So you’re engaged! Congratulations! Once the excitement of your engagement wears off, you might be uncertain what to do next.
Getting engaged is a joyful occasion. However, it’s also the first step to planning your lives together. That life begins on your wedding day. Here we offer eight wedding planning tips for recently engaged couples to help set you off on a stress-free path.
1. Relish the occasion
Before jumping in feet first with your wedding plans, take the time to relish your engagement with your significant other. This is a wonderful time to reflect on your plans together, and not so much on the actual wedding itself just yet.
Make a bold announcement to share your good news and let people shower you with congrats, take you out to dinner, plan engagement parties etc. Then look forward to planning your wedding together. Frankly, all the celebrating will also give you some interesting insights into what your friends and family expect to see at your wedding.
2. Enlist your A-team
As the saying goes, too many cooks spoil the broth. From the moment you start planning, enlist your A-team to help in the process.
Decide who you want deeply involved in the decisions and then be prepared to gracefully thank others who might try to have input and let them know you have everything covered. This is going to be one of the hardest parts of wedding planning but in the long run, it will help you avoid conflicts.
3. Remember it’s all about you two
Hopefully tip #2 helps set you on a clear path that makes it easier for the two of you as a couple to make your own choices. If you do find too many people still trying to offer “input” speak up and let them know this is not going to work with your plans. Always be loving and respectful, but also stand your ground. This is your day, and although it’s nice to consider traditions, you have every right to plan the wedding of your dreams.
4. Get your priorities straight
Keep in mind that unless you are lucky enough to have a limitless budget, weddings can be a real money pit. Set a budget and be sure you stick to it. A budget will help you understand how much you can spend.
Creating a list of your ‘must haves’ helps you set the foundation for your dream wedding and then, if the budget allows, you can add items from your ‘nice to haves’. Is it all about the dress? The venue? The food? The guests?
Once you understand where you want to focus your efforts, you can plan your wedding more effectively. And be SURE you and your partner are on the same page. You might have to compromise in some areas, but you can take a hint from Modern Family’s wedding playbook and allow for a short list of kiboshes like Cam and Mitch. This way you both end up with the things that mean the most to you.
5. Find a photographer that suits your style
This might sound crass but wedding photographers are a dime a dozen. So when planning your wedding, be very picky when it comes to choosing your photographer. Photography is an art form and therefore every photographer has their own style.
Look at portfolios, speak to recently married friends and find a photographer that suits your style. Details such as composition, lighting, backdrops etc. all add to the unique photos you will place in your photo album and reflect on for a lifetime. You also want to make sure they have excellent reviews so you know they can be trusted with this very important task.
6. Keep communicating
We’ve mentioned prioritizing in tip #4, but we also need to stress the importance of ongoing communication. It can be easy to get caught up in the plans, and also find it more difficult to compromise when you see how excited your partner or family and friends are about a certain idea.
This is why you must keep communicating honestly and openly throughout the planning. When something comes up you can’t live without, or that you can’t imagine being part of your special day, be prepared to face conflict and become a good listener. This will help set the tone for an open and honest marriage with strong communication.
7. Consider your wedding party
This can prove to be a source of conflict as well. Whether you have to choose between a sister/brother and BFF, if your family traditions interfere with your ideal wedding party choices, or you want to downsize and just go with a best man and maid of honour, the wedding party decisions can pose a real conundrum.
You might even have issues if your partner happens to hate your top choice for a position of honour. Be sure to give careful thought to your choices and be prepared to defend those choices to people you might unintentionally offend.
8. The reception venue
This is probably the most important decision you’ll make next to the wedding outfits. There are many cool reception halls Toronto offers but you don’t have to limit yourself to halls. There is a long list of new venues you might set your sights on, but just be aware of possible challenges that come with each.
Trendy venues might be all the rage, but will that barn, wine cellar, art gallery or loft offer all the features of a reception hall – if not, you could be adding a whole bunch of to do’s to your already daunting list of planning tasks. Often, finding a venue with all the bells and whistles such as a caterer, wedding planner, servers, linens, glassware, AV equipment etc. is the best and most affordable way to go for a stress-free wedding. You can then use your theme to create a stunning environment for your special day.