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What Should I be Doing? ~ Just Engaged Edition!

Verlee Bishop Photography

Happy New Year!!! We hope you all had the best time over the holidays, stayed safe and warm and found moments to reminisce about 2022 while looking forward to 2023! We also hope that many of you added some glamorous bling to your ring finger!! To our newly engaged couples, we wanted to scream a HUGE congratulations!!! Being engaged is one of the most special times in a couples relationship together and we are so excited that you are starting a new year with the super exciting anticipation of a wedding with your soon to be!

In most couples experience, as soon as people know you are engaged, all the questions start flowing in from family and friends of “When is the wedding? Where is the wedding? Who are you inviting? What are your colors? What food will you have?” and it goes on and on. It can be overwhelming and our biggest recommendation is to take a step back and breathe for a moment. Remember that everyone else is also excited for you and by asking questions they are expressing that excitement! However, before all the opinions and pressures of the wedding world come into play, take a few weeks to be engaged, spread the news and have some initial conversations about what you both want. The wedding is about the both of you after all!

Another very true fact about wedding planning is that life continues in the midst of planning. Often times wedding planning is in addition to current or changing careers, moving, family and friends weddings, social engagements, etc. Life is busy and then to add wedding planning on top can be… you get it… a lot! So, what some of our mansion couples have done is to implement a specific day of the week that is solely for wedding planning. Those who have started this have found it to be tremendously helpful to stay on top of the planning and to consistently check things off their to dos. When you are newly engaged, these days can be filled with the following check list items!

The first vendor to book when wedding planning is the venue(s). The venue(s) dictates so many other aspects of wedding planning, but before we reach this step, there are quite a few other big wedding items to talk through first. First and foremost, it is very important to talk through wedding finances with stakeholders in the wedding, such as, family. This can feel like an awkward conversation sometimes, but it is pertinent information in order to create a wedding budget plan. Once it is clear who is contributing what, begin building the overall wedding budget. The budget sets the scene for many of the vendors and as The Knot states “Setting a wedding budget is one of the first—and, frankly, most important—planning tasks to complete.”

After the budget is set, discuss your wedding priorities. Do you want a large wedding with all your friends and family or a small intimate wedding with select guests? Do you want a mix of indoor and outdoor climate or just one or the other? Are you drawn to a beach wedding? A mountain wedding? A garden wedding? Are most of your friends and family local or is it better to find a central location if the majority of the guests are traveling? Do you want, or need, a church wedding and then have the reception elsewhere, or do you want it all in one place? Is there a specific date that means the world to you and your partner or is your date flexible? Are you more prone to heat or cold? These are some of the initial questions that will help to hone in where the wedding will take place, what season and who will be invited. While it is 100% your wedding, you will need a lot of help along the way. Consider asking your VIP guests their opinions about the above questions.

Once your wedding budget is set and your priorities are in place, create a guest list. Even if it is just in the beginning stages, give yourself a general estimate of your guest count so that you pick a venue that is the perfect fit. Then, select a season and a date and begin the venue search! This is such a fun thing to do with your partner, family and besties to get inspiration, see all the wonderful venues out there, compare and contract the inclusions in each and finally select where you will say your “I Do’s!” Have you considered a Friday or Sunday wedding instead of a Saturday? Take a look at our blog ~ What About A Friday or Sunday Wedding? ~ for some ideas! Another thing to consider here are the inclusions in venues. Often times, it ends up being way more cost effective to book a higher priced venue where you do not have to DIY as much rather than a bones venue. The venue is the spotlight and backdrop to all of your photos, so choose wisely!

Booking the venue is what dictates the rest of the planning process, so once that is booked and if you are 12+ months away from your chosen date, then it is time to relax and enjoy being engaged! Take all the engagement selfies, start lightly browsing color schemes, think about wedding party members, throw yourselves an engagement party and have fun. The majority of vendors are booked within the 9-12 month period, but if there are specific vendors that you are absolutely hooked on, go ahead and start reaching out and booking those vendors. Otherwise, take it slow and do your research to make sure that you are booking the vendors that you absolutely want! If you are within that 9-12 month period, stay tuned for our upcoming blog about next steps to take, but for the time being start booking those key vendors such as catering, DJ or band, photography, videography, florals and officiant.

Again, congratulations to all of our recently engagement couples ~ we are so excited for you and cannot wait to help you along in the planning process! Remember that it is your wedding and you will be making the decisions, but it is always okay to research, ask for help, look to wedding professionals for wisdom and to take a step back and breathe every once in a while. ❤️

Verlee Bishop Photography