I'm Engaged! ...Now What?14:37
Hello everyone! Welcome to my first post in the Wedding series! I told you guys I'd be documenting the whole way, right?!
For my first post, I wanted to give newly-engaged gals a bit of a lowdown on what to do once you get engaged. I know when Rob first proposed to me, although I'd had a million ideas floating around in my head (and Pinterest) beforehand, I had no idea where to start with it all.
So I've written a list of things to help you get started. It'll give you some kind of focus during the whole whirlwind process...
1. Buy a wedding journal.
You're going to need somewhere to put those Pinterest pictures! Prepare to do a lot of cutting and sticking, brainstorming, diagrams, lists and doodles. If you're anything like me, you love to keep organised. As soon as we'd been to collect the ring from its' resizing, I dragged Rob into Paperchase to take a peek at their wedding journals.
They have a whole range of things, including this gorgeous wedding planner, but I finally settled on a plain ol' scrapbook, which has dividers included to help me organise even MORE. I like the fact that it's plain because I really want to decorate it myself! I'm thinking of making a collage from all of our engagement cards and using it as the book cover.
This will be your wedding bible. Carry it around with you and any time you think of something, jot it down! If your handbag isn't as humungous as mine, you can always keep notes on your phone ready to put into the book when you're home! It's a fabulous idea, plus it's something fun to look back on once you're married - or to pass on to a future daughter!
2. Save the Date!
Now, this one comes hand in hand with the venue and guestlist, but we'll get to those in a minute.
Because of Rob's hectic work schedule, we'd really struggle to set a date for a Summer wedding. We couldn't guarantee when he'd be in the country, so we've both decided on an Autumn wedding. It's a bonus for us because a.) it's cheaper, and b.) it gives us more planning time!
3. Set a budget...
"What do you mean 'the catering costs more than the venue?!'". A genuine thought process of mine. I had no idea before all of this planning exactly how much it'd cost to keep everyones' tummies from grumbling. You see, I'd rather walk down the aisle in Manolo Blahnik's than feed the wedding party, but hey, that's just me ;-)
Set yourself a budget and try your absolute best to stick to it. It's very easy to get carried away but there are things that can help you.
I've created an infographic on how to budget for your wedding - which I'll be uploading with my next post! But in the mean time, I found that the best thing to do when venue scouting is to put the names of all the venues you love into a spreadsheet. Then, using their brochures or information from their wedding associates, split into four columns:
- Ceremony and venue hire: be sure to double check that your chosen venue has a civil ceremony license!
- Reception: calculate the costs of how much an arrival drink and canapes will be
- Wedding breakfast: i.e. the 'sit-down dinner' - there are lots of alternatives to this, such as afternoon tea, BBQ, hog roast, etc.
- Evening meal: buffet costs - plus any corkage if you're allowed.
4. Draft a guestlist...
It may seem a little early, but this will give you an idea of how many people you'd like at your ceremony and evening party. Some venues only allow intimate ceremonies, and some allow an unlimited amount of people. It's great to have an idea of the amount of guests so that you can quote your chosen venue.
5. Choose the venue!
After you've worked out what venues are within your budget, go and visit them! A great photographer can make any venue look Pinterest-worthy, so make sure you go and check them out for yourself. It may turn out that the quirky barn conversion that looked oh-so-shabby-chic online, actually has a hopscotch of cow dung all the way to the front door... Once you've chosen your venue and set a date, you can send out save-the-dates if you wish! A budget-friendly way of doing this is by sending everyone an e-card online. It cuts down costs, and it's tech-savvy. Genius!
Once I've reached this point myself, I'll be adding some more tips in part two! These include choosing your bridesmaids, wedding stationary, and the most exciting... CHOOSING YOUR DRESS!
Let me know if this post helped, and feel free to share your tips...