Hooray! You're Engaged!! Now What? The first steps to take...

First of all: CONGRATULATIONS!!!

As the two of you embark on your engagement period, there are initial steps you can take that will help eliminate the likelihood of making costly mistakes, stress and frustration. These first steps are rather simple ones, but I had to share them with you:

1. Who are you inviting to the wedding? Truthfully, how many guests are on your guest list? Your fiancé's list? Who are the people your parents planned on inviting? You want to know the answer to this question before you pick up the phone and call any venue. Why you may ask? What if you fall in love with a location that can seat 100 people, yet when you complete your guest list you have 200 or more guests? If the venue is not able to expand the space this may become a costly mistake for and your fiancé. If you fall in love with the location, you now have the preliminary list and you can decide who you will remove from your invite list.

Also, once you've compiled the guest list take a second look and ask yourself this question: "Is there anyone that can be removed from the list?" Have your parents ask the same question regarding their lists.

2. Be realistic about your budget. This is a conversation that you, your fiancé and any family members helping to offset the costs of your special day. There is no such thing as "NO BUDGET". We all have a point where we are comfortable of not exceeding. Whether your budget is $10,000, $30,000, $100,000 that number needs to be clear. Once you've set your budget ask your self could you comfortably add 15% to that amount without being in a pinch. If not, reevaluate your budget or reduce your guest list. Realize that certain expenses are not going to change regardless of your guest list. The expenses that will remain the same are your: Photography, videography, your attire and rings. Every other expense may be effected by your guest list.

3. What date or dates are you considering for your wedding? Do they fall around a major holiday? Also look at whether they fall around a big event date in your area. Are they prime dates for the period in which you are planning your wedding? Having the wedding around a holiday is a great idea in that it may permit an extra day or two for traveling, however, remember that the travel costs (air, gas and hotel) may be higher and depending upon the holiday it may effect certain costs for your wedding (i.e. floral).

Below is a calendar of all of the holiday's for 2010.

Feel free to click on the photo to print out a copy of the calendar for yourself or email us (info{at}joiedevieevents.com) and we will gladly send you a .pdf file.

4. Consider hiring a wedding planner or coordinator. I've differentiated the two because based on your planning needs you may feel you need a planner vs. a day of coordinator. Realistically consider the time and effort it will take for you to plan this wedding. Be honest with yourselves and ask: Are you detail oriented? Task oriented? Are you great with managing your time? Look at your time and consider your career, educational or family responsibilities. How will planning a wedding add to that mix? Do you want to be consumed with wedding details day and night or do you want to have some free time in the planning period to focus on you, your fiance and the marriage?

After you've considered the time and effort. Think of the expertise, knowledge and resources an event professional brings to the table. A planner provides you with the knowledge and resources needed to execute your event the way you've envisioned it. A planner will also save you time because they will be able to analyze your expectations & needs and recommend the event professionals that are best suited to plan your event. Once the wedding day arrives, that planner will be able to manage the day while you, your fiancé and your families focus on enjoying the day and making great memories. A 'day of' coordinator will be able to tie up the loose ends and help finalize the details for your wedding. Just as the planner, the coordinator will manage your wedding day and give you the peace of mind that the details are being attended to. While interviewing planners or coordinators, you will begin to understand the difference in the services and the level of involvement they can provide.

5) HAVE FUN!! Your engagement period is such a special time in the planning process. You've built the foundation for your marriage and this is the time to add the additional blocks that will make your relationship stronger. Planning a wedding may become stressful and it is important to always go back to the basics: YOUR LOVE FOR THE OTHER. Many of you may jump head in and start planning, and there is nothing wrong with that, however also remember to take the time to enjoy the engagement period and have fun. Build in time for special dates, outings and quiet times where wedding matters or not discussed!

Take some time for the two of you...after all it is your engagement period, right?

Until next time,

A special thank you for the beautiful engagement shots from Elegant Imagery Photography!

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. All photos used with permission from Elegant Imagery Photography.


Love the Calendar with your branding, Kerline! Such a great idea.

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