it will work for this calendar year or the next!
Let's say it's Christmas time 🎄, you just got that ring 💍 and you have your heart set on a gorgeous summer wedding! This coming summer may be just too short of a time frame, but you know you don't want to have a 2 year engagement. Well...next summer it is! Wanting a fall wedding? Here's some awesome inspo!
Now that this step is done... 🎉 Congratulations, you figured out the first step of wedding planning!
3. The one some people dread...talk about money 💰
I know, I know. Talking about money is awwwkward. BUT, I promise that setting a wedding budget is going to get your wedding planning adventure off to a great start! Discuss with your fiancé if the two of you are paying for the wedding on your own, or if your parents or families have mentioned putting funds toward the wedding.
If you're paying for the wedding on your own, figure out how much money you each have in savings, how much money per month you can put toward that savings and decide the total amount you'd like to spend. Once you've completed that big step, find a wedding budgeting worksheet - this one is great! 👍
If you're looking to split costs with family, or your parents have mentioned paying for your wedding entirely - talk to each set of parents and see how they are feeling now that this time of life has arrived! Discuss the amount of money they are planning on spending, or which elements of your wedding they will pay for. Once that is established this budgeting sheet is still a great place to start! ✨ Check out this post to see 13 amazing ways to slash your wedding budget!
Items 4, 5 & 6 can be completed in any order, but we highly recommend checking these three things off your task list next! ✅ Read on to see why...
4. Purchase your wedding dress! 👗
Ok, so hear us out. We see tons of beautiful brides-to-be! 👰 - the bride, her parents and friends are so surprised at how long a wedding dress can come in! This goes for any bridal shop, your dress can take up to 9 months to arrive after you've placed your order! 😱 I know. It's insane.
After your dress arrives, you'll need to have your dress fitted to your body - and that can take up to 3-4 months depending on the seamstress you choose & how long their turn around time is. A very, very small percentage of women can fit into a standard bridal gown size perfectly. I mean...a very small percentage. Without completely nerding out here & boring you to death 😂 our bodies are all completely different, and these dresses are made to be altered to fit your body perfectly! You don't want to pull on that strapless gown all day or trip over the length of your dress, alterations are the key! 🔑 (No wardrobe malfunctions on our watch!)
Now, if you're reading this and completely panicking because your wedding date is less than 1 year or even 9 months away, do not fret! 🙌 We got you! Our consultants go above & beyond to find you THE dress in the timeframe you need it! We work with our designers to find dresses already available in your size that we can rush and we have a selection of gowns that can be purchased off the rack (meaning you could take it home...like today!) ❤️ Whhaaat?
If you have the time before your wedding, please take our advice and start looking at least 12 months out. We don't like to tell a bride that her dress selection is limited in what she can order, because we want you to have the pick of the litter 🐶 and be able to order any dress - a custom dress, a special order dress, an off-color dress, your dream Dres. If it makes you feel gorgeous, feel like a bride and it's in your budget...than say #YASSS girl!
Want to see tons of our gorgeous dresses & even make a wishlist?! ➡️ You've gotta see this!
5. Find a photographer that will capture your day just as you've envisioned! 📷
If you have a specific photographer in mind, he/she can only be at one wedding on any given day! You've got to lock them in to ensure that you can have those dream photos you've been staring and obsessing over online!
Contact your first choice photographer, get their availability & put down that deposit! 💪
6. Choose the venue that will be the backdrop for your day! 🏢
This is the same concept as the photographer - each venue can (usually) only have one wedding at their location each day! And certain times of the year book up so fast!
Pick your top 3 venues that you want to check out, schedule a tour with each & set a specific wedding date! 🗓
Alright, so THE BIG THREE have been checked off your list! 🎉 Woot woot!
Now it's time for the details and specifics!
7. Are you planning to hire an event planner? 📋
If you have room in your budget, we highly recommend using an event planner to cut down on the stress! Your event planner will organize your plan, your life and your brain! 😂 They will worry about all the teensy tiny details and keep you on track for what's to come! Hires event planner ✔️ Wedding goes off without a hitch ✔️ except....y'all get hitched ✔️
Think rentals, bouquets, coordinating your planning timeline, determining decor plan, guest lists, keeping everyone on track on the big day and much, much more!
8. Choose your dudes & bridesmaids! 👯♀️👯 More may not always be merrier! 😂
Talk to your fiancé to get a gage of how many members of the wedding party to be standing on their side. Do you want 10 and they only want 4?
Try to find a way to meet in the middle! There are many ways you can get your friends involved, even if it's not standing next to you! Invite everyone to your bachelorette party, have that talented friend 🎶 bless your day with ceremony music, have someone choose a reading during the ceremony or say the prayer before the meal...use everyone's talents!
9. Dress your wedding party! 💃
Now that you've got your Bride Tribe, your I Do Crew, your Friends of Honor all figured out - design your bridal party look!
The guys have it easy (of course they do 🙄) and styling them in suits takes half the time and half the effort! 😂 Your maids though, their dresses will take up to 6 months to come in! So schedule your bridesmaid appointment, bring in the whole gang and let's try on some bridesmaid dresses!
If you're feeling overwhelmed at all the color choices and the mental anguish of putting together a mismatched "Pinterest style" look - let us help you! We can take an inspiration picture and make it a reality 🙌 Our goal is to make this process stress-free, super easy and have your maids looking 🔥!
10. Create an inspiration board to help your vision come to life! 😍
Head over to Pinterest or (if you're feeling super 13 Going on 30) attach some images to a real-life vision board! Include a picture the dress you said YES to (just be careful your groom doesn't see! 🙈), the bridesmaid look you've chosen and an image of every. single. element you've decided on already! (Venue pic, your fave image by your photographer, favors you love, first dance ideas, groom's tux colors, etc.)
You did it! The first T E N things to get you started wedding planning! 🎉
We are so excited for you + your fiancé! We absolutely love all things wedding and are so excited/honored to share this valuable info with you! ✨ If you ever need help or have questions on any aspect of dressing your wedding - please reach out to us!
Images of #adorerealbride Morgan's proposal by Bad Love Creative Co