Uniquely Yours lead planner, Sara Shoemaker, recently wrote a post with great tips for the newly engaged couple just embarking on their wedding planning experience. We are posting again for reference by couples who have become engaged over the holiday season. Congratulations and enjoy!
Engagement season is here, and we are thrilled to be meeting so many happy couples excited to plan their weddings. Uniquely Yours lead planner extraordinaire and designer, Sara Shoemaker, offers timely advice and smart suggestions aimed at helping newly engaged couples who are just starting the planning process.
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’RE ENGAGED! NOW WHAT?
So you’ve said yes and you can’t seem to keep anything but a smile plastered on your face. You’ve showed the ring to anyone who will even glance your way and even taken close up pictures to show everyone on Facebook and Twitter. But now what do you do? What’s the next step towards making it official and declaring your love to the world?
First, talk with your fiancé (the new word you have added to every other sentence) and figure out what you both want. No need to get into major specifics but start with the 5 W’s. Who do you want to attend? Will this be an intimate affair or will perhaps every distant relative and every one of your mother’s friends from church be attending? The size of the event will often dictate budget, location, and even time of year. What type of event do you want? Formal, casual, destination, lavish and elegant, or simple and classic? When will this special day take place? It’s ok to not have a date, but a year and season are a great start. Where in general do you want to get married? Back in your hometown, where you live currently, or in an exotic destination location? Are hotels out of the question? Is a white sand beach or other outdoor location required? And think about why you want to have this event. Share your story with your guests and let your wedding be a personal expression of your lifestyles and love for each other.
Image Source: Ivanka Trump Collection
And the main question before you start planning involves the big “B” word…BUDGET. Who is contributing to the wedding finances? It is important to know how much each party is providing so you can stay on budget. Also discuss how these finances will be dispersed. If the groom’s mother is paying for the flowers, is she paying the florist directly for all of the items you order (within your specified budget)? Or is she providing you with $2,000 to pay towards the flowers? Although money is an extremely uncomfortable conversation you will appreciate outlining this at the beginning and not running into money troubles or family squabbles.
To best maximize your budget and assist with a smooth planning process, consult the help of a wedding planner. Most wedding planners offer a variety of services to meet your service needs and budget. They will make sure you have covered all the details with regard to your wedding and refer qualified wedding professionals that are a great fit for your particular personality and budget parameters. If you don’t know where to start looking for a planner, ask friends for referrals and consult professional associations for planners in your area (such as Association of Bridal Consultants or Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants). When you meet with a planner share your 5 W’s and the big “B”. Ask the planner how they can help save you money and specifically how they will be assisting you. Do not hesitate to ask for references from other clients they have worked with. When making your choice, consider all that a planner offers professionally, personally and financially. Now your wedding planner will get you started and walk you through all that you need to do! (Of course, if you are planning a wedding in Florida or looking for a team to plan your destination wedding in Florida, please give our team at Uniquely Yours a call. We would love to help you get the planning process started, and offer a variety of options customized to suit your planning service needs.)
Enjoy this time with your fiancé, family and friends (and hopefully one of them will throw you a nice engagement party). Happy Planning!