Congratulations! You said yes! Getting engaged is one of the most exciting things that can happen to you. I remember the thrill of showing off that brand new, super sparkly diamond to everyone I met. It’s such a special time in your relationship.
But what do you do after you say yes? As soon as you start flaunting that rock, you start getting questions…and advice…and everyone’s crazy wedding planning ideas! It’s enough to make any bride or groom to be want to crawl into a hole until all the planning is done. (Keep reading to get access to our exciting What Now?! Checklist!)
Luckily for you, I’ve done this a few times before, and I want to share some of what I’ve learned with you. Everyone will have their list of things you just have to do right away, but most of these well-wishers aren’t professionals.
Take it from me. While there are a lot of things to do in the first few months of wedding planning, you don’t want to start any of them until you’ve made a few decisions about your day.
The Very First Thing To Do
CHOOSE A BUDGET
Yup, that’s right. Before you head out dress shopping, or looking at venues, or even talking dates, you need to know your budget. Your budget will affect all of the other decisions you make from here on. It is the most crucial decision you make for your whole wedding!
Often you will have family members who want to contribute to your day. Have those awkward conversations with everyone who is contributing to at least get a price range they’re comfortable with. Sometimes their idea of ‘whatever you need’ is very different than yours. Believe me, it’s less awkward to talk about it now than after the money is spent!
Also ask them about what kind of input they expect to have in your decisions. Sometimes money comes with strings attached. They might want to invite as many of their own guests as they like, choose the entree for the dinner they’re buying, or even be involved in every little decision. While you may be the type of couple who appreciates the help, make sure you know what you’re really agreeing to when you accept money from people.
If you have a family member who really needs to be in control of their contribution, you can try giving them full reign over something that isn’t as important to you. The rehearsal dinner, or catering choices, or whatever it is that you feel you can trust them with. Just designate their money to cover that item and everyone is happy. Sometimes there are just too many strings. In this case, it’s probably better for everyone if you politely decline the money and ask them to be involved in planning a shower or other event.
Not sure you can keep a budget on track after you’ve made it? Find out how hiring a wedding planner can actually save you money!
And After That?
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