Tips for Newly Engaged Couples!

Congratulations to all the couples that got engaged over the holiday season!!! We are so excited for you! Here are a few tips to help you enjoy this special time and not get stressed while starting the wedding planning process.


  1. Embrace this Time! How exciting to that your sweetheart is now your “fiancé”! {and yes it does take a little bit getting use to saying this…as will “husband”!}. This is such an amazing exciting time in your life. Have fun announcing the engagement to your family and friends, showing off your ring 😉 and spending dates doing things you enjoy + talking about your future together!
    • Have an Engagement Party…but keep it simple! ~ An engagement party is a fun way to celebrate. However, it is very important to keep this party fun, exciting and simple. Maybe a cocktail style party at a friend’s house or  meeting at your first date restaurant with friends for drinks. Can’t find a date that works for everyone? No sweat! Plan different times to get together with friends and share your excitement over again!
    • Ease into Wedding Planning ~ Chances are, you don’t need to have everything planned by tomorrow! Have fun talking about wedding plans and getting ideas and suggestions from family and friends. Nothing is set in stone these days and a lot of the important decisions can be made after you have time to talk with your fiancé and close family members. More on this below…
    • Don’t forget to Date ~ Never stop dating! NEVER. This one of my “old married gal” rules, lol. Plan date nights to go out to restaurants and do things you like to do together. Saving money for the wedding? Probably! Date night can be done on the cheap…catch a sunset, take a hike, picnic, or have a movie night in.

 2. Setting the Tone. First things first, here is a list of things you should decide before starting your venue search.

    • Location ~ It is probably very likely that you and your fiancé didn’t grow up in the same city or state and you probably have family spread across the country. This can make setting the location a little tricky. For myself, I grew up in Chicago, my now Husband grew up in Colorado, and we had lived all over the state of California with family across the US. My parents were primarily hosting the wedding, so I was kind of ‘told’ that weddings were in Chicago. But, at the same time I think this was my vision all along…so it all worked out.  Another situation I have run into is when both couples were born and raised in the same city and state, thus the guests lists of people would be incredibly large. This might be a situation where you consider a destination or semi-destination wedding. This is the part where involving your fiancé and family members; exspecially the ones hosting the wedding is very important. The location of the wedding should be decided prior to contacting any venues and most vendors, so you don’t waste your time or theirs.
    • Time of Year ~ It is best to narrow down a season and year you’d like to get married before shopping and have some potential dates in mind. If you have a date that is special to you both that is great, but keep in mind that it may limit your venue selection due to availability. Popular dates are typically holiday weekends and dates that have consecutive numbers that fall on a weekend. If you are set on a date or have a popular weekend in mind, it’s best to search at least a year out…or more!
    •  Style ~ The venue you choose sets the stage for the evening, so determining your style before searching is a must. Your style may change slightly over the process and you don’t need to finalize all the details, but you should have a general idea. For instance, do you want a backyard rustic wedding in a barn,  a formal elegant wedding in a historic mansion, or a casual beach wedding with ocean views?
    •  Budget ~ Oh yes, the budget. Not the most fun thing to discuss, but it’s a good idea to know what you have to spend before starting your search. Generally, your venue/catering/beverage costs will be about 50% of your total budget {depending on a specific factors/tastes/preferences}. A planner or coordinator can help with this, which brings me to my next point.

3. Vendors…who to hire first?

    • Wedding Planner/Coordinator ~ Weather you are looking to hire a full service planner or a Day of/Month of Coordinator {or not even sure what’s the difference!}, it is good to meet with a planner in the beginning stages. They can typically offer some venue and vendor suggestions to get you started on the right foot. We offer a complimentary concierge service and will actually get quotes for services you may need or just refer you to them together, regardless if you hire us as your planner or coordinator. If you choose a full service planner, they will be with you throughout the planning process and on the big day to make sure things go perfectly. If you decide to do most of the planning yourselves, we highly recommend a Day of or Month of Coordinator. This involves the Coordinator working with you in the last months before the big day to make sure you are organized and help with putting together a final timeline, confirming details with vendors, coordinating your rehearsal, and assisting you on the wedding day.
    • Photographer ~ It is also a good idea to book your photographer well in advance. We highly recommend doing an engagement session and actually have a full blog post on the topic. The main benefits are to have the opportunity to work with your photographer before the big day. It is very likely that you have not had a professional session together. This is a great time to get a feel for being photographed together by your photographer. After the shoot, you have the chance to see the photos and provide feedback of the ones you like best. The professional photos can be used for things throughout the wedding. ie. save the date, wedding wedding, ceremony programs, reception portraits. A lot of times it is also very affordable or part of the photography package. It’s also a fun time together {date day!}.

4. Don’t stress and have fun!

Author: Sara Holley


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