I'm Engaged! Now what?

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Your engagement will be one of the most exciting and hectic times of your life. Often paired with this excitement is stress and even panic with the thought of planning/executing the stunning event you envision.  With this is mind, we have put together a few tips that should help get you started in your wedding journey!

  1. First, you should announce your engagement and share your wonderful news with family and friends. Some brides like to formally announce their engagement in their local newspapers. Others simply prefer word of mouth or maybe an engagement party. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to enjoy this wonderful and magical time in your life.
  2. Determine your budget. When it comes down to it, your budget will  essentially determine all of the other components of your wedding. Just like with any large undertaking, you first start with the big picture and then work your way down to the details. I know that doesn’t sound very romantic, but let’s face it, unless you’re among a chosen few in which the “skies the limit”…You need to set a budget. You’ve got to determine how much you can spend on your wedding and who’s going to contribute to your wedding expenses.
  3. Determine your guest list, and literally write it down.  Like any large event, you must allocate a certain amount of money to each portion of the wedding, the largest and most expensive portion being the reception dinner.  Since the cost is typically determined by head count, the number of guests will help you determine how much dinner will cost. I recommend starting a excel spread sheet.  Keep in mind your first attempt at your guest list is only a starting point, you will inevitably leave someone important out on accident.  However, by  organizing the list in a spreadsheet you can easily maintain a true head count as well as easily add and subtract people.  We actually have forms that we supply our clients with to help in making this process much easier. Something to keep in mind when determining your guest list: every ~10 guests means: a table, linens, chairs, centerpieces, etc. It’s a good rule of thumb when you’re budgeting and making your guest list. It’s easy to not realize how much even a few people can add.
  4. Think about what kind of wedding you want. Do you want a small       intimate wedding, or a grand, lavish celebration, or maybe something in between?  By making a few decisions about what you like and what you don’t like, it can really help you to narrow down the vast array of choices. Here are a few questions to help you get started:Do you want a small or large wedding?Do you want an indoor or outdoor wedding?What time of year do you want to get married?Do you want to get married during the day or the evening?Do you want a traditional style wedding or something more modern?Do you want an elegant, formal setting or something more romantic and intimate?Do you want a formal sit down dinner, a cocktail reception or something in between?

    Do you want to get married and have your reception at the same location?

  5. Considering Hiring a Professional Wedding Planner. You have never planned a wedding before, therefore researching countless venues, and wedding professionals will tend to be very time consuming, and can be somewhat exhausing.  When you enlist in the help of a professional wedding planner, they can reccommend to you several different wedding professionals that will be in you budget and coenside with your wedding style.  We, at Elite Events have a preferred vendor list that each of our clients recievces and the majority of the wedding professional on that list also offer an exclusive discount to our clients, therefore saving you MONEY and TIME!
  6. Begin researching locations for your reception. It’s one of the most challenging and important decisions you’ll have to make. Your reception site is the most influential in determining the overall mood and atmosphere of your wedding. You want to select a reception site that matches your individual style, taste and budget. This is not an easy task and can certainly require a significant amount of time and effort.Keep in mind that many popular reception sites book up a year or more in advance. So, if you have a particular reception site or certain date in mind, don’t wait!
  7. Begin researching ceremony locations. You may decide you would like to have your ceremony and reception at the same location which is always a wonderful option, you would not require transportation from ceremony to reception if everything was at 1 location and your guests would not have to commute either.  However, if you do not plan on having everythign at 1 location, begin researching venues for your ceremony location.  Keep in mind, this is the place you will be saing “I Do” to the man of your dreams, it should be prefect!
  8. Book your photographer! Photographers tend to book quickly, therefore do not waste any time! Educate yourself on the different styles of photography out there, and consider which one is the best fit for you.    Meet with a few different photographer and see how your personalitites mesh.  Rememeber, you are going to be with this person all day on your wedding day, you want to be sure your going to feel confortable and at ease with them.
  9. Start collecting inspiration.  I’m sure this is something you have already started working on, as it is one of the most exciting parts of the planning process.  However, if you have not started collecting images of elements that inspire you, START NOW! Dot be afraid to keep pictures of things that you dislike as well.  This will help better assist your florist, stationier, event designer etc. better understand your style.  There are tons of websites out there with LOTS of beautiful inspiration.
  10. ENJOY every Minute! Try not to sweat the small stuff.  Although, weddings are full of little details and they do all add up, try to find enjoyment in every aspect of the planning process, and please do not be afraid to ask for HELP! As wedding professionals we are here to assist you in turning YOUR Vision in to a reality!

Inspirationally Yours,


4 thoughts on “I'm Engaged! Now what?

  1. Lisa @ Lorio Ross Entertainment

    Great list, Nikki. I like #9 and imagine Pinterest comes in handy for that! There are so many details to think about! Don’t forget about the importance of booking your reception band early. Not everyone opts for live entertainment but, if you do, in our experience they book up more than a year in advance!

    1. Nikki Post author

      Lisa, You are EXACTLY right! Live entertainment does book out far in advance, and it is very important that they are one of the first things to secure. Thank you very much for your comments!

  2. Julie Paszczykowski

    What a great article! And, I must say, I love that your suggestion of considering a wedding planner wasnt’ the first on your list, which truly shows you care about the person, the the job! Great information!


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