Here’s our step-by-step guide to the first few things to do once you’re engaged. From setting the date, choosing the venue, thinking about the guest list and your insurance.
What’s the first ‘practical’ thing that you should do once you’re engaged? That’s right the first thing to help you start planning your wedding? Once you’ve phoned your bestie, texted your mom, updated your Facebook status, tweeted an OMG and Instagrammed a selfie? You get down to the serious business of wedding planning.
Even if the engagement has come as a total surprise, I’m sure you’ve got a few ideas about what you want your wedding to look like. You’ll have thought about what type of wedding dress you want, the type of venue and the time of year that you want to get married – a spring wedding to enjoy the new flowers and re-emergence of sunnier weather, or a winter wedding for that cosy festive cheer. Before you do get too carried away follow these steps first to avoid disappointment.
SET A BUDGET
You are definitely going to have to sit down and work out a budget. Unfortunately money talks and, in this instance, cash is going to be saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, or suggesting a long engagement.
There are a number of ways to finance your wedding; there’s the old fashioned savings account, the bank of mum and dad and more brides and grooms are taking out wedding loans. However, I would be cautious about doing this, as with any loan you want to make sure that you can afford to pay it back without making the first few years a particularly difficult time – if you are taking out a wedding loan you could ask the guests to give cash as your wedding present.
CREATE A GUEST LIST
Remember that this is a first draft at this stage and you can still change it if you need to. It’s a good idea to have a preliminary list, considering who you want at your wedding during the budgeting stage because you’ll need to know how many people to cater for.
You can also start to manage people’s expectations from an early stage. There are some people that will automatically assume they will be invited to the whole wedding ceremony, when in reality they are more of an evening guest kind of friend – trust me it’s better to disappoint them early rather than waiting until they’ve bought the hat.
SET A DATE
Before you find a venue check diaries with your VIP guests. Make sure that both sets of parents, siblings, bridesmaids and groomsmen are available on the chosen date.
THINK ABOUT A CHURCH
Some people get married in a church for spiritual reasons, others choose God’s crib because they like the aesthetic of the building. Oh and the chance to ride in a fancy car between venues. Whatever the reason, getting married in a Church means that you need to co-ordinate the availability of two venues, which is why this should be one of your first tasks.
Booking a venue offers more of a challenge than you might expect. You will need to start booking viewings as soon as possible to make sure that you can get your preferred date. It’s worth asking the right questions before you even see the venue. Find out about the menu choices, wine list and number of bedrooms but most importantly make sure that the venue can accommodate all of your guests – there really isn’t any point viewing a venue that can’t host everybody. When your research delivers a venue that meets all of the criteria, go and visit – this is one of those exciting times when you get to imagine what your wedding will look like.
Once you find the perfect venue, your wedding dress and an amazing photographer, you will need to start paying deposits to guarantee they become your venue, dress and photographer. Before you do make a payment, get some insurance. Hopefully you won’t need it but it certainly is better to be safe than sorry.
Celebrate every day of being engaged until the day you get married. It’s easy to get stressed with the all wedmin required but being engaged and planning a wedding are such a wonderful time that you should celebrate every moment, so crack open the prosecco and head to Pinterest.