You're Engaged - Now What?
Be ENGAGED! This is a HUGE step in your relationship -- not to mention your LIFE.
- Submit your announcement to plantosayido.com
Scream it from the rooftops! Traditionally, the bride's parents are told first, then the groom's. Also, you want to tell them in person if at all possible. From that point, feel free to flash that rock!
Pick a date! Choosing your wedding date not only determines the feel of your wedding, but effects logistics such as cost and availability. A Friday wedding may cost up to 50% less than a Saturday event. If you live in a snowy location, a winter wedding may lead to delays, cancellations and missing guests. Choose a season, then a month, week, etc. Also be sure to factor in how long you want to be engaged and how many months you think it will take to plan.
Go shopping! Make a list and hit the stores. You'll want to pick up tons of organizational things such as a 3-ring binder, post-it notes, highlighters, tape, etc. Hit the magazine section of your local bookstore and buy every title there is! Magazines are cheap and offer a boatload of inspiration.
Rip it out! Sit down on the floor, spread out your magazines and start flipping pages. Rip out anything that you like. You should start seeing repeating trends in color, style, etc. in what you're choosing. This is a great way to begin piecing together the details that make your wedding truly YOU. Once you've filled up on eye candy, separate everything into piles -- one for flowers, one for decor, dresses, etc. Put these pages in the appropriate section of your well organized 3-ring binder. Then...
Walk away. Put the binder in a safe spot and head for step #1 -- be engaged.
Start planning! By this point, you've floated down a bit from cloud 9, gotten organized, chosen a date, and have a binder full of ideas and inspiration. Time to get down to business! Your budget sets the tone for things to come, so be honest. Don't argue or be embarrassed to face what you can and can not afford. Don't compare yourselves to others or stretch yourselves too thin. Your wedding day will be amazing because it's your wedding day, not because you spent an extra 20 grand.
Start looking for vendors! By now you know what you want, when you want it, and how much you're willing to pay for it. All you need to do is find out who is going to give it to you! One of the best ways to find vendors are recommendations. Once you have a list of people and places you're interested in, make sure they fit your budget and style. If they pass the test, give them a call! Most vendors are happy to set up a time to meet with you, discuss your plans and answer your questions.
Get out your checkbook! Once you've met with and decided on vendors lock them in. The good ones go fast, and you don't want to be doing the same work and research over and over again. Make sure you read through the contract and fine print. Most vendors will ask for a deposit to secure services. Make sure that your deposit is applied to your final balance and you have a copy of the contract.
According to wedplan.com, don't sweat the small stuff! Things will happen. Plans will change. At the end of the day, it is important to be thankful for what you have and remember why this all started -- because there is a great person out there that wants to spend the rest of their life with you!
You have fantasized about your picture-perfect wedding since the age of 10 - but lets be realistic, weddings are expensive.
Remember that you only truly need three things to have a successful wedding day: a bride, a groom, and an officiant! Everything else is optional 'fluff'. According to sheknows.com, remembering this will help you make some tough financial decisions during the planning process.
The single easiest way to slash your budget is by slashing your guest list. Your wedding is a celebration, but it is also a very intimate moment. It is a rite of passage in which you and your beloved are pledging your lives to each other, and joining two families together.
Do you really need to invite business associates with whom you (or your parents) only socialize to network? Second cousins thrice removed that you haven't seen since you were in diapers? Sorority sisters with whom you only keep in touch on Facebook, but haven't actually spent significant time since graduation?
When budgeting is a concern, keep your guest list to immediate family and the closest of friends. Not only will this save you wads of cash, but you will enjoy spending this meaningful day with the people you value the most.
Let's talk dress. Many women spend a good chunk of their lives dreaming of the beautiful frock we will wear on our wedding day, almost to the exclusion of thinking about anything else in that little fantasy. It is possible, if not downright easy, to find a gorgeous gown for far less than the astronomical prices charged by bridal salons.
There are lots of alternative options to get a beautiful gown -- even a designer gown -- at a far lower price than at a bridal salon. eBay, Craigslist and secondhand stores all have beautiful designer gowns at a fraction of the cost.
Many bridesmaid dresses are available in white or ivory and cost a fraction of what bridal gowns do -- check out Watters and Watters and Jim Hjelm Occasions for some beautiful budget-friendly designs.
Don't buy an expensive veil. You would be spending upwards of $200 for fabric that really only costs a few dollars per yard. Buy the fabric and have one made -- you'll save hundreds of dollars. Or skip the veil and wear a beautiful jeweled comb or flowers in your hair.
Your reception will probably be the most expensive chunk of your day, barring your honeymoon. To cut costs, consider these tweaks.
Have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday. Hold anything but a dinner party -- brunch, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, dessert/champagne and cake, even a lunch garden picnic will all save you tons of cash over a full dinner. Still want an evening meal? Go for a buffet with chicken, pasta and in-season produce instead of beef.
You'll save the cost of extra waiters and expensive ingredients.
Have an iPod or iPhone? Then you have your DJ. Playlist weddings are becoming increasingly popular, because couples can choose exactly the music they want to hear, no matter how obscure or alternative it may be.
Load up playlists for each portion of your wedding: pre-ceremony, ceremony, cocktail hour, special dances, dinner, dancing, etc. Ask a member of your wedding party to act as MC for special announcements. With live DJs asking upwards of $500 for four hours, and bands costing in the thousands, using an iPod can save you a pretty penny, and be completely personalized.
Really love the idea of live music? Hire musicians from a local music school to play at your ceremony. They are just as skilled and far less expensive.
Wedding flowers can easily run you in the thousands. To cut costs, make sure you order only blooms that are in-season. Order loose stems and make the arrangements yourself. This is not nearly as difficult as it sounds! You can also order your flowers online for a fraction of the cost of a traditional florist. ProFlowers.com, Wedding Floral Distributors and FiftyFlowers.com are popular and reputable choices.
You might also try ordering flowers without mentioning they're for a wedding, because sometimes the simple mention of matrimony can bump the price up a couple notches. Just say you're buying flowers for a party.