Photo: Susie & Becky Photography
Happy New Year! The start of a new year is always exciting. We are recharged, refreshed, and looking forward to the new adventures in wedding planning ahead with you.
Did you get engaged over the holidays. Congratulations! Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t know where to start? Start with these 4 important steps before you start planning after your engagement.
Tip #1 – Take a Deep Breath.
What do you do first? Read this wedding planning advice article, which talks about the following:
- Plan your wedding on your own timeline, based on your priorities and what else is happening in your life. Life doesn’t halt because you are planning a wedding.
- Get your head around it all. How much time do you have on your regular weekly schedule that you can devote to planning? Are you good at making decisions, prioritizing, handling stress, budgeting, making compromises, and communicating?
- When to ask for help. Most people have never planned an event on the scale of wedding and there are many tasks to complete. Delegating tasks to your families or wedding party and share the wedding planning tasks between the two of you. What if you need a professional’s help? You don’t know what you don’t know. For the same reasons why sometimes it’s just better to call a plumber, getting some expert guidance from a wedding planner can help you make more informed decisions.
- Do Your Own Thing. It’s important to find your own voice – your own style, your way of doing things. Years from now, you want to look back and still recognize yourselves in those wedding pictures.
Tip #2 – Know the Big Picture.
In this second article, we dig deeper into understanding the big picture as you really start planning your wedding.
- What kind of wedding do you want to have? This is the most important question to answer. To help you determine the answer, try a few exercises offered in this blog post.
- Families. Families are complicated. Determine how they will participate in the planning process, if at all. What your respective parents’ expectations for your wedding? This is especially important for fusion weddings. More tips on planning fusion weddings here.
- What is this wedding all about? This is like a mission statement. Knowing this will help guide you as you plan.
Tip #3 – Be Financially Realistic with your Wedding Budget.
For the third article, we address wedding budgets.
- How much will you need? Do the homework. There is no way to avoid this. Make sure you are getting information about weddings in the Washington, DC area as of the cost of services are usually higher in major metropolitan areas than the national averages.
- How will you pay for the wedding? There are a lot of demands for your hard earned money and in my experience, people tend to plan weddings amidst other major activities in their lives. Graduate school tuition, new furniture and mortgages will compete with DJ, flowers and honeymoon for the same pot of money. You just need to do what makes sense for you at this moment in time.
Here is two articles we contributed to in Martha Stewart Weddings on wedding finances and on how much money you may need to have upfront to pay wedding deposits; and another article in United with Love blog.
Tip #4 – 5 Keys to Success.
We boil down the 5 keys to successful wedding planning in this 4th article.
- Prioritize. Prioritize your resources: your money and your time.
- Compromise. Be ready to pick your battles.
- Communicate. Talk early and often. When you don’t understand something, ask.
- Perspective. You can easily lose yourselves in the craziness that wedding planning can become.
Editor’s Note: this article was originally posted in January 2018 but have been updated in January 2021