YOU'RE ENGAGED - What Now?
YAY! Congratulations, this season of life will be fun, exciting, crazy, busy, exhausting, but most of all – worth it.
Timing with engagements/wedding planning and knowing what to do and when can be tricky. This type of planning isn’t just common knowledge and it is typical for brides and grooms to not even know where to begin.
Y’ALL – this is where a wedding planner/coordinator comes in. They do this stuff day in and day out, and know the industry and what needs to be done and in what timeframe. Not only do they know timing, they have partnerships with multitudes of vendors for all ranging budgets. And speaking of budgets, they can help you guide where to splurge, easy ways to save, and what type of costs to expect and budget for. Yes, a wedding planner is an added cost, but at the end of the day, they are making deals with vendors that will be save you money, and they are saving you time and worry… and once you are in the midst of all this planning – you will be grateful for that saving grace and will realize it is worth every penny.
Ok, stepping off my soap box, I want to give a few helpful tips and good things to start with and consider while you are starting this process.
1. LOOK AT DIFFERENT WEDDING PLANNERS AND CONSIDER WHAT TYPE OF PLANNING/COORDINATING SERVICES YOU WANT/NEED
Sorry, I know I am sounding like a broken record. BUT, I wanted to make sure I mention that there are different types of planning/coordinating packages. From a full out complete package to just day of coordinating, there are lots of different types that vary in price as well. Consider how much you have on your plate, if you enjoy/find yourself good at planning and styling things, and how much direction you need. Here are some services that are typical to find from wedding planners*:
- Full Service: With you from the start, they help connect you with vendors and coordinates with them throughout. Helps make a budget, plan accordingly, create vision/mood boards, and then is there to help coordinate at rehearsal and wedding day.
- One Time Consultation: This is perfect for the people who might just need a nudge in the right direction, help put ideas to paper and vision boards, or needs suggestions for vendors based on style and budget.
- Day of Coordination: This is having someone there the day of your wedding (and most of the time the rehearsal the night before as well) and making sure all the vendors are there and setting up correctly, making sure people are on time, and handling any problems that arise. Some venues offer this, but not all so it is definitely something to consider.
- Other Vendor Options: Here at Amoureux, we do florals and rentals as well as all the planning/coordinating. Some planners might have a hand in another facet of the wedding world, which will help you save and it is one less person/vendor to pay or hire.
*Services vary; some planners might not offer all of these services.
2. PICK A VENUE
Picking a venue is of utmost importance for obvious reasons! Picking your venue is going to determine your date. If you want a certain date, you are going to have to pick a venue that has that day available. If you want a certain venue, you are going to have to pick a date from the days they have available.
Once you pick a venue, you will know your limitations through the venue space, so you know what other vendors you need or are allowed to have. For example, if you pick a catering company first, then want to book a venue who only allows in-house catering provided by the venue itself, you are going to either have to go with a second venue choice that allows out-of-house catering, or lose out on that catering deposit.
3. FIND YOUR DRESS, LADIES
So, I work at a bridal shop (shameless plug, Tesori Bridal in Fayetteville is the BOMB). I cannot stress enough that getting your dress is one of the first things you need to do. Dresses can take 4-6 months to get into the store, then you have to allot plenty of time after getting the dress for alterations to avoid seamstress rush fees. And if you are wanting bridal portraits, (pics taken of you before your wedding in your complete bridal look, dress and all, knocking out a few ‘day of’ photos to get through on your wedding day), then you will need your dress even sooner. Now, if you are having a shorter engagement or are a current bride reading this thinking, “Crap!! I am so behind that timeline!”, no worries, there are options to get dresses in quicker. But, if you have the time and ability to get this done early, it will save you money and stress.
I hope this helps you new or soon-to-be brides get started on the right foot or in the right direction! This season of planning should be sweet and allow you to put your love for each other into all the little details of this special day. Getting the right start (and the right help with a planner/coordinator) will help preserve that, so you can enjoy and not just stress your way through your engagement. Even if you don’t know yet if you want/can afford a wedding planner, I encourage you to reach out so we can talk options and what your personal journey with us would look like.