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Just Engaged and Proposals

What's Your Best Tip For A Newly Engaged Couple Starting The Planning Process?

Hi, everyone!

My fiance and I just got engaged a little less than two weeks ago. He proposed on Valentine's Day! We're starting the planning process super early, but the earlier the better, right? We've already decided on the wedding colors (navy, gold and white) and the date (April 8th, 2016). I've even got ideas for the dresses my bridesmaids will be wearing and he decided what his groomsmen will be wearing as well. I have a general idea of what type of bouquets I want and table arrangements/centerpieces. I've also researched a few venues we're interested in. In particular, the Royal Manor, The Empire Club and the Valley Regency are our top three! We've started a guest list and are going to get my ring insured this weekend (hopefully!!)

That being said, what's your best tip for a newly engaged couple starting the planning process?  There's so many details to planning a wedding and we want to make sure to account for every single one of them! Thanks!  

 

Re: What's Your Best Tip For A Newly Engaged Couple Starting The Planning Process?


  • First is to decide what your budget it. I was reading your post and saw nothing about having already decided a budget. That should be the FIRST thing you do!
    KeptInStitchesAprilH81
  • Hi, everyone!

    My fiance and I just got engaged a little less than two weeks ago. He proposed on Valentine's Day! We're starting the planning process super early, but the earlier the better, right? We've already decided on the wedding colors (navy, gold and white) and the date (April 8th, 2016). I've even got ideas for the dresses my bridesmaids will be wearing and he decided what his groomsmen will be wearing as well. I have a general idea of what type of bouquets I want and table arrangements/centerpieces. I've also researched a few venues we're interested in. In particular, the Royal Manor, The Empire Club and the Valley Regency are our top three! We've started a guest list and are going to get my ring insured this weekend (hopefully!!)

    That being said, what's your best tip for a newly engaged couple starting the planning process?  There's so many details to planning a wedding and we want to make sure to account for every single one of them! Thanks!  

     

    First advice. Slow down.   I agree with PP.  Sit down and figure out your budget. How much money do you have saved for your wedding?  Don't count on anyone else paying for anything (parents, etc.) unless they have already given you the money. Many brides here end up heartbroken because mom or dad said they would pay for something, and didn't follow thorugh, and they end up with a contract that they can't afford.

    Come up with a very detailed budget of what things will cost, and how much money you actually will have. 

    Also, don't ask your wedding party yet.  It's way to early.  I would recommend no more than 9-12 months, tops, before the wedding.

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Yeah, stop planning the details before setting a budget. We first talked about the kind of wedding we wanted, set a budget, made a preliminary guest list, and then started looking for venues to fit those numbers.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • Agreed on setting the budget. Also, sit down and decide how you want your wedding to feel and what your top priorities are. Setting these first will help guide your spending. The book A Practical Wedding is an excellent resource to help you plan a meaningful wedding that makes sense for the two of you.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You need to decide on a budget.  How much are you and your FI comfortable/willing to spend on your wedding?

    From there make a preliminary guest list to give you an idea of how many people you want there and what size venue you will need.

    Then research venues.  Compare the prices given at each place to what each offers (does one offer tables, chairs and linens with the price while the other charges extra for those items, etc, etc)

    After your venue is booked, look into the other major vendors, such as caterer (if not included with venue), photographer and DJ.

    Are you planning on getting married at your reception venue or a church?  If you are wanting to get married in a church then before you book anything, even your reception venue, you need to decide on a church and speak with the pastor, priest, whatever about dates and pre-marriage requirements.

    Once all the major players are booked then you can start on invites, flowers, cake, dress (about a year prior), BM dresses, etc, etc.

    Finally do not ask anyone to be in your wedding party until you are about 9 months out. Relationships can change (even family ones) and once you ask, that is it, no changing things around, kicking people out or replacing people.

  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers

    When working on your budget don't forget about the small stuff if you are planning on having it.  Those things add up fast.

    Alterations

    Undergarments

    Shoes

    Cake Service Set

    Cake Topper

    Cake Cutting Fee

    Hair and Make-up Trials

    Tips

    Decor for the ceremony space and reception hall (it adds up fast and if you use candles they aren't cheap!!)

    Rental fees

    Guest Book

    Transportation

    None of this stuff is necessary but if you want the details you need to remember to budget for them.  I had a very throurough budget, but I still found myself going over in decor items and we didn't have that much to do. 

    Another tip is to leave a 10-20% "slush fund" so that if you go over budget in one area you don't have to cut something else or if you find you did forget something you still have money available.

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    [Deleted User]
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    My advice... slow your roll. You have over two years. Your style will change and you might regret picking out dresses/ flowers/ shoes/ etc so early. Also, please dont pick your WP now. Wait until around 9 months before the wedding. Relationships change. And once you ask someone, you cant un- ask them.

