Whether you’re engaged (congrats!) or you have the inkling you’re about to be engaged really soon (*screams silently, on the inside*), this wedding planning checklist is a great place for you to start the wedding planning process. Though there are a million things that need to be done, there are only a few things that you should do first before anything else. Here’s the complete wedding planning checklist for the newly engaged:
1. Share the News … Tactfully.
Now that you’re engaged, the first thing to do is to share the news with your loved ones. Please, please, please refrain from posting a Facebook status before calling and letting your parents know the news (while you’re at it, call your siblings and best friends). Those closest to you will appreciate the news before the rest of the world finds out. Bonus tip: get a fresh manicure before posting that infamous engagement ring photo.
2. Set a Preferred Timeframe.
Everyone is going to want to know the wedding date the minute you break the news. While you won’t know the exact date until after you find the venue, you can decide on a season or set of months that interest you and your fiance. Most couples are engaged for about 12-14 months before the wedding, so feel free to set a year in which you want to get married and a season. Everything else will fall into place from there. Use this 12 Month Wedding Planning Checklist as a guide.
Featured Image via Pinterest
3. Establish Your Wedding Vision and Venue.
Before you get into the details about the flowers, the cake, the dress, envision the style of wedding you want: Rustic, Glamorous, Romantic, Outdoor, Beach, etc. Look at tons of ideas everywhere–on wedding blogs, in magazines, in art museums–and narrow down the look that speaks to your style.
4. Determine Your Budget.
Here’s where you might want the involve the parents. If possible, have a conversation with both sets of parents and find out how much money everyone is willing and able to contribute. It’s very important that you set the financial limit before you start planning. This can be a major awkward moment, I know. But it’s a moment that just needs to happen.
RELATED: 12 Month Wedding Planning Checklist
5. Compose a Guest List.
Now, this doesn’t have to be the finalize list, as you’ll quickly find that eliminating certain people from the list will be quite necessary to save money. While you create your list, consider (1) where you want to get married and the venue’s capacity; (2) who the parents want to invite; and (3) your budget allocation for venue related costs (e.g., food and beverage). Once you have a draft, talk with your fiance and parents to see if there is a need to shorten the list, and decide on the best way to do that.
6. Register Desired Wedding Gifts.
Before your engagement party, set up your registry just in case guests are in the giving mood (gifts at engagement parties are not common, but you never know). One important thing to remember: it’s in poor taste to print info about your registry on invitations–use your wedding website to provide that information instead.
7. Get the Rock Insured.
Now here’s something many brides skip right over until later down the line. The truth is that losing a ring happens to the best of us, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can have it added to your renter’s or homeowner’s policy, or use a company that specifically insures jewelry. Either way, just do it
Featured Bridesmaid Gift: RelishPrintDesign
8. Decide on a Wedding Party.
Though more and more brides are opting out of a wedding party, many brides are including their closest friends and family in on this special moment. So, propose to your bridesmaids and groomsmen and ask for their help right away. In exchange for this effort, be sure to show them just how much you appreciate their love and support.
9. Find a Wedding Planner and/or Coordinator.
Though you could totally skip this step and do every thing on your own, I do not suggest that you do so. Trust me–it will save you so much time and headache to have a professional take the load off and bring your vision to life. If hiring a planner is a little more than you can do comfortably, consider a month-of wedding coordinator to help with the last minute touches and keep the wedding day seamless by checking off all the necessary items on your wedding planning checklist.
10. Book Your Venue, and Set Your Date.
Get all the details about your venue before you sign on the dotted line. You want to know the cost of every little service, the taste of their catering (if offered), time restrictions, occupancy limits, and a vision of what your decor could look like in the venue. Once you commit and sign the contract, your wedding date is set! How, exciting!
Featured Photo via Weddbook
11. Begin the Dress Hunt
If you know nothing at all about wedding dresses, at least know this one thing: dresses can take up to 9 months to be produced. In other words, start early! Before you step foot in a bridal salon, familiarize yourself with the Wedding Planning Checklist for Bridal Gowns to learn everything you need to know. As you work with a bridal specialist, begin to learn which silhouettes, fabrics, and other dress details appeal to you the most. Also, keep in mind your venue and wedding season when selecting a dress. For example, a heavy satin ball gown may not be so comfortable at an outdoor wedding in the middle of August (talk about major thigh sweat!).
While this is not a complete list of all the major things to do as you plan your wedding, these are the top things to do first when you get engaged. After you finish this wedding planning checklist move on to booking your other vendors and finalizing other details. While you’re at it, see below for more amazing wedding ideas to get you started!
Featured Dress: Karen Willis HolmesFeatured Dress: Karen Willis Holmes Featured Shoes: Jimmy Choo Featured Dress: Alex Perry | Featured Photography: Samm Blake Photography via The LaneFeatured Photo: Modern Salon via InstagramFeatured Photography: Fred Marigaux via VogueFeatured Photography: Parisa Weddings via Bridal Musings | Featured Dress: Inbal DrorFeatured Photography: Parisa Weddings via Bridal Musings | Featured Dress: Inbal DrorFeatured Gift: LoostersShop