It's 2016 and You're Engaged! YAY! Now What?!

There’s nothing more romantic than a holiday proposal. Maybe he dropped to one knee surrounded by family and friends or asked you to spend forever together while snow collected on the trees…what ever the scenario…it was perfect!

OK, so now what?? As a soon to be bride myself, I too struggled with where to start. Between wanting to shout from the mountain tops how happy you are and booking that florist you have to have, there’s a lot to do! 

Below, I’ve narrowed down my top 5 things to do after you're engaged. And when in doubt, remember what the day is really about…you and your love committing to spend forever together. 

1.    Enjoy the moment! That newly engaged glow only lasts so long. Call each other fiancé until it’s annoying! Let family and friends throw you parties! The process of planning a wedding can consume you and is not always sunshine and rainbows…so before your never want to talk about fondant vs buttercream again, just be engaged and happy and in love. I can’t believe it has been 6 months since I got engaged! Time is flying by!

2.    Envision your overall day. If you have a clear vision of what you want your wedding to be like, it will be a massive time saver when you start looking at venues…talking to vendors…and getting family members on board. Unless your parents go to lots of weddings or you have had a sibling get married in the last few years, chances are your parents thoughts on traditions and what a wedding should look like will be a lot different from yours. Create your vision and stick to it. This is your day, so don’t let the opinions of others sway what you want. It can be a slippery slope if you are not the one footing the bill. With a clear vision, you will be able to plead your case much more effectively.

3.    Do your research! Just because your friend’s cousin’s brother used this amazing DJ, doesn’t mean you have to. Everyone has different tastes and different budgets, so do your research before booking your vendors. Look at their websites and social media. See what other couples are saying on Yelp, Wedding Wire and The Knot. Try to meet with them in person or have a phone call with them. I can't tell you how many brides come to me having already booked a vendor that they can’t afford or they kept looking and found someone they liked better! THE WORST! Before booking vendors is always a great time to bring in the help of a wedding planner because they have a list of preferred vendors they trust and fit in various budgets. 

4.    Book your must have vendors ASAP! OK, now that you’ve done your research, book your must have vendors as soon as you can! The best and most affordable vendors get booked up fast! These days, brides are starting to plan their weddings two years in advance, meaning if you are just engaged and hoping to get married in 2016…you may not get to work with the vendors you want. I started planning my wedding about 12 months before my wedding day and decided to marry on a Sunday so I could work with certain vendors who were already booked for the Saturday. 

5.    Learn the meaning of Compromise. Like I said above, I decided to get married on a Sunday because I wanted to work with certain vendors that were already booked on Saturday. I had to compromise. The same goes for that must have flower that won’t be in season on your wedding day. Believe me, you will drive yourself (and everyone around you) crazy if compromise is not in your vocabulary during wedding planning.

Bonus Tip! Hire a Wedding Planner, of course! I may be biased, but hiring a wedding planner will be the best thing you do during the entire planning process. Having a wedding planner is no longer a luxury reserved for celebrities or the super rich. You can hire a planner in many different facets…from Full Service to Day Of Coordination and everything in between…there is something for every bride (or groom) and every budget. Heck, I’ve even hired one for my wedding! Practice what you preach, right? I knew I had a handle on the planning leading up to the wedding, but on the wedding day, I don’t want to be worrying about if the florist has shown up yet or lining up the groomsmen for the ceremony…or anything for that matter! I want to be completely present on my day and hiring a planner will ensure that.