You’re Engaged, Now What?
After the initial shock and excitement of becoming engaged dies down and it’s time to start planning you will probably be initially overwhelmed by how much there is to do and all the opinions coming in from everyone around you.
Pick a Date
This doesn’t have to be the exact date you end up on, but at least know what you and your fiancé are thinking about in terms of season or time of year. Depending on your venue, the exact date may change, but it’s important to know whether you absolutely do want to get married in the summer or absolutely will not choose to get married when there could be a chance of snow.
Pick a Setting
Do you know you want a beach wedding? Maybe you are your fiancé have only ever dreamt of getting married on a mountain top. Whatever the case may be, know ahead of time the scene in which you ideally want to say “I do.” This will help immensely when ultimately picking an exact venue. Need inspiration? Check out our blog for some of the most beautiful real weddings in the area! Our Instagram is also a fantastic place to get started!
Set Your Wedding Budget
It’s so important to know your budget before even deciding on a venue. Know the things that you can’t live without, the things that you would rather not live without, and the things that you can forgo for your wedding. This way you know where your money is allotted. Make sure you and your fiancé communicate and know the other’s opinions on likes and dislikes.
Decide What’s Most Important to You on Your Wedding Day
You might find when you begin planning that things are a little more expensive than you initially estimated. The average wedding in North Carolina is in the $25,000 range, but that includes all weddings and some that are very low budget. For a typical full service wedding reception, real averages are in the mid $30,000’s and up. That does not mean that you cannot achieve the wedding of your dreams on less- you just have to know where you are and are not willing to trim costs. Pick a handful of services that you want to splurge on – say, your wedding dress, photographer, food, flowers, or invitations. Budget those first, then take that into consideration when you are planning other areas.
Draft a Guest List
Use a Google Sheet and draft your guest list. Having a live document like this will allow you to share it with your fiancé, mother, father or anyone else that is helping you and that can help you down the line with addresses or that pesky uncle’s name you just can’t ever spell correctly. It’s important to have a general idea of how many people will be at your reception before you choose the venue. A good rule of thumb is to expect 80% attendance.
Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner
If you think a full service wedding planner or designer is for you, it is never to early to find this match. This person can help you define your style and vision and translate it to every element including the venue. Even if you end up just choosing a partial service package, it does not hurt to book them early and get your feedback on the big decisions. A planner will offer tips to maximize your budget as well, so an early consultation is key. If you are planning an NC wedding, check out the SB&G preferred wedding planners – all of them are incredible talented and trusted individuals.
Pick Your Reception Venue
Now that you know how much of your budget you can logically afford, shop around for venues. Southern Bride and Groom has an extensive list of trusted venues in the North Carolina Triangle Area! Schedule visits to a few of your favorite ones that fit within your budget, and pick from there. Now you have your venue and your date, Congratulations!
Ask Your Wedding Party
Now that you have the date and the location go ahead and ask your best friends to stand by your on your special day! Whether your wedding party is big or small, it doesn’t matter, choose what is right for you and your situation. Asking your wedding party early allows you a group of people to bounce ideas off of and ask advice from for your wedding planning.
Send Out Save The Dates
Some people recommend these go out a year, some 10 months, others even later – but even depending on the size of your guest list, location of the wedding, and personal preference, getting these out sooner rather than later never offended anyone.
Now relax for a moment and then get to the fun of finding your amazing vendors! Southern Bride and Groom is your trusted resource for the NC wedding vendor community!