Freshly engaged? 10 things you need to know before you start planning

There is nothing that compares to the feeling you get when you look into the eyes of your partner, smiling up at you from one knee, and realise you are seeing the rest of your life in front of you… You’re giddy, possibly laughing and crying in the most beautiful way, and dreaming of marrying the love of your life.

Now that the champagne is poured, the bubbles are fizzing, and you’re ready to tell the world your news, take a minute and have a look at top our 10 post engagement tips and forget-me-not’s you will want to know before beginning your planning!

Celebrate with your partner, first.

Congratulations, you and your lover have chosen each other. You’re about to create an incredible life together. Before you reach for instagram, or facebook or call your mum, take a moment to embrace your new fiance. Celebrate over some champagne, take each other out for dinner or visit a spot that is meaningful to you both. Make sure you have some time together to enjoy this moment before you tell the world… Because once you do, a flood of congratulations will come pouring in and the questions will not slow down for several months!

Share with your nearest and dearest

Start with your closest family (family can of course include your dearest friends) and work out from there. Face to face announcements are beautiful if you are lucky enough to have a family close by, but if not, taking the time to facetime / call comes in as  a close second. So set aside some time and either gather your loved ones or start planning to make some calls. It might seem silly but your Aunt and Uncle will appreciate that you thought to call more than you can possibly imagine. After you have called the most important people and they’re happy, you can begin your social media announcements!

Eat drink and be merry

If you can (and geography permits) a surprise engagement party can be a beautiful way to announce your news to your friends and family. If you’ve already shared the news with your parents they may want to be involved in planning or hosting the celebration!

It can be a good opportunity to celebrate with your extended circles if you are planning on having an intimate wedding. A quick speech on the night letting your guests know that you appreciate their love and support and are planning a smaller ceremony avoids awkward conversations later down the track if you’re not planning on inviting everyone to the wedding.

Insure the ring

Not the most romantic idea, however incredibly important. You’re not likely to lose it, but settings do get loose, rings get misplaced and disasters do happen. Your partner may have looked into insurance already when they were purchasing the ring, but if they haven’t just yet, find some as soon as possible. Often it can be added to house and contents or renters insurance, if you haven’t either of those, it’s time to start taking those steps together!

Talk numbers

If you are ready to begin your planning, establishing your budget is the very first step. Your budget will inform all the steps that follow, including the size of your guest list which then dictates which venues are appropriate and so on. Open communication is the key here, whether you are planning on paying for the wedding yourself, or your parents are contributing, it’s important that all parties feel comfortable and clear with the budget.

Draft a guest list

Oh the guest list! Often this is one of the greatest sources of contention in the early stages of wedding planning and can cause significant headaches. You may feel like you’re being pulled in a thousand directions, from demanding parents, to over enthusiastic friends and distant relatives… Take a moment to think deeply about who you want see on your wedding day, who do you want to be there congratulating you?

The safest way to navigate your guest list is to stay calm and always turn to your partner. If you are both on the same page it’s much easier to explain to your mum why an extended family friend may not make the cut.

Find Dates

Before you begin touring venues, or speaking with major vendors (such as planners, photographers and stylists) it’s important to have a range of dates in mind. Envision your wedding. Seasonality is something to consider here – is it a spring soiree or a winter wonderland? Have you thought about your dream dress? Do you want to wear long sleeves and lace or a something in silk that’s backless? If the latter, take note, a winter wedding may not be ideal unless you tolerate the cold very very well.

Once you have a clearer vision of your day, check your calendars and touch base with your VIP’s to ensure they’re available. It’s also important to note that peak season in Australia is Spring, so September and October dates will be  highly sought after! It’s best to be flexible and go to your ideal venues with options, as many book out a year (or more) in advance. If you’re thinking say, some time in Spring, you’re more likely to have dates available than if you have your heart set only on the first Saturday in May.

Book your venue

Again, how you want to feel on your wedding day should inform all of your decisions, especially your venue. Are you dreaming of something whimsical or moody? Do you see your ceremony indoors or outside? Would you like your reception to be a seated affair or have your guests mingle through a more relaxed cocktail party? Considering exactly how you want to feel will make narrowing down venue options much easier.

Book the other major vendors

Now you have a venue, photographers and music are next. These are vendors who can generally only take one event per day, so send out these enquiries early. This will give you plenty of time to look through portfolios, attend appointments and decide which vendors will be the perfect fit for you. If you are using a planner they will be able to provide you with recommendations to narrow down the list, as will your venue.

Finally, remember what’s important

Planning a wedding is generally the largest event we will pull together in our lives. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, brilliant, terrifying, exciting and stressful all at once. In  the moments when it’s particularly difficult, try to remember your day is about celebrating your marriage, and that is a beautiful thing! The fact that you get to spend the rest of your life with your glorious chosen human is an blessing and if that is your focus, your day will be spectacular no matter what.