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You're Engaged! 3 Things to Do to Kick Off Planning

Written by Grace Willburn of Graceful Wedding and Event Planning

Photo by: Kiki Creates

First off, take a deep breath and enjoy this season of being engaged. It's a short time of your life and a fun one, to be sure! Here at Graceful Wedding & Event Planning we help our couples think through every step of the wedding planning, but here are the first few things to help you kick off your wedding planning!

Set the date and choose a venue/location.

That might sound like two separate steps, but really these go hand in hand. Here in the Arkansas Valley, the venue you love might already be booked on the date you also wanted. Decide which is more important to you; a specific date or the venue/location. Flexibility during wedding planning is key, and it starts right off the bat. So many of the wedding choices you’ll make along the way will narrow down when you pick your date and venue/location. So stay off Pinterest until you’ve done this step!

Photo by: Kiki Creates

Make a budget.

This one can feel pretty big as well because, as you make your budget, you have to answer other questions like Who is paying for the wedding? Although traditionally the bride's parents pay for the wedding, this is frequently untrue for couples these days. The couple may choose to pay for everything themselves, or parents on both sides might chip in a dollar amount, or one parent might want to pay for something specific like the bride's dress. Making a budget usually includes potentially having a frank conversation with the parents of both parties.

You’ll want to choose a wedding worksheet/spreadsheet to keep all of your budget in one place. We choose to do this with couples via Google Docs but there are so many ways to keep track of your budget. You just need to choose what works best for you two.

However you end up doing your wedding, setting a budget is important. In fact, this is something you two as a couple will do the rest of your lives together! So this is good training. We strongly advise couples to stay within their budget and out of debt, as married couples fight about money more than anything else. Why start your marriage off in debt when you can easily plan a wedding on any budget? Believe us - it’s doable! If you need more help with budgeting your wedding or life in general, check out Dave Rasmey.

Photo by: Mark Ryno

Set the tone of your wedding.

What does that mean? There are so many options these days when planning your wedding, which is amazing but can also feel overwhelming. Deciding if you’d like a sit down formal dinner vs. a brunch-style wedding make a huge difference in the feel of your wedding. Making that decision can also help narrow other decisions to follow. At this point you’ll also want to make the decision as to whether you’d like a religious, spiritual, or secular ceremony.

As mentioned before, once you make these big decisions your choices down the road will narrow. If you pick an outdoor wedding then, likely, the tone of your wedding will be more casual. If you choose to get married in the morning versus having an evening wedding, your big day will probably be more of a social get-together than a dance party. Each decision impacts the next, but these first few will help narrow decisions later down the road.

Photo by: Mark Ryno

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