You've just gotten engaged! Congrats! We're sure you're filled with excitement and, to be honest, apprehension about what comes next. To help you put your worries aside and focus on the positive, we've broken down the first five steps to take after your dream engagement!
This may seem obvious, but an engagement party is one of the most exciting and fun aspects of your engagement! Nothing beats having everyone you care about all in one place to celebrate one of the most important events in your lives. Gather your closest friends and family, pop the bubbly, and toast to your love!
2. Think about time of year / preferred date
The first step in the wedding planning process is to select the time of year and/or your preferred wedding date. The date you ultimately choose will influence both the overall style of your wedding and the overall wedding budget. Prices will vary depending on where you live, and each area has its own "wedding season." If you are a San Diego couple, keep in mind that the peak season in SoCal is from late spring to early fall.
Also consider the day of the week the wedding will take place. Friday and Saturday weddings usually have higher venue rental fees and fewer vendor options, whereas weekday and Sunday weddings may have a lower rental fee and more vendor options.
3. Determine your budget
Many wedding couples struggle with determining their overall wedding budget. It's difficult for wedding couples to know where to begin with this part if they aren't constantly throwing events and being exposed to the costs of different vendors. One thing to keep in mind when creating your budget is that your total guest count will have the most influence here. Most venue and catering packages are priced per person, so the more people you have, the faster your costs will rise.
4. Create a rough guest list or choose an ideal (but realistic) guest count
Like we mentioned above, one of the most important considerations in calculating your overall wedding budget is the size of your guest list. Begin by making a list of your "Must Have Guests" with your partner before enlisting the help of your family members. Be sure to also decide on the cutoffs for extended relatives and whether or not children will be allowed to participate in the festivities.
5. Begin the venue hunt!
Now that you've decided on your preferred wedding date or time of year, established your overall budget, and collected your guest list, it's time to start looking for a venue! We recommend establishing a spreadsheet to keep all information about each venue organized because different venues provide different services and package options. Consider things like the venue's maximum capacity, available dates, what you liked and didn't like about it, and what extra services are included.
Some venues are considered skeleton venues, which means you will need you to bring in all vendors and outside rentals, but others are more all inclusive and offer things such as a DJ, wedding cake, rentals, and more! The amount of planning and logistical work that goes into the planning process will be determined by the type of venue you choose. Skeleton venues will necessitate much more attention to detail but a high level of customization of the available space, whereas all inclusive venues will provide a sense of ease but less personalization.
After you've secured your venue, it's time to select your vendors! Work on a monthly planning basis, making a to-do list at the start of each month of what needs to be done. Begin by booking your most important vendors, such as a must-have photographer or a party starter DJ, and work your way down the list.
Now, if that all sounds like a breeze for you - party on and start that planning journey! But if you are still feeling overwhelmed by all of the choices and planning that the next few months to a year will hold, reach out to us for a free consultation. From full service planning to month-of wedding coordination we have a package fit for your specific needs!