Recently engaged? From all of us here at La Dolce Vita Weddings, congratulations!

I remember the days after the hubs and I got engaged. It was a whirlwind of information, excitement & confusion. Most of my friends who got married did the planning on their own and didn’t really involve many of their friends, so I was sort of in the dark as to what happens first.

This was back in 2007 and the abundance of wedding blogs that we see today really didn’t exist back then. It was a LOT of magazines and few online websites that I pulled my information from.

And this is what it created – an unorganized binder of all wedding details and contracts. Not knowing if I was really getting the best deal or if I was just throwing my money into a dark & endless black hole never to be seen again.


Not knowing what the “correct” order of planning resulted me in planning a lot of things out of sequence and having to subsequently go back and change many things, many times.

The frustration grew and I decided to give up the planning to my husband.


This is what he envisioned:

wpid-samuarai-2011-12-26-10-29.jpg wpid-ninja-2011-12-26-10-29.jpg

Yes, that would be ninjas & samurais. It took me all about 10 minutes to pull the power back in and take the wedding planning over.

If you’re husband is threatening to do something similar, continue to read below

Top 8 Things To Consider When Newly Engaged

1) Determine Your Budget

In the end, dollars, not your dreams, are a main deciding factor for the size & style of your wedding. There is a HUGE difference between a $20,000 wedding & $100,000      wedding. Talk with your parents, your fiance, your soon-to-be in-laws about who is contributing to the wedding and what you have to work with.

Be realistic. One of the top things I communicate to my clients is “Do not go into debt with your wedding”. Do you REALLY want to use your down payment for a new home   on your wedding?

If you are having a $20,000 wedding, and invite 200 people, that equates to just $100 to spend on each guest. This includes flowers, food, entertainment, venue, liquor, etc. So, if you are hell-bent on inviting 200 people, you’ll either need to increase your budget, or the majority of your wedding will be DIY (which is not a bad idea either!).

2) Set the Date…or The Year & Season

Sorry to say, but the wedding industry is in business to make a profit. There are only 52 Saturdays available each year, and of those, depending on where you live, prime    Saturdays will be going for a premium e.g. June Saturday in Colorado.

Yes brides, some vendors will be charging more for these prime days.

Plan accordingly.

If you’re open to getting married on a Friday in October, you will have a much better chance of securing a hot venue for a cheaper price.

3) Get Inspired

Start browsing magazines & online blogs to get a feel for what catches your eye. There is a FANTASTIC free program call Evernote that is like an online Trapper Keeper for     your wedding. I use this for all of my clients to help me stay organized with pieces I capture online.

I would recommend you envision what your day as soon as possible. This will allow you to have maximum time to plan everything you need to.


4) Decide On Your Venue

You’ll want to decide this as soon as possible. Once you have your date & style confirmed, you’ll be able to narrow down your search for your venue. If you have one  specifically in mind, it’s availability will likely affect the wedding date you choose.

For example, the hubs and I changed our venue five times. Yes, five times. We didn’t have a style or theme established yet and we kept changing our minds. If we had a firm understanding of what we wanted, selecting the venue wouldn’t have been so difficult.

5) Decide Your Colors

The easiest way I can tell you how to select your colors is take a look at your home, your closet, your shoes. What are the main colors that pop out at you? What do you find inviting and familiar?

If you’re all over the place, start perusing Pinterest. This is only the best online website to build inspiration boards for virtually anything you could possibly want for your wedding.

If you need an invite, feel free to request one from me!
6) Insure Your Ring

This should go without saying. Your fiance just spent a butt-load of cash to buy you this beautiful piece of jewelry. Call your insurance company as you most likely will be  able to add this to your existing homeowners policy or renters insurance.

7) Make Your Guest List

As you begin to build your guest list, you’ll want to consider a few factors –

1) Venue Capacity
2) Budget (see above note)
3) Intimate or Huge Gala?

8) Consider a Wedding Consultant

If you’re a super-busy couple, hire a full-time wedding consultant to help you prepare your entire event, from the announcement to the honeymoon. Another option is a        month of wedding coordinator (which we definitely recommend!), who will make sure everything goes as planned on your wedding day. You can check out this post that chats about wedding planners in greater detail.

Enjoy the process but remember it is an important day, but just one day. Don’t forget why you’re getting married – to begin the next chapter of your life with the person of your dreams!

Image Credit:
1) My own picture 2) 3) 4) Evernote 5)Pinterest