man and woman hugging turning in field

Just got Engaged? Well…now what?

Guys. I’ve been there. I can still remember the moment that my husband proposed to me on a Spring day in London. I was so excited, the ring was beautiful, and after I called all of my family and friends I thought: Pants! Well, now what?!

These Ten Tips will help you figure out what to do after getting engaged……

1.Enjoy the Moment

If you have ever needed a reason to get a manicure, this is the time. If you have ever needed a reason to take a selfie, this is the time. The stage of life that you are in right now is so fleeting. It will literally be a blip on the radar of your entire life, but it demands importance. So, enjoy the time that you get to call your significant other your “fiance” (you can even say it snooty like the French) while also having nothing to do with wedding planning. Take a week or two to let the news really sink in. Flaunt that ring and just BE engaged.

 

Benefits of a wedding photography and video team

2. Talk to Your Fiance’

When you are ready to start the wedding planning process, the first thing that you need to do is talk to your fiance’. Yeah, ya know, the person that you are going to be married to for the rest of your life. The best thing to do is to communicate with each other before discussing details with anyone else. Remember, there is a wedding, AND there is a marriage. They are two very different things. If you take the time to chat now, you will save a lot of frustration down the road. You and your fiance’ need to be on the same page, focusing on what really matters to both of you. Ask each other questions! When should we have the wedding? What are you thinking? Where will it be? Where do you envision the wedding? Do you want to keep it small? Do you want a big celebration? Heck, do you want to elope? This is the time to sit down and answer one big question: What do WE want?

 

bridal party walking together outside Offley place

3. Create a Budget

Now that you two are talking let’s talk money. No one likes to talk about money. It can be, well, awkward. However, before you can really move forward with any of your wedding plans, this discussion has to be had – whether it’s between you and your spouse or you, your spouse and the parents. This is where the reality of the situation lies. The answer to the budget question may determine so many factors you will have to consider for your wedding day: venue, guest list, length of engagement, bridal party size, wedding dress, etc.

 

Just Got engaged? Bride & Groom waling in the gardens of Rothamsted Manor Hertfordshire

4. Narrow Your Date or Season

If your budget allows for the flexibility of your wedding date, consider the seasons. Yes, we are talking spring, summer, autumn and winter. The seasons dictate a lot of your decisions. If your dream venue is outdoors during a rainy month, make sure there’s a rain plan. The season will determine which flowers you can and cannot use and will help narrow down a colour palette. And yes, the season may determine the pricing of venues, coordinators, and photographers. You might be able to save a little on the budget if you choose a “non-prime” wedding month such as January, February, or even August (all of those months will most likely require an in-door venue option).

 

5. Choose a Wedding Venue

Now, this is a big one. Your wedding venue is ground zero for a lot of your wedding decisions. Is it indoor or outdoor or both? How many people can it hold? Where is it located? Can Mamaw physically get up the aisle? These are all things to consider. Now that you have your budget figured out, you can start looking for a place with all your needs and, hopefully, your wants.

I would recommend starting a wedding venue spreadsheet that helps keep in mind all of the different options that venues can have. This spreadsheet will also help you determine if you’re more of an all-inclusive couple or looking for a la carte options. Here are several things to consider when looking for a wedding venue and things to add to that spreadsheet: Location, Capacity, Availability, Type, Layout, Rates, Restrictions, Parking/Transportation, Facility Extras, Catering, Bartending, and Rentals.

All of this talk feels very right brain. So, let’s touch on the left for a second. Does the venue fit your vibe? Do you have a gut feeling about it? Site visits are an excellent way to see the possibilities for your decor. Is the venue naturally beautiful and, therefore, would require less decor? Or does it need some pizzazz and additional (costly) inspiration?

