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Engaged? - Wedding Planning To Dos

Engaged? Excited? Now comes the tricky part, with so many things to do before your big day, what are you supposed to do first and what can be pushed to the back burner? Don’t get overwhelmed – here are the first nine things you need to do after you get engaged.

SET A TIMETABLE
How long do you plan on your engagement being? This depends on a couple of factors: your ideal wedding date, and how much time you will need to prepare. A typical engagement lasts anywhere from six months to a year and a half or more. If you get engaged during the holiday season, but have always dreamed of a summer wedding you need to assess your planning and see if it is reasonable to get married the following year, or if you should wait for a year and a half before getting married. Don’t make yourself wedding-crazy, and keep in mind that many of the best vendors and reception sites book up to a year or more in advance, so it might be a possibility that your wedding gets pushed back if you have your heart set on a specific location.

ENVISION THE STYLEwedding_planning
The style of your wedding is going to be most pronounced in the location you choose; whether it is an exquisite ballroom or an intimate backyard reception. Discuss with your fiancé what style you both want and where you want the wedding to be held (where you currently live, where you grew up, etc). Then you can start visiting venues to see if they would be appropriate for your special day.

SET YOUR BUDGET
In the end, unfortunately it is dollars, not dreams, which set your budget, and as a result your style and size of wedding. What affects the price tag?
FORMALITY: The more formal your reception, the more expensive the wedding usually costs. This is
because you need to match the site, food, and décor to the overall upscale tone.
DATE & TIME: Saturdays, summer months, and evenings tend to be the most costly times to have a
reception.
LOCATION: If you have your wedding in a city then you are more likely to pay more than if you have        
it in a smaller town.

DETERMINE A DATE
Choosing a wedding date can be one of the toughest decisions when it comes to planning your wedding. There are a few things you should consider when selecting a date: How much time will you need to prepare? Do any of your loved ones have a conflicting graduation, vacation, or pregnancy due date? If your heart is set on a particular place, caterer, band, or photographer, then the availability might be limited and can play a large role in the date selection.

ANNOUNCE YOUR ENGAGEMENT
Although this may not be everyone’s style, some people like to put an announcement of their engagement in their local paper, alumni magazine, or somewhere else. To do so, find out the name of the appropriate editor or department and ask for the writer’s guidelines or a standardized form, if one is available. Also, make sure to inquire if there is a publication fee.

CHOOSE YOUR ATTENDANTS
It is time to honour your closest friends and family by picking your wedding party. Remember, the earlier you ask, the sooner they will be able to help you plan your beautiful day. Having trouble deciding who to ask? Keep in mind that your wedding party is agreeing to spend their hard earned money and donate their time to help plan your day and make it a great success. Be considerate and kind by informing everyone about all your plans, showing them a good time, and making sure they know how much you appreciate them.

MAKE A GUEST LIST
To build your guest list you need to consider a number of things. If you have a particular ceremony or reception site in mind you are going to be limited on how many guests you can invite to accommodate comfortably. You need to ask yourself if you would rather have one-on-one time with each guest or to throw a-once-in-a-lifetime party for all your friends and family. Remember, more guests means a bigger bill too – as catering costs are generally calculated by a per-head basis. So, in addition to location, your budget will have a big influence on the size of your guest list.

CONSIDER A CONSULTANT
If you are a super-busy couple, hire a full-time wedding consultant to help you prepare for your big day; they do everything from the announcement to the honeymoon. Don’t need a consultant full-time? You can hire them part-time to create a wedding blueprint for you – this will set you off in the right direction. Another option is the day-of coordinator who will make sure everything runs smoothly on your wedding day.

START GOWN SHOPPING
It’s never too early to begin gown shopping; you probably have one envisioned from when you were a little girl. Start by figuring our which style would look best on your body. Learn the lingo before you step into a dress shop. Read up on silhouettes, necklines, trains, and hues that might flatter you. Seasons also affect the dress you pick. If you are getting married in the summer stick with lightweight material like chiffon, linen, or organza, but in the winter try brocade, faux furs, and velvet. Satin, silk, and tulle are perfect year-round.

 

Luckily, there are some things that can wait until the final couple of months, sometimes even the last couple of weeks, before the wedding to worry about. Here are five things that you do not need to feel guilty about putting off.

GETTING A MARRIAGE LICENSE
If you live in the USA, most states do not require more than 24 hour wedding period for a marriage license to be valid, so there is no rush in getting one. A week or two before the ceremony is more than enough time.

RENTING FORMAL WEAR
Groomsmen, ushers, and even the groom are lucky because unlike the bride and bridesmaids they can take a bit of time when acquiring their attire. They don’t need to worry about renting or buying their suits or tuxes until about three months before the ceremony. Groomsmen, if renting, usually don’t even need to pick up their outfits until the week of the wedding.

ORDERING YOUR WEDDING BANDS
Yes, you don’t need to rush out and order your wedding bands – you can actually wait until four or five months before the ceremony. You want to make sure you have enough time to get them sized in case they don’t fit when they arrive at the jewelers.

APPOINTING ALL YOUR ATTENDANTS
While you can decide your wedding party pretty early in the process, attendants who are less involved in the pre-wedding prep do not need to be chosen for awhile. You can wait until a week or two before the wedding to appoint ushers and other ceremony helpers.

FINALIZING THE SEATING CHART
You can leave getting the seating chart to the reception site manager until a few weeks before the wedding – therefore, it is another item that does not need to be dealt with immediately.

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