WILL YOU MARRY ME? …NOW WHAT?by theknot.com & JAG Digital
Engaged to Married Timeline
After you say YES, a lot of people will be asking you “when is the big day”. On average engagements last about 15 months, some people are daring and try and do all of it in 3 months. The biggest mistake people make is they set a date, then they look for a venue. This is a big NO NO. Take you time, look around at different venues. Once you secure your date with your venue then you can start making other decisions. Think about days that mean something to you (Parents Anniversary, Holidays, Day you met, etc…).
Whats my style?
Don’t try and go dress shopping immediately or start eating cake samples. Instead look at the big picture of your wedding and imagine the style and atmosphere, you want your wedding to have. Make sure the groom is involved in this process so his thoughts are considered. Some guys “don’t care” but maybe they want at least one thing their way. Start by closing your eyes and picture exactly what it will look like. Is it a low lit romantic wedding in a mansion? Is it on a beachside barefoot? Or maybe its a family members property with a beautiful landscape. Also keep in mind your guest list size. Are you wanting a large wedding with everyone? Or do you want just a small intimate wedding? Outside or Inside? (Keep weather and season in mind). Are you going to have this in your hometown or where you both currently live. (Think about traveling guest). Are you going for fancy, casual, romantic, rustic, or the big ball room glam look. Look at magazines, friends weddings, and online sites. This will help you get an idea of what you do and do NOT like.
How much $$$
Get your family members together and find out how much everyone is able to contribute. This very number will affect every decision you will make. This should be your first move before putting any deposits down. The knot.com has a wedding timeline and calculator you will want to use by using their online wedding budget tool. It may be a tad uncomfortable conversation to have but its best to get it out of the way so you have a real budget built.
Who can party with us?
As you are building your guest list take a few things in mind. Your venue is going to have a restricted number of how many people they can hold. You can either have more of an intimate party and talk to everyone. Or you can throw one big once-in-a-lifetime party for all of your friends and family? Keep in mind that if your parents are taking care of the bill you will need to hear them out on who they want to invite. More people means more money, resulting in higher catering cost since they are a per-head basis. On average is $30 per person on food cost ($30 X 150 people = $4,500). Unless you are doing McDonalds dollar menu, just kidding…don’t do that.
When do I register?
First make sure to register before the engagement party. Don’t worry about looking like you want too many gifts too soon. With all of the engagement parties, bridal showers and calls from relatives, everyone will appreciate your preparedness. During the engagement parties gifts are optional and some people may want to give you something off your list then. Theknot.com offers a free wedding website, register there and you can have people check it off and view online.
Protect that ring!
Your spouse just spent a lot of money on that ring, make sure to protect it by insuring the ring. One way you can do that is by an extension on your renters or homeowners insurance. Another way to do this is by asking the jeweler if they offer protection. Make sure to also see what is covered. Missing Diamond, Stolen, Lost ring etc…
I need help planning!
Setting the date and venue
Where you pick your wedding venue will directly relate to what your backdrop to your photos will look like. If you pick a smaller venue, dressing it up with lights or floral will make the difference. Some places make you use the in house catering so be aware of those cost. By securing your venue you now officially have a date!
When should I book my vendors
Who are my sidekicks?
Now it is time to pick out the wedding party. Ask them as soon as possible so they can help you out now. Remember that the wedding party is agreeing to put there money and time forward. Keep in mind the cost for tux/dress, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and more). Make sure they know throughout the whole process that you appreciate them. This is not a good time to be a “Diva Bride”
Say yes to the dress
The best way to begin your dress hunt is by going in the store with a vague idea. 4/5 brides end up with a whole different dress than what they imagined. They say they want strapless but end up not liking the way their shoulders look. Make sure to order the dress in time for alterations or you will have to get a dress straight off the floor that fits and no so much the style you want. Also if you are getting married in the summer make sure it doesn’t have multiple layers that will add heat.