I Just Got Engaged, Now What?
Updated: Aug 17, 2019
Getting engaged is one of the handful of moments in life that you'll remember forever. Your friends, family, and co-workers will revel in the surprise and romanticism of every detail of your proposal story. It is a very exciting time; however, quicker than you imagine, people begin to ask about wedding plans. Post-engagement can easily turn from exhilarating to overwhelming to many couples who are unsure where to begin.
If you are able, consult with a professional wedding planner. It can not only save you a lot of stress, but experienced planners have a wealth of knowledge regarding venues and vendors, which can save you time in vetting each option out there (and there are so many options). If you are more hands-on and want to plan your own dream wedding, here at Bash + Bubbly Events, we usually begin planning weddings with what we call "The Big 3":
1. The Venue
Why? Simply put, venues can book out up to two years in advance. Saturday dates typically go first, followed quickly by Fridays and Sundays. With so many venue choices out there, first decide on the city/state in which you will be getting married. From there, decide, is there a "type" of venue you love most? Narrow down your favorite venues to the top 3-5, and then visit them in person with a tour. Ask each venue coordinator what is included with the venue rental, see both ceremony and reception options, and inquire about any rules and regulations. Once you have all the information, don't waste time making your final choice and booking your desired date. Once you have your venue, the theme and decor becomes a bit easier to envision.
2. The Photographer
Just like a good venue, a good photographer books up quickly. They do not typically book more than one event per day, and sometimes, they don't even book more than one event per weekend. Besides your memories, most often, the wedding photos are the only physical items couples have to remember all the little details of their wedding, so it is not an item you should wait on booking. Start by researching photographers in the area you will be getting married. Look over reviews and examples of their work. Schedule a consultation, whether in person, or over the phone, to ask questions and inquire about package pricing and inclusions. Once you find a photographer that you love, and fits your budget, book them! Often times, wedding packages include an engagement photo session, so if yours does, set up a date for the engagement photos sooner, rather than later. You may want to use these pictures for pre-wedding festivities such as an engagement party or bridal shower.
3. The Officiant
This may be a bit surprising that we suggest booking the officiant as soon as possible, especially when there is a bakery to find for the cake, musicians, catering, and other important vendors. The officiant is important because many religious ceremonies, especially if lead by your personal pastor, rabbi, or priest, or held in a specific place of worship, come with the requirement of marriage preparation classes or counseling. Some religions require up to a year of pre-marital counseling before they will approve the couple to be married. Checking with your local clergy will clarify any requirements, and it can be different for each officiant. If you are going with a more non-denominational, or non-religious wedding ceremony, you will still want to book an officiant early. Interview a few to see who you feel most comfortable with, and who will keep the tone of your ceremony the way you want it.
We hope this helps you begin your wedding planning journey! Once you book these "Big 3", you can relax a bit and begin vetting any additional vendors you may need. Remember to enjoy the process, and don't overthink every detail. Your wedding is about you and your spouse saying "I DO", everything else is just icing on the cake, so to speak!
Lori + Scott | Bash + Bubbly Events