Thursday, January 13, 2011

We’re Engaged! Now What?

Congratulations on your engagement! You’re basking in the happy anticipation of your new life together and looking forward to your wedding day. You’re envisioning yourself dressed in white holding a lovely bouquet, as your mom and bridesmaids beam at you in their matching bridesmaid’s dresses. And then reality hits you: Planning a wedding involves lots of decisions and tons or work! Before you start feeling overwhelmed, take a look at this handy to-do list from Ellegant Affairs to get yourself sorted out!

1.     Determine a Date
Choosing a wedding date can be tougher than you’d think. There are a few things to consider:
a.     How much time will you need to prepare for your wedding day?
b.     Do any family/friends have a conflicting graduation, vacation, or pregnancy due date?
c.      Availability of a Church, reception venue, caterer, band, or photographer. If you have your heart set on a specific vendor that will also play a large part in your decision.
d.     Try to avoid dates of big conventions or other events that draw large crowds, since that might make it harder for out-of-town guests to get hotel rooms. Find out more wedding dates to avoid here: Wedding Dates to Avoid

2.     Announce Your Engagement
Call your local newspaper, your alumni magazine, and anywhere else you want your engagement announcement to appear. Find out the name of the appropriate editor or department and ask for the writer’s guidelines or a standardized form, if available. Also, ask if there’s a fee for publication. You can also broadcast the news on your blog, by email, or by creating a wedding web page.

3.     Consider a Consultant
If you’re a super-busy couple or would just like to relax and actually enjoy your engagement, hire a full-time wedding consultant to help you prepare your entire event, from the announcement to the honeymoon. You can also hire a part-time planner to devise a wedding blueprint — including budget, schedule, and lists of good vendor and site choices — before you launch solo into the preparations. Another option is a day-of coordinator, who will make sure everything goes as planned on your wedding day so you can relax and enjoy yourself.

4.     Set a Timetable
Consider is how long your engagement will be.  A typical engagement lasts anywhere from six months to a year and a half or more. If you got engaged during the holidays but always wanted a summer wedding, make sure you’ve got enough time to plan without making yourselves wedding-crazy, and keep in mind that many vendors and reception sites book a year or more in advance.

5.     Envision the Style
Your wedding style will be reflected first and foremost in the location, whether it’s a posh ballroom or an intimate backyard reception. Discuss with your fiancĂ© where your wedding will take place, and then start scouting sites that can accommodate your wedding style.

6.     Set Your Budget
In the end, dollars, not dreams, are a main determining factor for the size and style of your wedding. So, what affects the price tag?
a.     Formality: In general, the more formal the reception, the more expensive, considering you’ll have to match the site, food, and decor to the overall upscale tone.
b.     Date and time: Saturdays, summer months, and evenings tend to be the most costly times to have a reception.
c.      Location: In many cases, a wedding in a major metropolitan area is simply more expensive than in a smaller town.

7.     Choose Your Attendants
Although not mandatory, some like to honor their closest friends and family members by including them in the wedding parties. Remember, the earlier you ask, the sooner you can enlist their help.  Usually members of the wedding party are agreeing to spend their hard-earned money and donate their precious time, so be considerate and kind, keep them informed, and make sure they know how much you appreciate them.

8.     Make a Guest List
Location and budget will have a big influence on the size of your guest list.  If you have a particular ceremony or reception site in mind, for instance, you’re going to be limited by how many people it can accommodate; and the more guests you invite means a bigger bill. Figure out how many people you can accommodate (financially); and then fill with those nearest and dearest to you.

9.     Start Gown Shopping
It’s never too early to begin thinking about your wedding dress. Start by figuring out which style will look best on you. Learn the lingo by reading up on silhouettes, necklines, trains, and hues that might flatter you. Season will also affect your choice. Summer gowns are made with lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, linen, or organza. A winter wedding calls for brocade, faux fur, and velvet fabrics to keep you warm. Satin, shantung, silk, and tulle are perfect year-round.

Hopefully these tips will be helpful to you as you start planning for your big day! We wish you only happiness as you plan for your wedding and prepare for the marriage that comes after it! Congratulations!

For Workshops and Planning Seminars contact Ellegant Affairs at for more details.


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