Many newly-engaged couples aren’t quite sure where to begin when wedding planning. The engagement announcement is such a big deal, and once that sinks in, they’re faced with the reality of choosing a venue, putting together a guest list, selecting the food, and organizing a thousand other details.

But it’s important to begin making decisions sooner rather than later, since many caterers, entertainers, and wedding venues need to be booked far in advance—not to mention letting out-of-town family members and friends know a date and place so that they can attend.

If you’re newly engaged, here are the first things you should tackle to get your wedding planning going.

Put Together A Budget

Perhaps the most stressful part of the wedding planning is the budget, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you’re realistic and stick to it, things should go smoothly. The first thing to do is to sit down with each of your families to discuss who is helping to pay for the wedding (if anyone). Once you have this information, you can start looking at venues, catering, a dress, and everything else. Many couples find that using a wedding budget app or tool helps greatly with keeping everything organized. It’s also smart to conserve some money in case you go over budget.

Create A Schedule

Get used to people asking when your wedding date is the exact moment you tell them you’re engaged. But the truth is, you won’t be able to know a date until you’ve organized a few things—namely your venue, figuring out how to avoid any conflicting dates, and what time you would enjoy getting married.

Choose Your Vibe

Most couples (especially girls) have already imagined their wedding thousands of time. This is good, because this is what you need to decide before you start setting other details. Your wedding’s style will determine everything else—the location, the venue, the food, the music, the dress. Everything. Your wedding’s style should reflect your personalities as a couple, and should be what you’ve imagined your whole life. Do you want a beachside wedding? A lavish, 400-guest affair? A low-key wedding in your backyard? Discuss this together as a couple, and go from there.

Decide On A City

You may have heard that it’s traditional for the couple to get married in the bride’s hometown. This may be true, but it’s also old-fashioned. While some couples may want to follow this tradition, these days couples are choosing to get married wherever they want. Usually it’s the place where they’re currently living, but it can also be the groom’s hometown, the city where the couple met, or a fun destination wedding of the couple’s choosing. As long as it’s what you want as a couple, go for it.

Book Your Venue

This is one of the most important things to take care of first, since wedding venues can be difficult to book on the date you want. Keep in mind that the venue should be romantic and beautiful. Not only is it reflecting your wedding; it will be the backdrop of all your wedding day photos. There are other things to consider that may affect your budget, such as the catering. If you choose a venue with in-house catering, for instance, this could save you money rather than hiring both a venue and an outside caterer.

Make Draft #1 Of A Guest List

This isn’t really known until you actually make a guest list, but there will be drafts. There are many things that will affect your guest list, such as the venue you choose. You may fall in love with a venue that can only hold 150 people—or you may decide on a wedding venue that can accommodate 400. Your budget will also influence your guest list because you may simply not be able to pay for lots of people to eat and drink. Personal preference will also come into it. Some couples naturally want a smaller, more intimate wedding, and others want a big party with everyone they love. But it’s good to get the first draft going so that you have a starting point for later.

Insure Your Ring

This may not seem like a crucial thing to hurry and do after getting engaged, but it actually is. It seems crazy, but lots of women do misplace their engagement ring—and if it’s not insured, this is tragic. Let’s face it: most people have lost small items during their lifetime, whether it’s sunglasses, keys, ear buds, or a phone. Jewelry is definitely not exempt from this list, so why take a chance on such an important piece of jewelry?

Choose A Wedding Party

It’s a good idea to choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen early for a few reasons. One, you can start getting their help with things! Two, they will need a heads-up because they will presumably be spending money on various things such as attire and parties, trips, etc., so they may need to save up some money in order to participate. And three, by having your wedding party in place, you can begin envisioning your ceremony more clearly.

This is a great place to start. Once these are set in motion, your wedding planning should be fairly straightforward. Of course, there will be lots of details, but this is a great foundation. Wedding apps, tools, and a good old-fashioned wedding binder are smart ideas, too.
Did you know that the venue you select can also help with the overall wedding planning? Wedding venues such as Olympia Banquet Hall are often a good choice because we can put a huge list of wedding vendors, entertainers, bakers, and more at your fingertips. Check out our gallery for inspiration ideas, or contact us if you want more information. We’re excited to hear from you!

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