You're Engaged! Now What?

It’s been 172 days since I got engaged and I’m still buzzing with giddiness over talk of hemlines, tulle, and choosing the perfect honeymoon destination.

However, if you’ve just said "yes!" I know how you’re feeling — excitement, anxiety, nervousness, and again, excitement — and it can be hard to point your finger in the right direction of what to do first.
So here I am — with a perfectly manicured finger (something that’s a must once you’ve gotten the ring!) — pointing you down the fun and exciting road of wedding planning.

In order to plan your ideal wedding, you have to start from the very beginning, so here it goes.

Here’s how to get started planning your big day:

1. Budget: What an ugly word — it screams "reality," doesn’t it? Alas, we must face the music and figure out what you can feasibly spend between both of your incomes. Sit both sets of parents down and discuss with them what your plans are. If they’re interesting in helping you out, assign them a factor of the wedding, like the rehearsal dinner, the favors, or the bridal shower.

2. Guest List: We’ve talked about this before — this will be one of the biggest fights you get into as a couple planning your wedding. What’s the big number? 50? 150? 400? Whatever it is, sit down as a couple and figure out who’s really making the cut and leave a little leg room for potential add-ons if you’re having a longer engagement. Decide what’s more important to you, a bigger guest list or a more intimate affair?

3. Envision Your Big Day: This is the fun part — dreamers unite! Head to Pinterest, buy a stack of bridal magazines, or merely watch all of your favorite bridal movies of years past and dream up what the big day looks like to you. If you’re interested, take a cue from yours truly: my wedding has warm tones, is full of flowers, sparkle, and a never-ending amount of food, which ultimately ends in a late-night breakfast for everyone after a crazed night of partying.

4. Choose a Date/Venue: Where, when, and how? Outside or inside? Casual or formal? Once you decide on a season, you can decide on where you might want to get hitched, whether it’s in a barn with all of the shabby chic fixings or a vast ballroom fit with a mandatory black-tie fitting.

5. Celebrate! Now that you’ve chosen a date, a venue, a budget, and a guest list, you should be proud of yourselves. This calls for an obvious celebration, like an engagement party, perhaps? Invite close friends and family — and your bridal party, obviously — to cheers to your big day. Decide on a menu that consists of both you and your other half’s favorite eats and create a signature drink for each of you that’s reflective of your tastes.

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Whew! That was rough. Let’s take a break.  Stay tuned for what’s next — we’re talking save the dates, florists, cake tasting, menu planning, and… the dress.