You're engaged - congratulations! Now comes the fun (and sometimes stressful) part - planning your dream wedding. While it's an exciting time, it can also be overwhelming, especially when friends and family start asking lots of questions about your plans. As a newly engaged bride-to-be, how do you even begin the planning process? Here are some tips to get you started:
Take a Breath and Celebrate
First things first - take a moment to bask in the excitement of your engagement! Pop some champagne, call your closest friends, and let your inner bride glow. Planning will come later - right now is the time to celebrate this special milestone with your fiancé. Consider announcing your engagement on social media to spread the joy to all your friends and family near and far.
Make a Digital Planning Checklist
Sit down with your fiancé and make a comprehensive checklist using a tool like Trello or Evernote. Include everything you'll need to do for the wedding, like finding a venue and photographer, as well as little details like applying for a marriage license. Seeing it all written out can make the process feel less daunting. Check things off as you go for a sense of accomplishment!
Set a Wedding Budget
One of the most important first steps is determining your overall wedding budget. Sit down with your fiancé and any family members contributing funds to figure out what you can realistically spend. Use a wedding budget calculator or spreadsheet to track expenses in one place. This will shape all other planning decisions, like your venue, guest list and menu choices. Check out EWedded for deep discounts on luxury, sustainable wedding dresses and accessories to help you stick to your budget.
Choose Your Wedding Party
Decide who you'll ask to stand by your side on the big day. Typically this includes a maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen. Choose your most trusted friends who you know will give their support. Once selected, create a wedding party group chat to loop them in on responsibilities and planning updates. Consider EWedded for high-quality, affordable bridesmaid dresses they will love.
Start a Digital Wedding Binder
Get organized early on! Create a wedding planning folder in your cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox. Use subfolders to sort planning documents into categories like "Venues," "Vendors," "Guest List" and "Décor Inspiration." Store contracts, invoices and emails digitally in one place for easy access.
Research and Connect with Vendors Online
Make lists of potential wedding planners, photographers, florists, caterers, music providers and bakeries. Read reviews on wedding sites, look through online galleries to view past work and connect via email or social media to arrange consultations. Secure vendors early by completing contracts electronically.
Utilize Online Tools for Guests
If you have out of town guests, work with hotels near the wedding venue to reserve a room block at a discounted rate. Share accommodation info and travel recommendations on your wedding website made through The Knot or Zola. This ensures your loved ones have resources to book their stay as they celebrate with you!
Create and Customize a Wedding Website
Use a free platform like The Knot or Zola to make a wedding website. Include your engagement story, registry details from stores like EWedded, travel information and share photos as your plans progress. Add your colors, fonts and layout to fit your wedding aesthetic. This will become the go-to resource for guests' wedding-related questions.