Congratulations babe, you're engaged!!! You ready to tell the world and put that deal all over Facebook? That was rhetorical of course ;) But let's focus for a second, what are you really actually supposed to do once you're engaged? Well do I have the list for you! If you're planning a long engagement, my advice is to start your official planning process about 12 months before your expected wedding date (unless your dream venue books out further). If it's a shorter engagement, it's time to pull out those pens and notepads and pour that coffee! We have a lot of work to do.
First: Set a budget
Let's be honest, for a lot of couples the first number you right won't be your final. Once you've had a few days to browse the prices of vendors, you'll start to create a more realistic number that works for you and your fiancé without sacrificing style or taste. Wondering where you can save a pretty penny? Try sending Save the Dates virtually or do dress shopping during Winter Sales and Trunk Shows!
Second: Make Your Guest List
It's best to finish this task as soon as you can so you can give your venue and catering an estimated number to receive a more accurate quote. Want to get super organized? Of course you do! Create yourself a Google Spreadsheet to share with your vendors, friends, and family who are helping you plan. Include things like name, address, RSVP status, dietary restrictions, and song request! This will especially come in handy if you've hired a calligrapher. Need some tips on sending out Save the Dates? Check out this blog post.
Third: Book That Venue!
Venues tend to book out the furthest in advance, sometimes years depending on the location, so it's best to do this ASAP! Create three top venue choices and leave your date options open so you have more opportunity to book the venue you really want.
Fourth: Create Your Website
You can really have a lot of fun with these! Once you have your date, you've booked your venue, and you've had your engagement photos taken, get yourself a free wedding website at a site like Squarespace, The Knot, or Wedding Wire.
It sounds like you have a lot of homework to do!