Happy New Year! As some of you may notice from the many Facebook status updates you’ve read during the past few weeks, the holiday season seems to inspire many proposals! In fact, over 17% of engagements begin during the month of December. The festive spirit, the upcoming New Year, and much time with close friends and family makes the holiday season a great time to get engaged! But now, the new brides-to-be are entering 2013 with many questions and a new task at hand: Planning your dream wedding! But… where to begin?
First, take some time to enjoy being engaged! Yes, it is important to begin quickly with some of the big details, but don’t forget that this is a happy and very special time in your life. Enjoy every moment of the celebration. And while it’s often hard, try not to let that new bling on your steering wheel hand distract you from looking at the road! Some couples choose to have an engagement party or take engagement photos to contribute to the celebration. These can make this exciting time lots of fun! Take advantage of this time to celebrate your and your fiancé with those you love most!
Next, talk to your fiancé and close family members about some of the bigger, important details. As soon as friends and family hear that you are engaged, they’ll immediately start asking for a date to pencil into calendars, but take your time to figure things out. You are planning to spend your whole life with this person; take all the time you need or want to plan the wedding you’d like to have. You can read dozens of blogs and magazines to figure out the first steps when you get engaged, but these are the ones we think are most important:
1) Approximate length of engagement: Do you want a long or short engagement? If you have always dreamed of getting married in the spring, you could plan the wedding in 5 months… or 16… or 30! There are benefits to each of these, depending on your preferences. But figure out what works best for the two of you, your interests, and your family.
2) Begin thinking about a budget: A lot of the decisions you’ll make at the beginning of the planning process are the big ticket items… venue, coordinator, photography, catering. Before meeting with any vendors or venues, you’ll want to have an approximate idea of how much money you have to spend on various aspects of the wedding.
3) Find your inspiration: Begin looking at blogs (like Charlottesville Wedding Blog!) and photos. Keep a collection of photographs of flowers, decorations, cakes, dresses, etc that you like or find inspiring. These will be so valuable to you when you speak with vendors and begin thinking about what the wedding day will look like.
4) Decide on a location: You don’t need to make an immediate decision on the exact venue. But if you are reading this blog, you are likely considering getting married in Charlottesville or the central-Virginia area. Which means that you’ve already taken care of this point! Giving close friends and family and idea of the city and state in which you are planning to get married will be very helpful for both you and them; it will allow you to begin looking at specific venues and vendors in the area of interest.
5) Consider hiring a coordinator: Having someone from the very beginning who can answer questions and keep you on the right track will save you tons of time, stress and money. Local coordinators know all the local vendors and can help you narrow your search to those best suited for your interests, style and budget.
But most importantly… celebrate! The holiday season can be so busy and it can be hard to find some time for just the two of you to enjoy the fact that you are newly engaged. Take the time to talk about your ideas and priorities and to just enjoy this exciting time in your life. Happy 2013!