You just got engaged and don’t know where to start, you should read this.
By Virginia F. Swope . Warrenton, VA
First of all Congratulations! What a thrill!!!! ….. Finally the moment that you have been waiting has arrived !!!!! You got engaged!!! Yaaaay…. You keep staring at the ring all day long, everyone has an opinion about what you should do and how. You’re very happy but also have many questions. Now what? Where do I start? How much will the wedding cost? Who should I invite? How many bridesmaids should I have? …. Wait, wait … breathe deeply…. Do not worry….. all of this is normal. Planning a wedding can be daunting, but I will give you some tips to help you overcome this first stage in 5 steps.
1. First you must define a POSSIBLE DATE FOR THE WEDDING. Share your ideas with your fiancé, think of a time that suits both, consider availability, vacations, family living outside the city and season according to the style you want. Remember, June, August, September and October are the most popular months, if you want your wedding in those months must book well in advance.
2. Then think about what the WEDDING STYLE. For example: an evening elegant wedding with served dinner or a country style wedding during the day in a vineyard with buffet. The wedding style indicates how big your budget should be and the type of venue you should look for. As an example, if you want to have an elegant wedding with dinner served, the budget per guest should be more.
3. Ok, now that you have the style and tentative date of the wedding, work with your fiancé to make a PRELIMINARY GUEST LIST, we know this will change along the way, but this preliminary list lets you know if the location is suitable and helps estimate the budget.
4. Now, we need to DEFINE THE BUDGET. This task is not easy. The first thing to do is check all sources of income you have. These sources may include savings, loans, help from your parents and / or family or all together. For me this is the most important step, a wedding can cost the same as a car, so why not take the time to think about what you really want. Nobody wants to start a marriage with economic problems.
5. However, with the wedding style, budget, desired date and preliminary guest list you can start LOOKING FOR THE VENUE, here you have two options. You can choose based on the number of guests or you can define the number of guests based on the place instead. Example: if you fell in love for a place but this place only allows 75 guests, you have to decide which is more important to you. Remember evaluate your options, Fridays and Sundays usually are cheaper than Saturdays, so ask for all possible options.
And last but not least, there are two tips that I like to share with my clients. The first is to follow your instincts, your wedding should be a reflection of what you like and enjoy as a couple. Do not decide based on what other people think or want, they already had or will have the opportunity to organize their own wedding. And second, ENJOY the planning process! This is also part of your wedding.
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