Congratulations, you’re engaged! But if you’ve started to think about planning the actual wedding itself, you might be feeling just a tiny bit overwhelmed. Never fear! As always, The Knot comes to the rescue with a great list of to-dos to hold off the demanding friends and family who, for some reason, expect you to already have all the details.
Here’s a list of the ten things you should take care of first. They’ll take some time up front, but save you a million-and-one headaches later on:
1. Start a planner. Whether it’s a Pinterest board or a physical book with favorite clips and ideas, start some sort of planner. This will give you a place to keep ideas and inspiration to mull over in the coming months.
2. If you’re up to the task, plan an engagement party to formally celebrate your engagement with friends and family. Chances are, they’ll want a chance to congratulate you, so having everyone in one place will make it much easier on you in the end!
3. Pick a date. One of the first questions you’ll get asked is when the big day is. Figure this out ASAP so that you can inform travelers as early as possible.
4. Book a reception site. Once you know your date, get a location locked down— you’d be surprised how fast they go, so you’ll want to take care of this one as soon as you get a chance.
5. Get engagement photos—and have a professional take them. Especially with social media sharing these days, photos are a great idea. But make sure they’re quality. You don’t want to look back in a few years and wish you’d gotten better ones.
6. Set a budget. One of the biggest parts of planning your wedding is going to be how much you can realistically spend. Don’t plan any details until you know what you can afford!
7. Find a dress. This can be one of the most fun parts of wedding planning. Make your shopping a group experience with all the girls. They’ll give you valuable input and provide great company, too.
8. Make a wedding website. These days, it’s all about technology! Share your details via the Internet for easy access.
9. Consider a consultant. Do you need a planner to help with details? Consider whether you can afford to hire one—it could take a load off your shoulders.
10. Start your guest list. You won’t likely have a full list until much later, but it’s a good idea to map out definite invitees so you have a basic idea of who might be coming.