First of all, congratulations! Some people like to let it sink in for a bit while others (like you, I'm guessing) are eager and giddy to jump into the planning! But where to start? Here is my unofficial guide to the 10 things to do first:
If you want to hire a planner, do that first. The earlier he or she is on board, the better.
- Determine any non-negotiables.
If there is a venue, photographer, or band that you absolutely have to have at your wedding, find out their availability before picking your date.
- Pick your date!
If your date falls in 'Wedding Season' (April - June & September - November), you'll want to move quickly through this list as these months tend to fill up!
- Set a budget.
Often this will coincide with choosing the number of guests to get the per-head count. Remember to leave some money set aside for those miscellaneous things that pop up! And they will pop up!
- Decide on a Venue.
- Hire big ticket vendors like your Photographer and Band.
These are likely to book up 6 months to 1 year out.
- Find your wedding dress!
It can take surprisingly long for your wedding dress to be completely finished with fittings and alterations. I suggest not making your final dress decision until after you've picked the venue so you know that your dress will fit with the atmosphere.
- Hire Catering, Florist, Hair and Makeup.
- Take Engagement Photos.
- Send Save the Dates 6 months to 9 months out (9 months to a year for Destination Weddings).
- Pick your color scheme!
This will impact the Florist, linens, bridesmaid dresses, and invitations if you're wanting a cohesive look.
Somewhere in your spare time, go on walks, drink some wine, and soak up this season!