EVENT CONFETTI

Rules of Engagement

Did you get engaged over the holiday? Whether you picked out your own ring or he surprised you in front of the whole family, it’s a great time to be engaged, so congratulations! When the celebrations with friends and family finally end, you’ll have a lot of work ahead of you. Here are the first five steps I recommend for newly engaged couples.

 

1. Who: Size Matters

How big is your family? You may have 500 Facebook friends, but who will you really be inviting to the reception? How many will be unable to travel from out of town? Will you be inviting kids and dates? The size of your guest list will no doubt make or break some venue options and will be the main factor in your budget. You don’t have to have all the answers now, but if you have a general idea of the size of the wedding you’d like to have, you’ll be in good shape to start planning.

 

2. How: Money Talks

Once you know the rough size of your wedding, you can start to discuss budget with your fiancé. Every person’s situation is different, but in my opinion if no one has stepped forward with their checkbook yet, you should talk to your husband-to-be about how much you both can afford. If you find you’re falling short and you have people in your life who may be able to help you, then at least you’ll know how much you can contribute. If it’s all on you to foot the bill, there are plenty of ways to cut costs and still have a beautiful wedding, starting with your guest list, your date, and your location.

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3. When and Where: Save the Date and the Town

A lot goes into choosing a wedding date. Start with the season. Let’s say you decide on a summer wedding. Do you prefer late or early summer? Are there other important dates to avoid during that time, like a family member’s graduation? Do you have enough time to plan for this summer or will you have a long engagement and push it to next summer? The location and the date often go hand-in-hand, so make this a part of saving the date. If you’re looking for a reception in ski country or at the beach or if you know that your ceremony will be in your family church and you’ll be staying close to home, these are important factors. If you want to skip town altogether, you'll want to revisit the size of your guest list. Keep narrowing your choices until you have a rough location and three dates.

 

4. What: Your Dream Wedding

I’m a little obsessed with HGTV’s “The High Low Project” where the designer asks the homeowners to imagine their dream space regardless of budget. She then she creates it with borrowed goods at a whopping price tag and then recreates the same space on a shoestring budget. Of course it’s not the exact same space, but the feeling the homeowners get when they walk into the room is the same each time, and that’s really the goal. Imagine your dream wedding and get the feel of what it should be, no matter how much or little detail you give it for now. Do you want a lively party, a sophisticated dinner, or an intimate gathering? What you decide will make your other choices easier.

 

5. Putting It All Together

Now that you’ve done all of that, you may have to do it again! If you’ve just envisioned a wedding for 300 people over Thanksgiving weekend on Lake Ontario with your bridesmaids in short strapless dresses and your reception under a tent for under $10,000, you’ll have to go back to the drawing board. When all of the main elements finally make sense together, you’re ready for the next steps in planning your wedding.

 

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