So You Just Got Engaged….. What do I Do Next?
Congratulations on your engagement! Now, are you ready to plan your wedding? Or are you overwhelmed, confused, and a bit clueless on where to even begin? With the amount of pressure that can be put on planning the perfect wedding, focusing on each and every detail, and the expense of even a small-scale celebration, it can be difficult to act on whatever ideas you have, let alone orchestrate the entire event. Outlined below is a detailed list to help you plan your wedding, dividing the tasks into what needs to be a priority and what can wait to have your full attention.
These tasks should help your form a basic idea of what you would like your wedding to be and encourage you to start thinking about the larger decisions that need to be made.
Set a date and time (This may be driven by venue availability)
Plan a budget. What areas would you like to cut costs and where do you feel compelled to splurge?
Find and book a venue for the ceremony and reception
Hire a photographer for your engagement photo session. This is also a great way to try out a photographer to see if you’d like to hire them to photograph your wedding!
Consider hiring a wedding planner
Wedding styles and colors- check out Pinterest and browse away!
Look into wedding insurance
Create and send out save the date cards
Find your dress and accessories
Consider the kind of vendors you will want for:
Meet with/Interview Photographers/videographers
Make sure everything you look into you get in writing!
Now that you have the basics and a budget, it’s time to get down to business.
Create your guest list
Decide your wedding party members
Talk to possible vendors (get it all in writing!)
Decide on your flowers
Do a tasting for your wedding cake
Hire the DJ/entertainment
Write the wording for your invitations
Shop for bridesmaids and flower girl dresses- instruct the attendants on how to order them.
Create the gift registry
Arrange hotel rooms for out of town guests and yourself on the wedding night
Arrange and book the transportation
Make bridal shower and bachelorette party plans with whoever is hosting yours
Think about the honeymoon
You are deep in the process and should start committing to your plans.
Book the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner arrangements
Rehearsal dinner guest list
Child care arrangements for guests’ kids
Reserve necessary party rentals and linens
Wedding favors for guests
Shop for the men’s formal wear
Finalize the following:
Guest list with accurate addresses
Invitation wording along with programs, menus, place cards, and thank you cards
Ceremony readings and vows
Menu, beverage, and catering details
Timeline of the reception (toasts, cake cutting, photos, etc.)
Honeymoon plans and travel documents
Makeup and hair trial runs. Book your stylists
Shop for wedding rings
Equipment such as chairs, tables, decorations that will not come with the venues
Entertainment and/or music.
Things are moving quickly now and your big day is closer than it seems!
Mail out invitations and record RSVPs and meal choices
Talk to vendors to confirm dates, deposits, and details
Marriage licenses and name change documents
Begin dress fittings
Schedule dance lessons with your fiancé
Check that the wedding party is has their appropriate attire
Write out thank you cards for shower gifts and early wedding gifts
You are almost done planning!
Send out rehearsal dinner invitations
Finalize and confirm the following:
Readings and vows with the officiant
Shot list with your wedding photographer and videographer
Song list for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception
Timeline for reception and who is giving what toasts
Wedding night and honey moon accommodations
Obtain marriage documents.
Pick up wedding rings and check the engravings
If traditional, do you have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue?
Guest books, toasting flutes, cake servers, and unity candle
Buy gifts for wedding party and parents of bride and groom
Final dress fitting
Get the last RSVPs
Everything should be falling into place!
Give caterer and venues final guest counts
Arrange seating and place cards
Pick up gown
Confirm timelines for arrival, ceremony, and reception
Put together bridal emergency kit
Check the weather, make sure venue is prepared for all cases
Start honeymoon packing’
The Day Before
Make sure everything is packed (especially the rings and license)
Figure out tips and final payment plans, have them separated, labeled, and ready to be handed out
Make sure there is someone responsible for packing the gifts in the car
Make sure there is someone to return the groom’s tuxedo and other rentals the day after the wedding
Rehearsal and dinner
Go to bed early
Wedding DayBudget plenty of time to get ready. Stay on schedule!
Greet everyone, thank them for coming
Deep breaths. Take it in. appreciate the day you spent so long planning
Write and send thank you cards
Complete your registry and return any duplicate gifts
Have your dress cleaned and preserved
Schedule a meeting with your photographer to view your photos in person, select your album, wall prints/artwork and other heirloom products.
Lumin Amore Wedding Photography is an engagement and wedding photography studio based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (“Lumin Amore” means “The Light of Love” in Italian.) Our photographers have an eye for capturing the light of your love story through striking photography. We assist in planning how photography will fit into your busy wedding day and recommend ways to display and preserve those once-in-a-lifetime moments with unique signature albums and classic, museum-quality photo-artwork that can inspire your family generations to come. Visit LuminAmoreWeddings.com for more information.