Yay! You're engaged! Can you believe he finally got the nerve (and sense) to pop the question? Like I told my husband, he better go ahead and ask, because the longer he waited the bigger the rock would have to be...of course I was only kidding. But we all know how those men of ours need a nudge every once in a while.
After you have come down off of cloud nine, you do need to start thinking about the task at hand...planning your big day! Think about what needs to be done to accomplish your overall goal. You and your fiancé should make a list of your individual wishes. When you think of your wedding, what comes to mind? Compare your ideas and narrow down three must-haves for the two of you. Maybe music is important to both of you, and you are willing to spend the extra dollar on a good band. Maybe you're foodies and want the top of the line caterer to ensure you have phenomenal dishes. No matter the aspects of importance, remember, this is an occasion that should reflect you as a couple, not you as individuals.
The next step is usually the most dreadful, but I promise you will start having fun with this soon! You and your fiancé must come up with the often pushed to the wayside budget. Today the financial aspects of weddings are much different than they used to be. The bride and groom's families were once strategically assigned specific line items to cover, which in many ways can still be beneficial as a guide or starting point. Wedding finances have changed since then, now reflecting the unique situation of each couple. Either way the money has to flow in from somewhere...you just have to find that fountain. Decide where funds will be coming from, your parents, his parents, your dwindling bank account. Come up with a number you are comfortable with, and be sure to give yourself a little wiggle room while keeping your bottom line in sight. It is important that this number is established at the beginning of the planning process to avoid any stress and not so fun surprises later on.
Once you've nailed down the generalities of your wedding, start making the big list. Write down everything you will need to get from point A to point B. This should include the following:
Open Dates for Engagement Parties and Showers
Event Design (florist/rental company)
It is important that, as the bride, you remember to include your fiancé. I mean, he is a part of this too you know! Some guys prefer to stay out of the picture, but many brides will be surprised to find that their SO may have opinions on some aspects of the big day. Make sure to discuss the roles each of you will play and the amount of involvement he wishes to have in the planning process. Don't try to do this on your own, especially if he is willing to pitch in!
Once that conversation has come to a close, look at your list TOGETHER. It's important that you try doing these things together, because marriage will only bring on more decisions you will have to make as a couple. Remember, practice makes perfect! Make note of the three most important line items to you as a couple. These three things will be where you will spend the most of your budget, since they are of the utmost importance to your vision. I cannot stress how important it is to prioritize! This is how you will be able to cut costs when necessary, and be a more decisive bride.
Now, with that said, if you want a party you need to be sure of one thing...guest satisfaction. There is nothing worse than attending a wedding where the couple decided to skimp on things they shouldn't have. Be sure to have good food and drinks, entertainment, and atmosphere. I know there are exceptions to this, but don't blow your entire budget on your "dream" dress or unnecessarily expensive invitations. If your guests are having a ball, you will too! This is their time to celebrate the two of you!
Check back in soon for details on how to allocate your money properly when planning your big day. Have any questions? Please ask away in the comments below! Happy planning!