You Just got Engaged, Where to Begin Wedding Planning?

Congrats on your engagement!  Now it’s time to harness that energy and excitement in to wedding planning!  With so much to consider, it can be overwhelming to know what to do first.   And everyone’s asking you “if you’ve set a date?” so let’s start there!  Here are a few tips on what to consider to begin wedding planning.

begin wedding planning tips

It’s never too early to begin wedding planning – it will help your day go off without a hitch!

Initial Things to Consider

Destination or Local.  Do you want to have the celebration where you currently live, in the bride’s home town or a favorite travel destination for you as a couple?  This is a great question for you to begin wedding planning.  Both have their benefits and drawbacks.  Local weddings tend to have more guests.. which can mean higher budget, but then you’ve got more friends and family to celebrate.  Destinations tend to be more intimate, but it can be harder for people to get away to a destination unless it’s a long weekend.  Be sure to talk to your family and spouse, this is an important choice!

Time of Year.  Is there a time of year or season you both love, or is your destination location have better weather or less tourists during certain times.  Every area of the country has a great time of year to get married.  In in New York, the spring can’t be beat.  Seattle it’s more August/September.. San Francisco’s best weather is October, and Miami/Naples Florida is more in January/February.  A lot of where you live can influence when you get married – begin wedding planning with time of year in mind!

Length of Engagement.  There are of course pros and cons to long and short engagements.  Maybe you want more planning time or just want to get hitched already!  The average engagement is 14 months, but you don’t have to live by the status quo.  We’ve shot weddings for couples that have been engaged for 4 years, or 4 weeks.  It’s all about your love.  Even with a long engagement, be sure to begin wedding planning early.  Venues, locations and wedding vendors get booked up early.  Lock in your favorite vendors and venues by starting as soon as you can, even if the date seems far away.

Engagement photos

Get your engagement photos done early!

Big Event or Small. Do you want something more intimate or a huge celebration with everyone you know?  Some venues can only hold a certain amount of people, while others can accommodate up to a thousand.  Keep in mind that if you have more than 250 people, it can be challenging to get time with everyone that comes.  That’s a LOT of people, and the reception can be a bit chaotic.

Budget.  How much do you want to spend, maybe you’ll need a longer engagement to save for the wedding or your dreams!  Wedding budgets can vary greatly.. begin wedding planning by talking about a budget.  Laying out a budget is a great way to start your journey, as it will automatically rule out some venues and locations.


Getting Inspired

Style. Getting inspired can be hard, we’re here to help.  Begin wedding planning by focusing on your style.  Start collecting images of anything that makes you smile.  Don’t worry about whether they go together, that can be done later.  Pinterest, Instagram, and even Google Images can be great resources for you to figure your style.  Once you’ve collected things that you love, go through them at the same time and see if you can find underlying themes in color and style.  This will help you realize what your wedding palate and style should be.

Planner or Day of Coordinator. Once you have the above relatively decided, this is a great time to start interviewing planners to get them involved early and provide guidance.  A coordinator can take your day from good to great by helping things run smoothly, be sure to reach out to a few that match your style and see which one can carry your vision to fruition.

Venue.  With your planners help and some online research, make a list of venues to go see.  Take notice how you feel at each location and which venue represents you the best as a couple.  Once you find that, you might have to make some compromises on your date/time of year.

Gown.  The venue and the gown are important to tie together because you want the style of gown to compliment the venue and style for your wedding and vice versa.  You wouldn’t want to end up on a tropical beach in a ballgown, well you could, but you’re probably going to be really hot!  Be sure to check out a number of designers and shops, be sure to check out everything before deciding on the wedding dress for you!

Photographer.  Many venues, and planners, will have vendor lists to provide recommendations to help you begin wedding planning.  Booking your photographer early allows you to do your engagement shoot and have images available for save the dates & wedding websites.  Even when my couples want to book with me right away, I always recommend meeting with other photographers, I believe this will increase the appreciation for the photographer you do choose.

Wedding inspiration

Get inspired for your wedding!


Now you have the foundation set for a great event! 

So keep going on the same path to select the rest of your vendors.  You’ll get lots of recommendations along the way and ask for help when you need it.  Remain as flexible as possible, things will work out with your dates, venue and vendors so don’t stress yourself out. And most important, have fun and enjoy being engaged because this time goes by in a blink!

Getting married or know someone who is?  We’d love to be a part of it!  Drop us a line here to start your wedding experience.

Article by Clane Gessel Photography