Congratulations! Being engaged is one of the most exciting times in a couple’s life. It’s an official proclamation that you have dedicated your lives to each other. For the next several months you will be immersed in the world of wedding planning!
Planning a wedding is exciting, but before you start signing contracts and making random purchases, it’s important to take the time to think about what you really want and how you’re going to finance it. It’s important to enjoy this special time of your life, but if you get too far ahead of yourself, you can make some costly errors.
One of the first things you should do after announcing your engagement, is to think about what kind of wedding you want. Are you picturing a lavish affair in an elegant ballroom, or maybe a casual wedding in the mountains? What level of formality do you want for your wedding? What time of year do you picture for your wedding? What are your interests and passions?
As a newly engaged person, you will have many well-meaning people, make suggestions as to what you should do for your wedding; where to get married, who to invite, how to wear your hair, and any number of other things you should or shouldn’t do. While you may receive some great advice, we suggest that you sit down with your partner, but independently of each other, come up with a list of what each of you are envisioning. Afterwards, come together and share your thoughts? What are the commonalities? Where do you not see eye-to-eye (you may be surprised at the outcome!)? What are your priorites; what’s really important to you? The important thing is that you as a couple come up with what works for the two of you.
Next, discuss how to finance the dream. It’s not uncommon for couples to experience “sticker shock” when they first start looking at what their wedding will cost. To alleviate stress, sit down with your partner and realistically determine how much you can afford and want to spend on your wedding. Determine how much each person can comfortably contribute. If your parents are wanting to help out, it’s important to sit down early with them. Figure out how they plan on contributing to your big day. Once, you have a vision and a budget to work with, you can think your wedding venue and wedding professionals (aka vendors).
Select a Wedding Date. While you might still be looking for your ideal venue, you can still begin to think about a wedding date. You might have a time of year in mind, or a particular date. Sometimes, selecting a wedding date is partially determined by budget. Will you have the resources in place to pay for your wedding? Not all couples have a nest-egg saved up before they get engaged. Typically, couples are engaged anywhere from a year to eighteen months. Again, refer back to the wedding vision you and your partner came up with and use it as a guideline for coming up with your wedding date.
Hiring a wedding planner early in the process can be a very beneficial first step. For many couples, wedding planning can quickly become overwhelming and hectic.Planners can help save you time and frustration by recommending vendors suited to your style and budget. They’ll help you stretch your wedding dollars and they’ll keep you organized and on track.
Here are the key things to consider when you’re first engaged:
- Select your wedding venue early. Many popular venues (especially in the mountains) book up quickly.
- Hire a wedding planner (you can even hire one just for a consultation). They can help you determine what vendors need to be booked quickly and which ones you can wait on for awhile.
- Determine your priorities. We suggest choosing three things that are most important to you. Allocate money to what matters most.
- Book your wedding professionals. Some of the most popular vendors book up early. Typically, most vendors will want a deposit to save your date. You can expect to pay out a fair amount of money in the early stages of planning to secure your team.
- Review contracts very carefully before signing. Avoid surprises later! Know what services are included, what the payments are and when payments are due.
- Take time to decide on your wedding party. Reflect on who the most important people in your life are. It’s easy to make promises to several friends only to realize later that this impacts your bottom line (more bouquets, more boutonnières, more gifts, etc.).
- Get realistic with your budget. You may not be able to have everything you want. Focus on your priorities.
- Keep your wedding day in perspective. It’s important yes, but it isn’t everything. What’s most important is that you’re marrying your special someone.
For assistance with your Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise, Jasper or area wedding, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more assistance. We look forward to hearing from you!