So you just got engaged? Now what!? I have served over 60 amazing couples who have shared their experiences with me. I’ve learned first-hand how stressful (yet, still exciting!) gettting engaged and planning a wedding can be. Here I will give you 5 things to do after you get engaged, from a professional.
As a wedding photographer, you better believe I see ALL types of couples. The stressed, the care-free, and everything in-between. The one thing they have in common? They want to remember their special day forever.
1. Celebrate! This is such an exciting thing, you are making the commitment to each other & it’s time to celebrate! Share the exciting news with your friends and family, post photos of your ring (ugh so pretty!) and don’t worry about a thing. Take a breather, maybe bring your ring in to get sized.
2. Pick a date. You really want to consider all things here. It is likely the very first question people will ask you, aside from “How did he ask you?!”. Deciding on the date, or even month of the year will help much of your initial planning… which leads us to our next thing:
3. Pick a venue & hire a planner. This is going to be tough, or not. So many couples have varying opinions on this, but most of them agree it’s best to make this decision straight-away. Go on a venue tour, make a fun date out of it. Many venues have certain days only open for tours so make sure you contact them first (they might be hosting an event). If you are overwhelmed with all the options think about skipping the venue picking (for now) and hire a planner. An amazing planner will save you time, stress and money! Worth EVERY penny, planners will take over that big stress and leave the necessary decisions to you. PLEASE, please interview or schedule consults with multiple planners, ask for past client contact info, and invest wise-ly. Not all planners are equal. Take note of how you personally connect with them or if they are a good personality match. This person is going to be a BIG part of your planning and you should be able to trust them fully. Pro-tip: Find a planner who also does event styling to really create a cohesive look for your day. Ask for examples of their past work to help make your decision.
4. Hire your photographer + videographer team. These people will be the people you spend your entire day with. Not your bridesmaid, not even your partner, or your mom. While yes, you will spend a majority of your day with those previously mentioned people, none like your your photo/video team. We will be there from the first moments of getting ready, your first look, the ceremony, leaving your reception, and all the moments in between. In fact we spend our entire day serving you. Make sure you interview or have consultations with 3-5 photographers and videographers who’s work matches the style of photos you want. This is another decision you’ll have to make. I shoot in a classic timeless style, while others may shoot dark and moody. Your photos and videos will be the only way you can “re-live” your wedding day, so choose wisely. Ask for previous clients contact info and example work. This is very important as what gets delivered is NOT always what you see on social media. You shouldn’t have to ask for it, but make sure you do.
5. Get inspired. Create a vision. A lot of times couples don’t really have a vision, so when they start planning they don’t know where to start. Creating even a general concept for the wedding will help tremendously. Ready to go all in? Start a joint Pinterest board (unless they want nothing to do with design lol) so you can share ideas. Start with the basics, choose a color palette, maybe some floral inspiration. Then move on to design of the ceremony or reception and the clothing. This is the fun part, where you get to dream! Don’t forget to look at other styles, eliminate those and narrow it down to the few you like. If you have a talented planner/stylist they can even pull off a combination of a few styles and put that wow! factor into your wedding. Another thing to keep in mind: DON’T pin 10 million ideas. This will only overwhelm you and give you decision fatigue. Think of it like picking out an outfit: just like putting your favorites into your cart and then narrowing it down to the winners. If you started with the entire store you would probably want to quit a 1/4 of the way in. Pick the BEST of the best and then trim it down from there. Pinterest itself can be overwhelming. So keep your board small and to the point, we want to see your “winners” as soon as we open the board, to get feel of what you want. Pro-tip: Look at posts on www.stylemepretty.com, www.greenweddingshoes.com or other wedding blogs for amazing real, and styled, weddings. Those blogs are there for inspiration, you might even find vendors by looking at these sites! Florists, etc at styled shoots really stand out & it helps to see their work in action!
I know there are a million other things you will have to do for your wedding but here’s my professional recommendation on where you should start. This list doesn’t have to be done in that order but after getting engaged, check off these few step to get the ball rolling. You want your engagement to be fun so make sure you schedule in time together, as well as your engagement session, especially if you have busy schedules! Wedding planning will only make life busier and we want to make sure you spend your engagement together and loving on each other preparing for the next chapter in your relationships.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any other tips you’d like to add to my list below:
Thank you, Natalie
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