Now that you’re engaged, enjoy the moment. Before you even have the chance to catch your breath, people will begin to ask you if you’ve set a date yet and how much of your wedding planning you have done. It doesn’t matter how far away the wedding is; as soon as the ring is on the finger, the questions begin.
If you’re not the kind of person who has been thinking about weddings since age sixteen, this may quickly become overwhelming, but it needn’t be. Wedding planning can be as simple, or as complicated a process, as you would like it to be.
While you should definitely take some time to simply enjoy being engaged, the key to successful wedding planning is to start early and to stay organized. The sooner you have all of the small details worked out, the more time you will have to enjoy the days preceding your wedding and the less stressed you will find yourself as the day approaches. Thinking ahead also provides you with the most options for dates, venues, and vendors, so as soon as you’re ready, jump right in.
Your first task is to choose ceremony and reception locations and to reserve your date. If you are willing to be flexible with dates, you will have a lot more choices for location. In general, with wedding planning as with life, the more flexible you are, the easier things will be for you, so if you have a date in mind, then you’ll probably need to call several different places. Most restaurants and halls will have a brochure or folder containing all of their information and prices. Make sure you collect these papers and file them appropriately until you’ve made a decision.
Your next priority should be dresses. This is generally considered to be the most fun step in the entire wedding planning process, but if you are shy it can be terrifying. To simplify this process, first go to the largest dress shop in your area, with no more than two people, and try on a variety of different styles until you get an idea of what you like. Then if you need to go to several boutiques to find the exact dress you want, you can, but you don’t need to.
Request a list of recommended vendors from your wedding planner, day of coordinator, event coordinator at your reception site, recently married friends, or from other people you know. Chances are, once they’ve been pre-screened, your interview process can be very brief. Once again, the sooner you book your vendors, the less difficult this will be.
Wedding planning can seem extremely daunting, but if you break it down into smaller steps and enlist the help of others, it becomes a much friendlier – even pleasant – task.