So, they popped the question and you said yes. Congrats!
Getting engaged is such an exciting time – but with a wedding now on the horizon, it can also begin to feel a little overwhelming.
As a newly engaged couple, the key to staying organised throughout your wedding planning journey is to prioritise the most important tasks on your to-do list. Not sure where to begin?
From creating a budget to drafting up your guest list, keep reading as we round up the first 8 things every engaged couple should do, along with some must-have resources to help you along the way!
Set a Date
First things first: when are you guys planning on throwing this party?! Choosing the perfect wedding date is a crucial first step, but you’ll need to consider a few different variables to ensure your chosen date works for you, your budget and your vision.
For example – do you want to enjoy a long, leisurely engagement, or are you ready to tie the knot ASAP? Do you have savings you can utilise, or will you need a year or more to budget for the day? Are you dreaming of a romantic winter wedding, or a beachfront cocktail party? Do you have any significant anniversaries or lucky numbers you want your wedding to coincide with?
We know, there’s a lot to think about, so check out our complete guide to choosing the perfect wedding date here to get started!
Discuss Your Budget
It might not be the most fun wedding planning task, but it’s definitely one of the most important.
Before moving forward with any big wedding decisions, you’ll need to figure out how much you can realistically spend (and how much you actually want to spend) on your upcoming celebration.
Your wedding will be one of the best days of your life – but it shouldn’t put you into debt or cause you any financial stress, which is why creating a realistic budget is essential. To determine your budget, you’ll need to consider your current financial position, your capacity for savings in the future, along with any financial contributions from loved ones.
Once you’ve set a budget, you’ll then want to roughly allocate this towards the different elements involved in your day, from catering to styling and entertainment. You can read our wedding budget breakdown guide right here for some approximate costs to expect.
Create a Rough Guest List
Next, it’s time to think about who’s going to be joining you on the big day. We’ll be honest, narrowing down your guest list can feel seriously stressful, especially when you need to consider family politics, plus ones, kids and budget restrictions.
Truthfully though? This is your day, so you should never feel guilty about trimming your list. To streamline the process, you might want to implement some “cutting rules” or even create an A-list and B-list. You can find our ultimate guide to creating your wedding guest list here to get started on your rough draft.
Think About Your Wedding Vision
Now for the fun part! It’s time to start envisaging your dream day and creating a rough “theme” or concept that reflects this.
So where to begin? Well, your wedding vision should ultimately be centred around your top priorities for the day and the details that mean the most to you both. This will not only ensure your celebration feels totally personal and authentic, but will also help you allocate your time and budget accordingly. You might want to start a dedicated Pinterest board and use this to gather ideas and inspiration, or grab a copy of our wedding vision worksheet to help you narrow down your shared priorities!
Research Wedding Venues
So, you’ve ticked off the who, what and when – now, it’s time to figure out the where!
Your wedding venue is the first thing you’ll want to secure with a deposit, as popular locations can book out well in advance. To find the perfect venue, you’ll want to refer back to your wedding budget, guest numbers and vision. Are you guys envisaging a cosy, intimate restaurant? A sprawling private property? A luxurious ballroom or rustic barn? With so many epic venues to choose from, the possibilities can seem endless, so be sure to check out our venue research sheet to help you compare your options.
Once all of the big decisions have been locked in, you may be feeling a little flustered by everything else that needs to get done before the day. Don’t stress – simply take some time to get organised so you can simplify the process moving forward.
You might want to start a separate email address for all of your wedding admin, or use a digital planner to create a master checklist so you can easily see what needs to be done and when. Once you have everything clearly laid out in front of you, you’ll instantly feel more at ease and in control! You can use our ultimate wedding planning checklist as a helpful guide to follow, or check out 8 of the best online wedding planning tools for modern couples.
Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner
Did you know the average wedding takes over 200 hours to plan? With this in mind, the beginning of your wedding planning journey is also a good time to consider whether you’d like to enlist the help of a professional wedding planner.
If you have limited time at your disposal (or simply hate the thought of organising a big event!), a wedding planner could be a great investment to ensure your experience is stress-free.
Alternatively, you may decide on a day-of coordinator to help you manage your wedding day timeline and schedule. If you’re keen to learn more, you can read up on the difference between a wedding planner, stylist and coordinator here.
Relax and Soak It All In!
You may be tempted to dive straight into colour schemes, centrepieces and dress shopping – but with the key details now sorted, it’s important to make time to relax and soak up your engagement before the craziness of wedding planning kicks in!
Organise a romantic date night, a low-key weekend away, or an engagement celebration with your friends and family to mark this special milestone. Remember, there’s plenty of time to get excited about the finer details, so don’t forget to enjoy your engagement along the way, too.