 

flatlay of wedding details, bidal bouguet, headspiece, shoes and dress

6. Gather Wedding Inspiration

Ok. I now allow you to get onto Pinterest. Envision the type of wedding you both want. This is where you and your fiance’ sit down, talk again, and even ask each other some more open-ended questions: What time of year do you love the most? What colours do you gravitate toward? Are you obsessed with a particular flower? Once you have a rough draft, get on Pinterest and start specific boards for your inspiration: wedding dresses, bouquets, aisle inspiration, table settings, and much more. You can put as much or as little in as you want!

 

 

7. Choose Your Wedding Party

From a professional photographer aspect, the selection of your bridal party has a big impact on your wedding day. I recommend not reaching out to your bridal party immediately following your engagement. Take time to consider who will be up there with you. Because let’s be honest, weddings are stressful, and adding certain people into a stressful situation is like adding gasoline to a fire. We don’t need dumpster fires on your wedding day! Therefore, we recommend that you think twice about who you invite, set honest expectations with them, and include your family members if you can. Make sure you choose someone responsible for your Maid of Honour, Matron of Honour, and Best Man. We don’t need anyone losing wedding rings.

Just a reminder that more isn’t necessarily the merrier. If you want 12 bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen at your wedding, then there needs to be a place or an opportunity for all of you to have your photo taken. Like, all in one spot. Is there space at your venue for this? Will this add time to your photography timeline? And, therefore, will it cost you more money in the long run? Can you afford 13 bouquets and 13 boutonnieres? Can you afford the stress of dealing with 24 people and their questions, comments, and personalities?

 

 

bridal party sitting for a photograph inside moor park with old paintings

8. Draft Your Guest List

Your budget is going to dictate a lot of this part. If parents are financially helping with the wedding, I would make it a courtesy to ask them who they would like to include at your wedding. Better yet, even if you’re paying for the wedding yourselves, it’s a good idea to get the families together and talk about the guest list, so there are no surprises. Traditionally, the couple splits the guest list, with each getting half.

And then, it’s time to crunch the numbers. It’s not glamorous, but there is a monetary figure you really can’t avoid. Each guest adds to the number of plates your caterer will prepare, favors, chair rentals, and how much cake you’ll need. We recommend choosing a number that’s smaller than your venue’s capacity. Later, if there’s room in the budget, you can add on at a later time (just don’t make it the day before the wedding).

A general rule to remember, about 20% of the guest list will decline to attend. This is either due to circumstances surrounding pregnancies, illness, or travel. And out of those who RSVP “yes!” about 5% will not show up. It just happens.

Bride & Groom winter wedding with flowers

 

9. Hire Your Professional Wedding Photographer

I can now finally talk about us! Hi! we’re a professional wedding photographer and videographer service based in Hertfordshire. Nice to meet you, and congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

Now that we have met you let’s talk about hiring your wedding photographer. Photographers and other major wedding players (band, cake, DJ, coordinators, for example) get scooped up quickly. We can only take on one event daily, so it’s best to get your inquiries in as early as possible. This will give you time to browse portfolios and schedule meetings to help you find the best photographer fit for your day.

After hiring your photographer, you get to partake in marriage counselling, er um, I mean engagement photos! Your engagement photo session allows you to learn more about yourself as a couple, interact with your wedding photographer, and give you the opportunity to showcase photos to friends and relatives.

One final reason to hire your wedding photographer early is to discuss a vital part of your wedding day: your timeline. Ok, ok…This might sound insanely boring, but it’s pretty essential. Whether you are having an intimate backyard wedding or a massive hoo-rah with 500 of your closest friends, you will need a timeline. This timeline sets the stage for hair and makeup, getting ready, ceremony, family photos, and reception. And your wedding photographer wants to help with this and advise on times to ensure you get the best photos possible!

 

bride and groom button holes and viel

10. If All Else Fails, Hire a Coordinator

No, seriously. If planning a wedding makes you pick up a brown paper bag, hire a wedding coordinator. Working with a wedding planner can keep things streamlined, stress-free, and even cost-effective. We have worked with countless professional coordinators and would love to help with a referral if you need one.

Just Got engaged? Do you need a wedding photographer?

Give us a shout to chat about your day over a cuppa!