The moment you have been waiting for has finally arrived. He proposed and put a glistening diamond on your finger! Now it is time to begin planning the day you have been dreaming of since you were a little girl: your wedding. Many factors go into planning your wedding, and starting the planning process can be overwhelming and confusing. For most brides, this will be the biggest event they have planned in their lives. Here are the top five things you need to do after you have said YES!
1. Research Costs and Set a Realistic Budget
Evaluate your finances and set a realistic budget–this is the very first step before you start any planning. Research the cost of vendors and venues in the area where you wish to get married. If you set a budget before you do any research on the actual costs, you may realize that your budget and your dream wedding may not be realistic. If your parents and future in-laws are willing to pitch in, make sure to discuss who will be paying for what items. Tip: To better handle these delicate money situations, you may want to talk with your own parents separately.
2. Come Up with a Rough Guest List
The size of your guest list will greatly affect your wedding expenses, your venue options, and the entire feel of your event. You will need to estimate how many people you are inviting and match your wedding guest list to your budget.
3. Pick a Season for Your Wedding
Picking a season will give you ideas for the theme of your wedding. The season will also help determine your budget. Want to have a beach getaway in the summer season? Then your budget will have to meet the demands of the peak wedding season: May through October. If you love the idea of a snow-filled winter wedding, you may have a bit more flexibility in your budget as off-peak season falls between November and April.
4. Create a Vision for Your Wedding
If you envision a vintage-style wedding, then the location might differ from that of a modern-style wedding. Having a clear vision before you research potential wedding locations will help eliminate the exhausting process of visiting venues that do not fit the vision you have in mind.
5. Hire a Wedding Planner if Budget Allows
After you have an idea of your budget, your guest list, the season in which you plan to get married, and your vision, meet with a wedding planner. An experienced wedding planner can give you ideas and suggestions that help bring your vision to life while meeting your budget. Think of your wedding planner as your fairy godmother; she (or he) will give you most bang for your buck! What could be more magical than that?