I’m Engaged! Now what?
You’re engaged! Congratulations! We know this is such an exciting time, and the weeks following your proposal are sure to be a whirlwind. Once you have taken some time to enjoy this special moment, you can start the wedding planning process! We know there is so much to think about, and so many places to find inspiration. It can be a little overwhelming at first! The average engagement lasts around 18 months (with some going even longer in the wake of COVID-19 delays). There are certain tasks you should get done right away, and others you can save for later in the planning process. So, where should you start? What wedding vendors should you book first? From determining your wedding size and wedding budget, to selecting your dream wedding venue, we’ve created a list of things to do to kickstart your wedding planning process when you’re asking yourself “I’m engaged! Now what?”
6 Things To Do Once You Get Engaged
Shannon Tarrant, Co-Founder of Wedding Venue Map, recently shared with us some of her top tips for couples asking themselves “I’m engaged! Now what? “Step one is to make the guest list to know how many people you plan on inviting and think will be attending. Step two is to have that difficult conversation regarding what your actual available budget is for the wedding. Step three is to start your venue search and book actual tours.” We’re sharing that advice and more in the steps below–our top 6 things to do once you get engaged!
1. Select an Ideal Wedding Date Range
Are you wondering when to book a wedding venue? The most in-demand wedding venues and wedding dates can book up several years in advance, so it’s best to start thinking about dates now. You can have a few ideal dates in mind, but we recommend having backup dates, just in case those dates are already taken.
Many weddings in 2020 were postponed to 2021 and 2022 due to COVID-19, so weekday wedding dates are becoming increasingly popular. Here at The Treasury on the Plaza, we are now offering an Intimate Weekday Wedding Package exclusively for weddings on Mondays through Thursdays with a guest count of 100 people or less. We’ve teamed up with some of our key wedding vendors to include catering, wedding planning services, a wedding cake, and more in order to make your wedding planning process as stress-free as possible!
2. Determine Your Wedding Guest Count
Whether you plan on having a large-scale celebration or a small intimate micro wedding, it’s important for you, your future spouse, and both of your families to be on the same page when it comes to the wedding guest count. Your guest count is important for narrowing down wedding venues. With health and safety top of mind at weddings in 2021, some venues have extra capacity limitations in place. Here at The Treasury on the Plaza, we can host weddings for up to 225 guests.
3. Nail Down a Wedding Budget
No one looks forward to the “money talk,” but this is a very important conversation to have when you are starting the wedding planning process! It may take a delicate approach, but having a few conversations early on in planning will help you avoid complicated situations later.
First, have a private conversation with your fiancé about how much each of you thinks you can contribute financially toward your wedding day. Does either of you have an idea about whether or not your family will want to contribute toward your wedding budget? Getting on the same page and working as a team is a huge step toward budget success!
Once you and your partner have a private conversation about the budget, reach out to those family members or other parties who you believe may want to contribute to the wedding budget. We recommend starting out the conversation by simply sharing what your vision is for your perfect wedding day. The budget topic might come up naturally! If not, share what the two of you are planning on spending, and ask if the other parties intend to contribute financially, so you can budget accordingly. It’s important to start the conversation sooner rather than later so you can make sure the event you’re planning fits within the available budget.
Brides.com has an excellent blog post about How to Discuss Your Wedding Budget With Your Parents (And Fiancé) that has more great tips about having difficult budget conversations!
4. Select Your Wedding Venue
Once you have an idea of your wedding date range, guest count, and wedding budget, it’s time to start looking at wedding venues! This may first involve deciding on the city in which you want to host your wedding. (We highly recommend St. Augustine, Florida!)
When you’ve decided on a wedding location, do some research online to see the best wedding venues that fit your needs in that area. There are many popular wedding directory sites like The Knot and WeddingWire and Wedding Venue Map where you can look at pictures, get an idea of venue capacities, see price ranges, and read wedding venue reviews.
Once you’ve narrowed down your top choices, reach out to each venue to get more information. Many wedding venues offer both in-person or virtual tours of the venue. These tours not only allow you to see the spaces available for weddings, they also allow you to get all of the information that you might need that will allow you to make an informed decision. Shannon Tarrant of Wedding Venue Map provided this advice: “Be ready to confirm a date ASAP if you find a venue that you love on the tour!”
5. Research Wedding Vendors
Your venue is a great place to find references for selecting the perfect wedding vendors who will help bring your wedding vision to life. Some vendors receive bookings up to a year or even two in advance, so be open to working with other vendors if your top vendor in each category is booked. “Have a list of your top 3 vendors in every vendor category. That way, if your first choices are unavailable you still have options.” Says Tatiana Rivera, owner of GAD Artistry, a mobile hair and makeup salon based out of Orlando, Florida.
Venues typically have a preferred vendor list, filled with many of the top local vendors. If you are looking at the Treasury on the Plaza as your top wedding venue, or planning on getting married in the St. Augustine area, you can see our list of vendors here.
6. Relax and Enjoy the Wedding Planning Process
For the most part, wedding planning is really fun! There are so many things to look forward to, from bar tastings and cake tastings, to taking fun engagement pictures with your love! The Treasury on the Plaza will be here for you with our Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide throughout the process to help you figure out the next steps to take in your journey toward walking down the aisle.
Make sure to set aside time with your fiancé in between planning to spend some quality time together. Get a massage, take a beach trip, or just snuggle on the couch with some takeout. Take time to relax, destress, and stay connected with one another to remember why you are saying “I do” in the first place.
Wedding planning is months of meetings, design decisions, and excitement! If you have been asking yourself “I’m engaged! Now what?” we hope this post has been helpful! Stay tuned as we share more wedding planning timeline tips and information!
Are you looking for an even more detailed wedding planning timeline? We’ve got just the thing!
Click here to read a comprehensive and detailed wedding planning timeline from our sister property, the Lightner Museum! Since our venues are so similar when it comes to planning, the timelines are nearly identical!
Save the image below if this timeline will come in handy later!