The first 10 things to do when planning your wedding

Congratulations!  You’re engaged!  Now what?

I’ve compiled a list of 10 must-do things to get your engagement off to a great start – read on for more!

  1. Announce your engagement!
    Spread the news near and far!  This is one of the most joyous moments of your lives, and it should be celebrated.  Change your relationship status on Facebook, Instagram your fiancé and you with your shiny new ring, or make a new snapchat!  Then, go grab yourselves a bottle of champagne and let the moment sink in… You’re getting married!
  2. Throw a party!
    Small and intimate or big and fancy, it’s really just about having your closest friends and family nearby to celebrate with – don’t worry if they ask you when you plan on getting married, you’ll get to that soon enough.  Enjoy the evening, and make your party your own by adding little details of your relationship in your decor.  Bonus?  These items act as conversation starters!  If you don’t live somewhere that’s big enough for your party crowd, you can rent out numerous small party rooms in restaurants or even a room in a community centre can do the trick!
  3. Pick your date
    Spring? Summer? Fall? Winter?  I suggest starting with your favourite time of year as your inspiration.  Some venues have limited availability for certain dates, so it’s a good idea to have a few different dates in mind as you approach venues – more about this in #5…
  4. Make a guest list
    You don’t need an exact list narrowed down yet, but you should have an idea of roughly how many guests you would need to be able to seat in your venue.  Venues have different capacities depending on room size, so plan ahead a little to avoid booking a venue that isn’t big enough!
  5. Book your venue
    Finally!  Booking your venue!  I can’t stress enough starting this process early.  A lot of popular venues around here are already booking out 2+years depending on the date, so having an idea of where you’d like to have your wedding and some ideas of dates in mind (be flexible) will help you narrow down this search quickly.  If you’re hoping for a shorter engagement, you may choose to have your wedding in the winter or late fall to offset the long wait times of summer dates.
  6. Choose your attendants
    Have some fun with this one!  You may have 1 on each side, or 12, but either way there are lots of cute and creative ways to ask your friends and family to stand up for you on your big day!  Pinterest can be a great resource for this, as can Instagram.  Try searching “How to ask your bridesmaids” or #willyoubemybridesmaid to get your started.
  7. Pick a colour palette
    The colours of your wedding set the tone of the entire decor.  You may already have a colour in mind that you’d like to use, but if not, reach out to your photographer or decorator and they’ll be happy to help you come up with a colour palette that suits.  When choosing your bridesmaids’ colour, keep in mind that not every colour looks good on every girl… Be willing to be flexible or choose varying colours to allow for each girl to look their best!
  8. Book your photographer
    Most photographers in the area book out at least a year in advance.  The options are so plentiful, where do you start?  Well, referrals from family and friends can help get you going.  The most important things to look for in a photographer are style and personality.  Make sure you hire a photographer whose work you adore, not just like – these photos are forever!  Additionally, your photographer should be willing to meet with you ahead of time on more than one occasion to help with planning, wedding vendor recommendations, or even just a coffee to see how you are.  Service is key!
  9. Hire a decorator
    If you’re not into the whole DIY scene, or just don’t have the time – don’t be afraid to reach out to a local decorator.  Not only will they help you with the entire decor and colour palette selection process, but they also handle the set up and take down of your decor items – meaning, you can get as creative in your decor as you’d like and none of your bridesmaids or groomsmen will have to stay late on your wedding day to take it all down again!
  10. Send out save the date cards!
    Do you have a lot of family out of town?  Friends who are planning their own weddings?  What about your #1 BFF that you just cannot imagine your wedding day without?  Sending a save the date card is an amazing way to inform your guests about your upcoming wedding.  If you haven’t had your engagement session photos taken yet, feel free to use an invitation design service or one of the numerous online card design websites to assist you.  Don’t be afraid to snail mail these – everyone loves getting real mail that isn’t a bill!

Need more help?  Get a free handy printable checklist that you can tack to your fridge or cork board to help you stay organized!

Planning your wedding can feel like a monumental task!  So many details and different things to remember.  By starting your engagement with these 10 handy tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting your dream wedding plans rolling!


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Here's a great place to keep up with my clients, my family, and even some pretty macro images!  My blog is a place where I can offer a highlight reel of my client's lives, but also where I can kick back a little and incorporate some of our own family memories too.  You may even find some photos of my silly puppy Watson too, because often he sits more still than my kids do for a photograph!  Well, I guess it helps that he can be fooled with treats - my kids are too smart for that.