The question has been popped, and the answer is yes! Getting engaged is an enormous step forward in your relationship, and it heralds a stronger commitment than ever before. As the two of you begin planning your happily ever after, you may also consider the initial wedding plans.
When should you start planning your wedding?
While every couple will take a slightly different approach, most people recommend setting the date and then working back about nine to 16 months. Keep in mind most engagements are an average of two years in length at most. Some people jump right into the planning, while others prefer to take their time.
Planning a wedding can be an intensive task. There are so many little details to keep track of and many different aspects that will need your attention. Whether you intend to get hitched as soon as possible or you want to have a longer engagement, you can take these first few steps to start off on the right foot.
Newly Engaged Couples Should Think about a Date
Maybe you’re the kind of person who has already picked their dream venue or has a sentimental reason for picking a particular date on the calendar. Other newly engaged couples will be less wedded to a date, but they may have more trouble deciding when the wedding will be held.
Wedding venues book up fast, and waitlists for the most popular dates can sometimes mean you need to book years in advance. Some places won’t be able to book you without a few months’ notice.
One of the first things you should do as a newly engaged couple, then, is think about a date. Are you dreaming about a winter wonderland wedding, or are you more of a June bride? Even picking a season could influence how far in advance you need to be planning.
Keep in mind you may need to choose a different venue if you want to hold onto a particular date, or you may need to change the date to get a particular venue. Being flexible will help you.
Give the Guest List Some Thought
Guest lists are almost always contentious. You may want a small, intimate affair, but your partner’s grandmother is insisting every second and third cousin must be invited. Sit down with your partner and mull over the guest list to get a rough idea of how many people you want (or need) to invite.
Working through this together will help you decide on how large your wedding will be. This assists you in two ways. First, you’ll be able to present a united front to others who insist you need to send more invites. Next, you’ll be able to think more seriously about venues. The last thing you want to do is book a huge venue for a small, intimate affair, or vice-versa.
Once you have a rough idea of the guest list and numbers, you’ll be able to book with more confidence. Booking the venue will put a hard limit on the number of people you can have at the wedding, so this requires some serious thought.
Discuss the Budget
Money matters can be difficult to discuss, and you may not want to start putting limitations on your dream wedding just yet. However, discussing the budget early on will help you set realistic expectations and keep your feet on the ground.
It is very easy for couples to go over-budget when planning a wedding, so laying the groundwork almost as soon as you’re engaged prepares you for important decisions later. Have the discussion early and revisit it during wedding planning so you can keep track of how well you’re sticking to the budget.
These first few steps create a strong base for your future wedding plans, whether it’s weeks or months after you’re engaged.