Yea, I know, It’s a click-biat-y title for this blog. I’m sorry, but It’s an accurate description of what we’re talking about today. You just got engaged. Here are 5 things to do first when you start planning a wedding.
This one is the most important. You just decided to change your lives together. Don’t worry about the logistics yet. Get some friends together, pop the bubbly and bump some tunes. Seriously, you’re going to make a big, expensive party, so you should probably start off with one too.
Make a wedding specific email
This seems like a little thing, but you will be happy once the wedding is over. Just head over to gmail and make one that’s just about you, your day or whatever is memorable. Then, whenever you make accounts for wedding planning, wedding venues, or if you enter in a sweepstakes for a free honeymoon, the spam email doesn’t come to your real account. You can easily set up email forwarding (click here for a YouTube on how to do that in Gmail), so that everything still comes to your main account. Then, when the wedding is over, just head back over to this new account, turn off the forwarding. You will never get another email from them. You don’t even have to close the account, but just let it hang out in the ether. Gmail will take care of it for you. In general, once the wedding is over, you’ll want to purge your phone of wedding planning related stuff and this will help streamline that move into the new world of marriage. (Hint, do this for any major life event, like home buying).
This is huge. Knowing what matters to you will help you know how much to spend on these things. I would suggest doing a top 5 list. Erika and I do this when we are picking where to go on vacation. We separately write out a list of the 5 countries we want to visit most. Then, come together and compare notes. This is how we recently went to France and Iceland. You could even give things numerical values (#1 gets 5 points…) and then add the lists together. You will probably have a little overlap and probably have different things you care about. But, that can help you know if you both care about a good dance party but are not so tied to having ornate invitations. Let’s be honest, if you’re to this point, you probably already know this, but in weddings, marriage, and relationships, open communication is key. This is also the time when you probably want to have a budget. No matter how small or large that number is, setting goals now will make it easier to stick to them as you continue in this process.
Select venue and date
This one is scary, but it’s the foundation of everything else. I know we’re starting to get into the real stuff where you’re spending money. That’s not fun, but knowing when/where you are going to get married really sets up the rest of the planning process. As a photographer, it’s really hard when couples reach out, asking about my availability, but don’t have a set wedding date. I can’t really contract with you because I can’t guarantee I’m free. But, when you’re picking your venue, remember the prioritization you set before. Just think about the things you’ve chosen to care about and let that guide your decision.
Wedding planning is a ton of work. Make other people do it. You can definitely stress out, but leave that to others. Give out specific tasks to people, make a spreadsheet so you know who is doing what. You may want to even consider giving envelopes with cash for the specific jobs. That’s great for you because it gets you off your shoulders. I actually made a little Google Template to help you organize.
I hope this helps. What did I forget? What else can we do to help streamline and de-stress the start of your wedding planning? As one of the many people you’re going to talk to in this process, we want you to have a celebration that is fun, truly represents you and creates memories you’ll cherish forever.
JTobiason Photography | Seattle Wedding Photography | 5 things to do first when you start planning a wedding | Joe@JTobiason.com