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Congratulations! You're Engaged.

Tips for creating the perfect wedding day.

So you just got engaged, congratulations! Suddenly everyone is asking you questions about the big day. When’s the date? What are your colors? Where are you getting married? Let me see the ring!

All of these questions may start to make you feel overwhelmed. Here are a few pointers on the first steps to take after you have gotten engaged:

  • First, take a breath – You got engaged because you are in love, take some time to enjoy that feeling without all of the pressure of wedding planning. When you feel overwhelmed with all of the questions from friends and family, kindly respond, “We are just enjoying being engaged right now but we are planning on sending out information about the wedding soon”.
  • Decide what YOU want – This is 2016 and weddings have changed a lot since your mother got married. Weddings today can be anything you want them to be. You can have a 5 course dinner under a crystal chandelier, or you can have food trucks at a Brewery with your brother’s band. The wedding industry has become so versatile that most wedding vendors are ready and willing to cater to the most unique requests. Have a conversation with your fiancé about what you and your fiancé want for your wedding before you start getting your family involved. You will probably have to make some adjustments to appease everyone (especially if they are going to foot the bill) but don’t lose focus on your dream.
  • Create a Guest List – Deciding who will attend the wedding makes a big difference in where you will be able to hold the event and what the budget is going to look like. It may be helpful to create an A-list (the people you have to invite) and a B-list (everyone that you would like to invite) so that as you are planning you can determine how many people you will be able to include in your big day. Keep in mind that not everyone will be able to attend, especially if you have a lot of out of town guests. Plan on about 10% - 20% of your guests declining the invitation.
  • Choose a location – Once you have decided what you want your wedding to look like, and how many people are going to be invited, it’s time to find a venue! Don’t waste your time with venues that aren’t a good fit for you. If you are planning a 200 person wedding, then looking at a venue that can only accommodate a maximum of 100 people isn’t going to be a good use of your time. Lots of wedding websites such as theknot.com, weddingwire.com and other websites that are local to your area will be able to give you basic information about venues in the area where you are planning your wedding. These websites typically provide you with a maximum number of guests for the venue, a price range and a few photos of weddings at the venue.
  • Start Scouting – Once you have narrowed down the venues that you are interested in, start reaching out to the event coordinator/sales person at each location. There are a few basic questions that you should be prepared to answer. The questions below are just a few examples, different venues may have questions that pertain to their venue in particular:
    • Is there a particular date that you are interested in?
    • How many people are you planning to invite? 
    • What time would you need to have the room available to you?
    • Are you looking for both Ceremony and Reception information?
    • What type of food would like to serve (plated lunch, buffet dinner, heavy hor D’oeuvres, etc)
    • Are you planning to have an open bar?
    • Will this be a seated event, or would you prefer to have some seating and some standing room?
    • Are you planning to have a Band or a DJ?
    • Would you want your guest’s valet charges to go to the master account?
    • Hire a wedding planner/Day of Coordinator – Optional – Anyone who has planned a wedding will tell you that hiring a wedding planner or day of coordinator is the best wedding gift that you could ever give yourself. Wedding planners know the ins and outs of the wedding industry and can actually help save you time and money! If you don’t have the budget for full wedding planning services, then try to find a day-of coordinator. Typically day-of coordinators can provide you with a little guidance throughout the planning process and then they will be your go-to goddess on the day of your wedding.
    • Something will go wrong and that’s ok – Don’t forget to enjoy the journey! Even the most perfectly planned weddings have hiccups. Most of the time no one even notices. Sometimes the mistakes become some of the most memorable moments of the day. The most important thing to remember is to relax and enjoy the day. You are marrying your best friend and that is all that matters! 
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