The First 10 Steps to Take You from ‘Yes’ to ‘I Do’!
When you get engaged, you’re suddenly inundated with detailed questions from well-meaning friends. Here are ten steps to help you prioritize and learn how to have the event of your life.
1. Stop, take a breath, and celebrate. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Congratulations!
“Meeting couples who’ve just become engaged is one of the perks of my job. I always think it’s an honor when they choose me and my team to help them on their engagement journey!”
Natalia, Director, Ocotillo Oasis by Wedgewood Weddings
2. Insure your ring! Make sure it’s included in your renters/home owners insurance policy or take out special insurance.
3. Decide on a location. Now we're getting into it! There’s a ton to do and you don’t know where to start. We think the first question is easy – do you want to get married locally or have a destination wedding? There are pros and cons to both, but most people get married within 50 miles from home.
“Be strong in your own decisions about where and when you want to get married.. If you compromise on the first steps it will continue all through the process and you could end up feeling it’s not really your wedding on the day.”
Sharell, Director, Stallion Mountain by Wedgewood Weddings
4. Pick a style. Do you want an outside ceremony? Do you want the ceremony and reception to take place at the same venue? When you picture your wedding, what does it look like?
5. Choose a season. Does a winter wedding sound romantic? Do you want spring flowers? Do you want to be married already, or do you think it will take a few years to get organized? Generally people get married about 10 months after they get engaged. Deciding on a time of year can help you narrow down potential venues and it’s worth knowing that many venues and vendors offer off-season discounts.
6. Consider your guest list. Would you like to be surrounded by a cast of hundreds or does an intimate gathering sound great? You don’t need a firm number but a ballpark will help. On average, weddings in the U.S. have around 100 guests and the wedding party includes about eight people.
7. Start your venue research by thinking about your budget. There are a lot of wedding venues to choose from ... but you can save yourself time by scrapping the ones too far above your price range and considering what the venue cost includes. At Wedgewood Weddings, we provide the space, the team, the food, drink, cake, centerpieces, vendor connections, invitations, we could go on... but what you really need to know is that we’ve got your back. If you’ll need it for your wedding, we can help you work it out.
“Couples who are open on date and day can get really great discounts on their wedding package and all the suppliers. The savings add up and that means you might be able to spend more on your honeymoon!”
Taylor, Director, Mountain View Ranch by Wedgewood Weddings
8. Schedule venue tours. Great resources for venue hunting are The Knot and Wedding Wire, and believe it or not -- Google! Most likely you’ll start to see a theme in the type of places you and your significant other are choosing. Some people like to tour upwards of six venues before making a choice but many other couples pick just one or two. Expect tours to last about an hour; use that time to ask questions about all aspects of your wedding planning, as the tour guide will have a wealth of information.
9. Talk to your spouse-to-be. A lot. This sounds obvious and we hope you’ve been talking all the way through the process, but now’s the time to decide where to compromise and where to splurge. Make sure you’re on the same page since the next steps involve spending money!
10. Start looking at outfits! Consider warmth, budget, time of day, how long you plan to wear it, accessories, and how coordinated you want to be with each other and with your wedding party. Usually, once the outfits are planned, you’ll be able to plan the rest of the wedding as you’ll know exactly what look you want.
Have you noticed we haven't even touched on choosing your date yet? That's because we recommend you choose your venue first, then your date. To find out more about each step of the wedding planning process, take a look at more of our need to know wedding guides.