Just Engaged? Here Are Our TOP 8 Tips!


Jan 4, 2018

Wedding Planning Tips // Joel and Amber Photography // Huntsville Wedding Photographers

The holidays are a magical time to get engaged. We’re so excited for all the girls sporting some new bling!! Joel proposed to me almost 10 years ago, and I still remember that heart explosion when I realized it was actually happening. It’s surreal!

I also remember how it felt to finally officially start my wedding planning…and realizing how intimidating it was. Choosing my wedding date, venue, and dress were forefront on my mind.

But then people started asking me about all these other details.

The overwhelm sunk in. How do I even know where to start? Somebody help!!

We’ve got you covered! We have tons of resources for you on our blog (you can find them filed under Tidbits), but today we’re sharing our Top 8 “Just Getting Started” tips for all of you newly engaged brides!

Just engaged

1. Create a designated place for all of your wedding planning information

You can splurge on one of those fabulous wedding planning notebooks (like The Joyful Wedding Planner by Southern Weddings) or DIY your own space. It gives you a place to write notes, stash fabric swatches, and store pamphlets. Everything will be at your fingertips as soon as you need it.

Whether you’re Type A or Type B, having a place to keep things organized will make the process so much easier!

2. Decide on your date and a venue

Venues book up super fast, especially on popular dates. May, June, September, and October are the most popular months to get married in the south. (And then there’s the football schedule…)

If your dream wedding date lands during one of those months, you’ll at least want to see what date options are open at your favorite venues before setting your heart on a September 8th wedding.

Tip: If your favorite venue is booked on all your date options, think about looking outside your city. There are usually some great options only an hour or two away!

Choose wedding venue

3. Figure out your priorities

This is one of our biggest tips for balancing the budget. Every couple has different priorities, and this is going to help a lot when you put together your budget.

Do all of your wedding day dreams revolve around your dress and flowers? Maybe picture and video are your priorities. If the party is your thing, the DJ (and the photographer to capture those dancing memories, of course!) is going to be a number one on your list.

Whatever is really important to you, give your budget flexibility to find exactly what you want. Don’t skimp too much on the one or two things you care the most about!

4. Start talking about your budget

Open discussions about who is helping to pay for what, how much of a budget you’ll have to work with, and what expectations your parents or fiancé have.

Start with an overall budget in mind, then start talking to vendors. Leave flexibility in your budget to hire your first choice vendors for the things you care about, even if it means cutting back a little bit somewhere else.

5. Do some research to find vendors you love

If you haven’t planned a wedding before, there’s sometimes a little sticker shock involved. Go ahead and get an idea of what your dream vendors cost. When the time comes to actually meet with vendors and divide up your budget, you’ll have a clearer idea of what you want and what to expect.

We also recommend following potential vendors on social media during this research stage. Sign up for their email lists, follow them on Instagram, and read a few blog posts! It’s an easy way to start to know if you’re going to click with them!

6. Create a general idea of your guest count

You don’t need to finalize this list, by any means. But you’ll be very surprised at how quickly the guest list grows (especially once your parents start adding to it!)

You’ll want to have a general (and realistic) idea of how many guests you expect to invite. It could easily influence your venue decision, which is why you’ll want to get a ball-park idea now.

(For tips on balancing your guest list, check out our Great Guest List post on the blog!)

7. Explore new ideas!

One of the great things about current wedding trends is that your wedding day can be a blank canvas! There are so many incredible ideas out there.

A brunch reception, a Jane Austen themed wedding, a high-end coffee or tea bar (click the links to find our favorites!), hiring a professional dance instructor for the reception… the options are literally endless!

This is where Pinterest and wedding blogs come in handy. Find one or two super cool and unique things to incorporate into your own wedding!

8. Be present in these moments

It can be overwhelming. It can be stressful. You swing between being impatient for the wedding day to get here…and feeling like you need another year to finish all these planning details.

Don’t forget to stop and soak in the memories while they’re here! Enjoy the process. The stressful things will fade away, but you’ll always remember the times you stopped to be present in the moment.

One of the things we strive for in our business is to serve and encourage others well. One of the ways we do this is to create free and practical resources for brides!

You can find all kinds of wedding planning tips filed under the Tidbit section of our blog – AND we have an extra bonus FREE GIFT just for you!

We’re sharing our quick guide “8 Tips for the Newly Engaged Bride”! It’s all the goodness of this blog post in printable format. Just check out the link right below this to snag your own personal copy.

Happy wedding planning!



{P.S. If you liked this post, we think you’ll also want to get these 6 Tips for Dealing with RSVPs}

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