Fiance’s First Steps: OMG I’m Engaged Series (1 of 5)

Image result for toddler first steps
From a wedding professional’s perspective, watching a newly-engaged couple start the process of planning their wedding can be a lot like watching a young child take their first steps. It’s something you’ve never done before, it’s a foreign concept, and most of the world agrees that it’s a pretty big deal! And in our case, we actually get just as excited as a new parent does at their offspring’s achievement! However, our staff have decades of combined experience specifically in weddings, and we think we’ve pretty much got the process down, so it only seems fair to share our knowledge with you!

 

That’s why, over the next five weeks, we’ll be releasing a weekly post in a series we call “OMG! I’m Engaged!”. We’ll walk you through what to take care of first, how to get on the right track, and what your ultimate result could look like!

Today’s tips are around the very first things you should do once you’ve said “I Will!”:
  1. Call your family
    • In today’s age of digital communications, it would be SUPER easy to Snapchat or Instagram the world with “I SAID YES!”. But, before you go posting anything, call your family. Yes, even the ones you don’t talk to very often (and maybe even the ones you don’t really like). Think about all the family members you have, and then think about how you would feel if you found out that they were engaged from some impersonal Facebook post or Tweet. If that doesn’t feel quite right, add that person to your call list. There will be plenty of time to shout it to the world, and you’ll probably want to run to the nearest rooftop, but get those closest to you informed before you do.
  2. Pick a Date
    • Once people find out you’re engaged, this is their first question! It’s also going to dictate how your wedding will feel – a summer date will be warmer, easier to hold festivities outside, and easier to party late into the night; while a winter date will naturally lead to an earlier wedding, an indoor wedding, and often a smaller gathering. Also keep in mind the venues you want to consider – prime summer wedding dates sometimes book out YEARS in advance! If you can’t decide on a date, at least pick 2-3 to start with, and narrow it down from there!
  3. Set a Budget & Start a Savings Account
    • Everyone agrees that weddings are a big deal, but how much money do you really want to spend? Most weddings average around $40,000, but range anywhere from $2,000 to $1,000,000! (Yes, that’s a million. It really happens.) If you don’t have a ton of money saved up, it may be worth considering having a smaller reception, so that you don’t incur a huge amount of debt! Either way, you definitely want to keep track of your wedding expenses (hint: tax deduction!), so head down to your preferred bank and set up a savings account specifically for your wedding. If you want to pay vendors via check, you can normally get a separate checking account for no extra cost, too.
  4. Get on Pinterest
    • This is where the fun starts. In the weeks after your engagement, go online and just waste time browsing! (Though maybe don’t do that at work.) There are millions ideas on Pinterest, so take a look at what others are doing, and pin anything you want to come back to later! Your wedding is all about you, so feel free to mix and match as many styles as you want! You can always trim things out later, and your decor consultant (if you hire one) can let you know if you’re adding too much decor to any one area.
  5. Set up your Wedding Binder
    • Unless you’re the smartest and most organized person on the face of the Earth, there are going to be details that you just can’t seem to remember. That’s why you should head down to the local office supplies store and pick up a three-ring binder (2″ works well) to store all your details in. Pick up some page protectors, dividers, and markers, too. Then, start adding EVERYTHING to your binder. We can get you started with some templates (link to follow), but anything related to your wedding – even handwritten notes on napkins – should go into the book. That way, when you want to go back and review something, you already have it available!
  6. Decide if you’ll hire a planner
    • Hiring a wedding planner has gotten a little bit less popular with the evolution of Pinterest and other social media, but it can still be a very valuable idea! If you just want to show up to your big day and have it all set up for you, a wedding planner can do that! Or, if you just need a little extra help on the day-of, you can hire someone for that too! We recommend you really do your research, here. You’ll have an easier time working with a planner if you truly connect with them on a personal level before you start a professional relationship with them. Most planners offer free consultations to determine exactly that!
  7. Start researching vendors
    • You’ll need to call in some help to pull of your big day, so start looking around to see who is active in your area. Vendors with established web presence, a good website, and active social media pages are typically those who are full-time operators, experienced employees, or long-time locals. That isn’t to say that you couldn’t find a florist that does incredible work without even having a website, but those who have taken the time to make themselves available to you normally offer better service.
  8. Put down a deposit on your venue
    • Venues are often the first category to book out, so once you have a venue in mind, get in touch with them to see if you can put a deposit down! If you aren’t totally sure you want to get married at their venue, ask what their cancellation policy is. Some venues have a “hold the date” option that will allow you to get a full refund up until a certain date before the wedding.
  9. Send out Save the Dates
    • Once you’ve confirmed that you have a venue, get Save the Date cards out as soon as possible! People book their summer vacations way in advance, so making sure you’re on their calendar before they get that far is a good idea. These don’t have to be crazy complicated – normally, you’ll send out an invitation later on – just get these in people’s hands so that they know what your plan is!
  10. Relax!
    • Weddings are stressful, there’s no way around that. But that doesn’t mean that you should be tearing your hair out by the time you walk down the aisle. You don’t want to waste time, but don’t sweat the details, either. If you start feeling over your head, reach out to your vendor network – they work with stressed-out brides all the time, and are normally happy to help. And then, have a glass of wine (or whatever drink suits you), take a breath, and take your first steps.
That’s all we have for today! Don’t forget to check back in next Thursday for our next post in this series: “Preliminary Planning: OMG I’m Engaged Series (2 of 5)”!

If you have any questions about the content above, or if you have an urgent question we didn’t answer, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (509) 572-3808!

If we can’t answer your question, we’ll refer you to our sister company Wedding Warriors TC, who offer full-service wedding planning and event planning, and can find you any answer you need!

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About the Author: Justin Bazinet

Co-Founder and CEO Justin E Bazinet has been in event production for more than seven years, and has been behind the turntables for over two. With a passion for DJ work, and a special talent for getting even the most hesistant guests on their feet and dancing, Justin will make any event a special one. As BA Entertainment’s CEO and Head DJ, Justin performs at most of our shows, and is also responsible for company finances, booking, and music library maintenance.

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