First off, congratulations! Being newly engaged is exciting, isn’t it? Having become recently engaged myself, I can relate! This amazing journey started on Sept 24, 2019, at The Mayo rooftop bar, and it was a divine dream. While the surprise unveiled, I experience complete tunnel vision! Everything around me just washed away and was a blur in that very moment. It was as if it were just the two of us in existence in that bubble of bliss, standing hand-in-hand overlooking the beautiful sunset from the rooftop. *goosebumps*
So, please remember to completely soak in every morsel of the amazingness of this new chapter. Cherish all the sweet moments between family and friends. Keep staring at the new ring on your finger. Oh, and have I mentioned it’s time to start planning a wedding?
Don’t worry! It sounds utterly daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s focus on the most important things first! And, believe it or not, the most important things aren’t what you would expect. So, let’s get to the nitty gritty!
(guest post by Erin Miller)
Photo: Kyra Kellye
Budget & Wedding Type
I know, I know… talking money can be a buzz kill, but it doesn’t have to be. Before making any detailed decisions or signing any contracts, you have to have a number in mind that you and your family are willing to spend. This number can help you determine some big-ticket items – Destination wedding? Elopement? Big wedding? Small wedding? Your budget will set the groundwork for almost all the decisions you will make while planning! Be considerate of your parents in this process, too. A wedding should never cause a financial hardship, no matter what!
*Tip – Do your research! Not sure what things cost? Reach out to potential vendors, destination hotels and venues to get an idea on pricing. This will help give you a realistic idea of true costs versus what you can afford!
What? Why? Already?! YES! Here’s why: Your budget and venue relies HEAVILY on your attendance. Love that rustic barn venue that seats 100? Well, you’ll be upset when your RSVPs total 125 and there isn’t room to seat everyone at the last minute! Now, I’m not telling you to have it etched in stone at this point in the planning process, but at least get an idea on paper. Don’t forget to count +1’s
Get a rough count of people in these three categories:
– 100% Attending
– 50/50 chance
– Could remove if needed
These numbers’s will help you get an idea of what venues will be able to host your wedding. These numbers’s will also help you get an idea of cost per head for food and drink! You also might be able to fit more guests or trim down the list based on your budget.
*Tip – Talk over the list with your close family. It helps to see the guest list from other’s perspectives. And, always assume everyone will bring a date. You never know!
I bet you could’ve guessed this one. After all, it is the most important booking on your list! Nothing else can be booked until you find your venue. Here are some key elements to remember when booking your venue:
– Capacity – How many guests can it COMFORTABLY hold?
– Functionality – Can the space function for your wedding plans?
– Cost – Does this fit within budget and leave room for remaining vendors?
– Style – Does it fit your wedding style? Or will you need use more of your budget to decorate it?
– Wedding date – Look at availability for your day!
*Tip – Ask if there are any discounts for using preferred vendors or getting married on a Friday or Sunday! We saved thousands by getting married on a Friday.
This one was a tough one for me! So many things played into this decision. The first step to deciding a wedding date is to consider all commitments in the near future. Busy work seasons, traveling professionals, holidays, close family obligations, seasons, possible weather, etc. And of course, if your ideal venue has the date available! Truly, your wedding date is such a personal choice. It’s the date you will remember forever. Make it meaningful. Give yourself as much time as possible and choose a date that is based on what works and feels right!
Take a Deep Breath
It can get stressful. Find the humor in things, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Just enjoy the process. At the end of the day, you have the one person you need standing right next to you. This day is just an opportunity to celebrate it! Take some time to connect with each other and remind each other of the many reasons you’re about to walk down the aisle together!
We can’t thank ESPN broadcaster and local bride-to-be herself Erin Miller enough for her phenomenal insight on kickstarting the wedding planning! Stay tuned because Erin will be checking in with Brides of Oklahoma regularly as she makes her own way through the planning process and down the aisle in September.