Engaged? Congrats! The party starts with us, but first you have some business to take care of. Here is a short list of the most essential things you need to take care of as soon as you get the ring!
1) Make the announcement.
Whether you opt to post a ring selfie first or call friends and family, start spreading the good news! It’s wise advice to announce your engagement to those closest to you in a personal way – whether face-to-face or over the phone – before broadcasting your engagement on social media. Definitely narrow down your hashtags too and start using them right away on social. Your friends and family will help you build up anticipation to the big day and use your hashtag throughout yoru engagement as they post party pics from the engagement party and bachelor/bachelorette trips. It’s a great way to reflect on the time leading up to your big day!
2) Insure the ring.
Get that bling protected with a plan ASAP! You never know what could happen (loss, damage, or theft), and we’re sure your beloved spent long hours and hard-earned dollars to find the perfect adornment for your ring finger. Look into local appraisers and jewelry insurers in your city to find a protection plan that is best for your needs.
3) Enjoy the engagement.
Schedule a planning moratorium to enjoy the immediate excitement. It may be only a day, a week, or even a few months, but set aside some time to revel in the moment, relive the memory over and over again, and just enjoy these fleeting moments. There is plenty of time to get planning underway and it will seem like all you think about and talk about in the coming months. We highly recommend taking it all in before you dive into the planning process head first!
4) Decide on a date.
Once you’ve had some time to enjoy the engagement itself, start the planning discussions with your soon-to-be spouse and determine a date range that works best for your work, school, and travel commitments. Find a particular date that works best for you both and be sure to run it by the important people in your life to make sure there are no major conflicts you haven’t considered for the people you know you want by your side. Keep your options open with a second and third choice date option in case your first choice is unavailable at your chosen venue, or extenuating circumstances prevent you from selecting your first choice.
5) Research and select your venue.
This is the first thing most couples book, so once the dust has settled from your announcement do some research into your ideal venues. Will you marry in a church, synagogue, or courtyard? Have you dreamed of a reception in a fantastic ballroom with high ceilings are architectural details, or in a historic venue with several rooms to transition the celebration throughout the night? Think about your event priorities and how you envision the flow of events throughout the weekend as you dig deep into web research in your desired city. And a word of advice: keep an open mind (even if you think you are set on what you want) because you might not realize how the ambiance of a space makes you feel until you have set foot in a venue in person, even if initially it wasn’t what you thought you’d like.
6) Narrow down your guest count.
Once you have your date set and the venue booked, get those save the dates sent out right away! In order to do this you’ll need to tackle the guest list, which can be more of a process than you might think. Get together your list, your fiance’s, and both sets of parents then see where your total falls, and trim where necessary. The guest count is the number one contributing factor to how much you will end up spending overall, so draw up your guest list with a discerning eye if you are keeping a close watch on the budget! And forget all the websites with advice stating that 20% of your guests will decline an invitation to your wedding. It simply is not the case these days! Many of our clients are seeing an attrition rate of 90-95% of their guests, with those declining only because of severe travel restrictions or unavoidable schedule conflicts (which don’t happen as often as you’d think). And if you are planning a destination wedding, don’t count on your guests declining because of distance or airfare. Many people are willing to RSVP yes to an invitation because there is no better excuse to take a long weekend trip and also see friends you love tie the knot.
7) Decide who is financing the event.
These days there are no rules as to who is paying for what. Sit down with the important people in your life and determine who will be funding the big event (and how much their contribution will be). Many of our couples are footing all or part of the bill themselves, and still others have one or both paternal sets financing the day. Any combination is possible, but remember those that hold the checkbook will also expect their opinions to be heard throughout the planning process.
8) Target a budget.
It’s a discussion few look forward to, but it is paramount to the process. Even if you don’t yet know where you will end up, every single one of our clients has a number in mind. Your planner will appreciate you being as honest as possible about your finances – because we can only make tailored suggestions for venue options and creative partners if you are up front about how much you’d like to invest in the event itself. In our experience, clients who come in knowing how much they’d like to spend at the start of the process often end up sending up to 20% more than they anticipated by the time the big day rolls around – so be sure to factor in some cushion into the budget for things that you may decide are a priority worth splurging on when planning is well under way. Having a target budget range in mind is also extremely helpful even if you are having a difficult time coming up with a solid figure at the start. Simply anticipating how much you’d like to spend overall will be a tremendous help to you in the planning process to stay on track.
9) Start interviewing event planners and book as soon as you can.
At Sapphire Events we only take on a few clients a year in order to control the quality of our client experience, so getting on our books early is key – although if you have a short engagement we love those too! The earlier you can get your planner involved in the process, the better. We can help steer you in the right direction with all of the above points, especially when it comes to big decisions on the venue, budget and guest count.
We are excited to be a part of your big day, and thrilled for you and the journey you’re about to embrace! The party starts with us – so when you are settled with the ring, give us a call to set up your initial consultation so we can get started right away. Cheers!
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Feature photo by Mon Soleil Photography