Did you have a holiday engagement? First of all, congratulations! Getting engaged is such a special moment and it feels even more magical when it happens over the holiday season. But now that you’re engaged, you might be thinking… now what?

There are so many pieces involved with planning a wedding that it can certainly be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never really thought about it before! Plus, coming off of the busy holiday season can make wedding planning seem like an even more daunting task. Here are some of our top tips for getting started with starting to plan your wedding after a holiday engagement.

What to Plan First After Your Engagement

Here are our recommendations of the first things to put on your wedding checklist after getting engaged! Keep in mind that these are simply our recommendations — you can plan your wedding in any way that is easiest for you. But, taking these steps will definitely keep things flowing!

Enjoy your engagement

If you take nothing else away from this blog post, we hope that you take this piece of advice. Take some time to enjoy your engagement before you get into the hustle and bustle of wedding planning! Once you start planning, it never really stops.

Getting engaged is such a special moment in your lives and you never get it back, so take at least a week or two to soak in all of the happiness of getting engaged. Then, you can be all in on wedding planning!

Think about your guest list

Once you’ve taken some time to simply enjoy being engaged, you’ll want to start to think about what your guest list/guest count might look like. The number of guests that you’re having at your wedding affects so many things — such as your venue size, how much you’ll be spending on things such as catering, and more.

This guest list by no means has to be final, but it’s a good idea to figure out if you want something more intimate, with 50 or less people, or a huge party with 200 guests!

Set a budget

Setting a budget is also one of the first things that you’ll want to do when you get engaged. This is also the moment when you’ll want to talk to anyone that might be financially contributing to the wedding. It’s an awkward conversation to have, but it needs to be done! Otherwise, you might end up reaching out to vendors that you simply can’t afford. Don’t wait to have the conversation!

If you have no idea where to start with setting a wedding budget, you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner, which we’ll get into next.

Consider a wedding planner

For some couples, the best wedding task to check off your list first is to hire a wedding planner! You might be thinking — won’t a wedding planner cost too much? Can’t I just plan my wedding with the help of my family and friends?

Of course you can do that! But… a wedding planner could actually help save you money in the long run. Wedding planners have a vast network of other vendors in the area, and can often get you discounts on booking. Plus, wedding planners can take a huge stress off of your shoulders! If you are a super busy person who knows that you hardly have time to plan an entire wedding, then looking into hiring a wedding planner might be the perfect choice for you.

They can also help you figure out your budget, and then be able to recommend vendors that fit perfectly into that budget.

If you don’t feel like you need a full wedding planner, then definitely consider a month-of coordinator! A month-of coordinator will come in about six weeks before your wedding and basically take over. They will coordinate with all of your vendors to make sure that everything is ready to go for your big day. A coordinator will be there on your wedding day, too, to make sure that everything runs smoothly! You won’t have to lift a finger on your wedding day… and that’s the way that it should be!

Interested in a wedding planner or coordinator service in the Maryland area? Contact us here! We’d love to help you out.

Choose the season you want to get married in

Before you choose a wedding venue, you’ll want to think about what season you want to get married in. Want to get married on a snowy winter day? An outdoor venue won’t work well for you. Want to get married by the water on the beach? You’ll likely want to choose a spring, summer, or fall day.

We also really recommend choosing the season that you want to get married in rather than a specific day. If you need to, you can choose a month that you want to get married in. Why do we suggest doing it this way? Finding a venue will be much more challenging if you have a specific date in mind. If you find your dream venue, but they’re already booked on your dream wedding day, are you going to try and find another venue?

Book a venue

Finally, it’s time to start looking at venues! If you chose to hire a wedding planner, they will be able to guide you to some venues that fit your overall vision, budget, and season that you want to get married in. If not, these are all things that you’ll want to think about when looking at venues.

Once you find your dream venue that is available on a date that you like, we suggest booking them as soon as possible! Wedding venues can book over a year in advance, so it’s crucial to jump on it as soon as you know that it’s the one.

PRO TIP: Instead of booking a typical Saturday wedding, try looking into Fridays or a Sunday brunch. This is a great way to save money, as the venues typically charge less for Friday and Sunday slots.

Start thinking about other vendors

Once you book your venue, everything else will start to come into play. If you didn’t hire a wedding planner, you may want to consider booking a month-of coordinator at this point. Some of the first vendors that you’ll want to book are your photographer, caterer, and florist. These are all very important pieces to your wedding day that also book up quickly!

You will also want to book a dress appointment sooner rather than later. Some dresses can take up to eight months to come in, so it’s usually one of the first wedding tasks that you’ll want to accomplish!

Some other vendors that you’ll most likely need to research and book are: an officiant, a videographer, DJ, transportation, invitations, lighting & decor, bakery, attire, makeup artist, hair stylist, jewelry, travel, and rentals.

We know that this seems like a lot to do after a holiday engagement, but we are here to help you out! Refer to our other blog posts for some more tips and tricks and always feel free to contact us if you feel like you need planning or coordination.