    I would start with a budget. What do you want to spend? How much can you save?

    BabyFruit Ticker
    AprilH81
  • edited February 2014
    Oops! Sorry! We had actually decided on a budget after I submitted the post. The average wedding costs around $30,000, but we're planning on spending half of that. I'm not sure if $15,000 is too little of a budget. 

    We want to have around 80-100 guests. Definitely no more than 100! I've also decided my wedding dress budget will be around $500-1000, which will include alterations and the veil. Is this reasonable, ladies? We're looking at a simple, but elegant style wedding. 

    You all gave such great tips! I understand that relationships and preferences might change as we get closer to the wedding. As of now, they're just general ideas. I just wanted a starting point, you know? Things aren't set in stone yet (thank goodness!) 
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Since you have a budget and a general guest list. I would sit back and relax for awhile. Maybe start to get in shape, if you arent already. And start saving a few extra dollars. You will be happy you have them in case you go over budget or what to plan a HM.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Oh, and page @knotporscha to change your screenname.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Sounds like a plan! Thanks for the tips! It's good to know that I'm on track, even if it's just a general idea of everything. I've heard too many brides start late and have to rush things, so I wanted to get a jumpstart on things.  
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Steph, you should really contact Porscha to have her change your username. @KnotPorscha
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • I sent her a PM earlier this afternoon. Waiting for a response.Thanks! 
    AddieL73 said:
    Steph, you should really contact Porscha to have her change your username. @KnotPorscha

  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Steph236 said:
    Oops! Sorry! We had actually decided on a budget after I submitted the post. The average wedding costs around $30,000, but we're planning on spending half of that. I'm not sure if $15,000 is too little of a budget. 

    We want to have around 80-100 guests. Definitely no more than 100! I've also decided my wedding dress budget will be around $500-1000, which will include alterations and the veil. Is this reasonable, ladies? We're looking at a simple, but elegant style wedding. 

    You all gave such great tips! I understand that relationships and preferences might change as we get closer to the wedding. As of now, they're just general ideas. I just wanted a starting point, you know? Things aren't set in stone yet (thank goodness!) 

    My dress was originally $299 (I bought it on sale for $250) at David's Bridal.  The lace bolero jacket was another $139 and alterations were $260 and that included steaming the dress. It can be done.

     

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  • edited February 2014
    What a beautiful dress! I plan on shopping at David's Bridal as well! Probably next spring! 
  • That's a very reasonable budget. My dress was a bridesmaid's dress and it was only $220, plus $75 for alterations. (Many bridesmaid's dresses also come in white if hot pink isn't your thing. :)
  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Steph236 said:
    What a beautiful dress! I plan on shopping at David's Bridal as well! Probably next spring! 


    Thanks!  My tip is to make an appointment during the week (preferrably the middle of the week) during the day.  It won't be as crazy and you can get a little more attention from the consultant.  You can be "cheap" on the dress and still be beautiful. 

    I knew early on that I wanted more of the budget to go towards other things than a dress I would wear once so I had a $500 budget (not including accessories or alterations).  I was really pleased that my favorite was so inexpensive.

    photo composite_14153800476219.jpg
  • emmyg65 said:
    That's a very reasonable budget. My dress was a bridesmaid's dress and it was only $220, plus $75 for alterations. (Many bridesmaid's dresses also come in white if hot pink isn't your thing. :)
    I'm happy to hear that everything could be doable with a $15,000 budget! I wasn't sure how much is too little to spend on a wedding. Interesting that you chose a bridesmaid's dress as a wedding dress; that's definitely an option!  Not sure how my fiance would feel about me walking down the aisle in a hot pink dress! LOL I'm not a flashy person, so even having a big wedding is a bit intimidating to me. Currently, I'm really loving strapless dresses, either a sheath or a-line silhouette and a small sweeping train. I'm a fan of simple, classic elegance
  • edited February 2014
    AprilH81 said:
    Steph236 said:
    What a beautiful dress! I plan on shopping at David's Bridal as well! Probably next spring! 


    Thanks!  My tip is to make an appointment during the week (preferrably the middle of the week) during the day.  It won't be as crazy and you can get a little more attention from the consultant.  You can be "cheap" on the dress and still be beautiful. 

    I knew early on that I wanted more of the budget to go towards other things than a dress I would wear once so I had a $500 budget (not including accessories or alterations).  I was really pleased that my favorite was so inexpensive.

    Great advice! I'll definitely do that! Also, I'm the same way. I'd rather spend more money on other parts of the wedding than the dress. Even though the dress is an important focus point, why spend thousands on a dress you're only wearing once? I'd rather have an outstanding photographer or DJ or food. 
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