Hello lovely readers! Since Valentine's Day is the #1 day for marriage proposals, I thought I would give y'all some tips on the first steps in wedding planning.
1. Jump up and down, squeal, cry, call your girlfriends, send out lots of pictures of your ring, call your parents, call his parents, call your siblings, stare at your ring for a few hours, buy some wedding magazines. Got that out of your system? :o)
2. As unromantic as this sounds, one of the first steps is to determine you budget. Who is going to chip in and how much are they going to contribute? You really can't make actual plans until you know exactly how much you have to work with. Once you have the amount you can spend, work out a rough outline of a budget (note that this will probably change over the course of the planning process). Figure out what is most important to you and your groom and dedicate the majority of your funds to those areas.
3. Once you have a budget and know about how much you are going to spend, make a first draft of your guest list. This by no means will be your final invite list, but before you can approach venues or caterers, you need a rough guest count.
4. Think about how you want your wedding to feel. Decide on some of the basics. Indoor/outdoor? Time of year? Formal/informal? Get some general details figured out (make sure you include your groom on this!).
5. Decide on your "must" list. Every couple with have their own list of non-negotiables. Want to get married on your anniversary? Your date is a non-negotiable. Have to have your bridesmaids in pink? That is a non-negotiable. Always dreamed of a live band? Non-negotiable. Try to keep this list to two or three things or your planning is going to be difficult!
6. Start researching venues. Your venue is going to determine many other factors of your wedding--caterers, vendors, music, feel, look, etc. It can also influence your colors, your date and your guest count. Keep those non-negotiables in mind.
7. Once you have your venue picked out and reserved, the fun stuff really begins. Now you can think about cake tasting, flowers, photographers, music and all the other details that make wedding planning fun.
Hope you're off to a good wedding planning start! For all you newly minted brides, congrats!