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First of all, congratulations! This is such and exciting and busy time for you and your partner. You may soon find yourself stuck between the newness of being engaged and the overwhelming stress of wedding planning. While you may not always be at ease during planning, it is possible to have fun. If you’re ready to jump in feet first, here’s where to begin so you can enjoy being engaged and wedding planning at the same time:
Take a few days or weeks to soak in just being engaged without facing wedding planning. The questions will start coming in pretty soon and they can (and will) be annoying. Our best advice? Answer with a smile and pop another bottle of bubbly. There will be plenty of time for figuring out the answers to the questions later.
If you’re so inclined, now’s the time to have an engagement party. You don’t have to have an engagement party, but if you do, here’s our guide to planning one. Engagement parties typically take place within the first few months of being engaged and give you a chance to celebrate with friends and family…and to drink more champagne.
Once you’ve celebrated, it’s time to narrow down your vision for your wedding. If you haven’t already, start talking about the basics:
The basics will help guide all of your decisions, from venue and date, to guest list and attire.
Choosing your guest list can be one of the hardest parts of the wedding. You and your fiancée, your parents, and your fiancée’s parents generally all get to contribute to the guest list and it’s often hard to set expectations across all three parties. Start with your budget—the easiest way to cut your spending is to cut the guest list, so don’t commit to 200 guests if you can only realistically afford 120. Or, if you must have the 200, then find a venue and caterer that can accommodate the higher number for a lower price. Don’t forget space constraints too; you want your guests to be comfortable.
“As a rule of thumb, allow for 25 to 30 square feet per guest. That may seem like a lot, but it’s not if you count the space you’ll need for the tables, bustling waiters, the band and a dance floor.” – The Knot
Once you have your vision and approximate guest list nailed down, it’s time to find a venue that fits your style, budget, and desired date. Don’t forget that Friday, Sunday and daytime weddings can often be much more affordable than Saturday nights if you need to adjust for budget. And consider your guests’ comfort too. You may love the farm three hours from the nearest airport, but will your guests find it easy and affordable to get to? Will your grandmother be able to get around? Balance your wedding dreams with the practical considerations of hosting a large event and you’ll be off and running in no time.
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