Congratulations on your recent engagement! You’ve enjoyed several celebratory late-night champagne toasts with your closest friends and families, had your shiny diamond ring perfectly sized, and are finally settling down to think… now what? Where do I even begin with planning a wedding?
As an expert in the wedding industry for over 45 years, Saphire Event Group is here to help! Here are 8 initial wedding planning steps you should take after your engagement.
1. Create a Wedding-Specific Email Address
Start your wedding-planning journey off on the right foot by getting organized. Create a wedding-specific email address to use for anything wedding related: signing up for referral sites, reaching out to vendors, and receiving contracts and inquiries.
You’ll be sending and receiving a lot of emails throughout the wedding-planning process. The last thing you want is your inquiries and receipts lost in your personal inbox.
2. Decide if you want a long or short engagement
While wrapped up in the excitement and romance of your engagement, it can be easy to overlook this wedding planning step, however it is so important!
According to Brides.com, an average engagement length is between 12-18 months. Now is the time to decide how long of an engagement you both want.
Both options have pros and cons. A longer engagement allows you to take your time to find the perfect vendors for your dream wedding. However, you could overestimate how much time you have to plan, and attempt too many DIY projects.
Some couples opt for a shorter engagement because they just can’t wait any longer to be married! Though you need to make some quick decisions, picking a venue like Saphire Event Group makes all of that easier with a team of professional planners available to guide you through the process.
3. Choose a Wedding Budget
Next, pour a glass of wine (or two) and sit down with those who will be contributing financially to your wedding to discuss budget.
Once your budget is in place, you’ll have a better understanding as to how many people can realistically be added to your wedding guest list.
4. Create the Guest List
Your budget is set, and it’s time to create the guest list. It can be useful to create an “A guest list,” including the people who you’ll definitely invite to your wedding, and a “B guest list,’” the people you’d love to invite, but are dependent on other wedding costs, venue capacity, etc.
Now that you have the two most important pieces of information put together — your budget and guest list — you’re ready to move onto the fun stuff, like where and when you’re having this fabulous wedding?!
5. Choose a Location – destination or local?
Has it always been your dream to say “I do” under the warm tropical sun? After taking a look at your budget and guest count, is that destination wedding feasible? A destination wedding is typically more expensive, as you have to consider travel costs for both yourself and potential vendors. Maybe opting for a local wedding is more realistic for your wedding day. One of the many benefits to a local wedding is that more of your loved ones will be able to attend.
Read our blog to learn the pros and cons of both a destination and local wedding.
6. Narrow down to your preferred season and day of the week
Does a snowy winter wedding sound magical to you? Maybe you envision your wedding day on a warm spring day, with birds chirping and trees budding. No matter the season, it’s best to have an open mind when it comes to choosing your wedding date. We suggest having a particular season and a few days of the week you’re hoping for, rather than having one specific date you are set on. Having a general time of year and day will help your venue give a realistic proposal, and also be able to better accommodate your needs.
7. Schedule Some Wedding Venue Tours!
This one of the most important wedding planning steps! Gone are the days where you need to tour 10-15 wedding venues to find the perfect wedding venue. With a little bit of research online and on social media, you should be able to tour 3-5 wedding venues and find a perfect fit!
Referral sites such as Wedding Wire and The Knot are amazing resources to find your dream wedding venue. You can use specific search criteria tailored to your needs such as location, guest count, and budget, to find venues that will check all of your boxes and more.
Social media platforms such as TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram are fantastic ways to find wedding venues and inspiration. These platforms showcase authentic moments both from real weddings and behind-the-scenes, which can help paint a clear picture as to what your experience will be like on your wedding day, and working with the venue’s team.
Lastly, word of mouth is a great way to find a spectacular wedding venue. Talk with friends and family about the unforgettable weddings they’ve attended. Also, be sure to read client testimonials on Google, referral sites, social media, and the venue’s website. A former couple’s experience can be very telling as to what yours will be like as well!
8. Choose a Venue and Finalize Your Wedding Date
There are lots of components you should take into consideration when choosing a wedding venue. Is there a ceremony space on-site? Does the overall cost include seating, tables, catering, and/or wedding planners? Will it work with my budget? Are there local accommodations such as hotels and transportation? What have other couples said about their experience working with this venue?
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect MA wedding venue, you’re in luck. Saphire Event Group has three unique wedding venues on Massachusetts’ south shore that are sure to impress.
Booking with SEG means you’ll also receive a wedding producer to guide you through the last six months of your wedding planning steps, in-house catering, seating, tables, gorgeous décor items, a day-of bridal attendant, and so much more.
After taking all of this into consideration, it’s time to pull the trigger, book your venue, and finalize your wedding date. Woohoo!! Now breathe.