Do These 3 Things After You Get Engaged

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You’re engaged – YAY! You’ve celebrated together, shared the exciting news with your loved ones and perhaps have started scrolling for inspiration.

And then… BOOM, the overwhelm kicks in. There is SO much to do. So many decisions to make. Do we hire a wedding photographer now? What should our favours be? Do we even need favours? And how much will this all cost?! Oof, it’s all just so much! 

And you’re not wrong… hundreds of decisions need to be made when planning a wedding. Whether you’re in Edmonton, the Rocky Mountains or anywhere else in the world, wedding planning overwhelm doesn’t spare any engaged couple. 

As wedding planners, we’ve spent years perfecting a certain process and system in order to help our clients plan in a structured but fun way. And today, we are sharing the first three things you need to do (in this order) to kick off your wedding planning journey the right way. 

1. Discuss Your Priorities & Get on the Same Page

This can seem like a loaded question and the conversations can be endless, so here are our top questions to discuss together: 

  • What type of wedding do you want to have? Is it a formal wedding or casual? Large or intimate? In Edmonton or destination? 
  • When you picture your wedding, what is the general flow? Is there a first look beforehand or will the first look be down the aisle? Is it a sunset ceremony followed by dinner or will there be a break in between? 
  • Kids at the Wedding, a Kid-Free Affair or somewhere in between? This can be a heated debate, especially when family is involved. 
  • What are your top 3 priorities for the wedding? Answer these separately and then share with one another. See where you overlap and where there are gaps and room for further discussion and compromise. 
  • Recall the best weddings you’ve been to… what were your most memorable / favourite parts?
  • Now on the flip side, what have been some of your least favourite experiences at weddings you’ve attended? 
  • Do you have any thoughts on the overall colour scheme and design? 
  • Are there non-negotiable wishes for the day (i.e. if you did not have (or did have) this as part of your day, it would make you upset)? 
  • Have your parents (or other VIPs) expressed any specific opinions on any of the above?  
  • Is there anything else you’d like to share or anything else that is important for us to consider?

2. Make Your Guest List

Before you can even begin to look at venues, you need to know how many guests you need to accommodate in the space. This can be a lengthy process but here are the lists we recommend for each of you: 

  • People you share (usually friend groups)
  • Family (and how deep the family tree you want to go)
  • Friends
  • Co-Workers
  • Parents’ Invite List (if this makes sense in your relationship)
  • Miscellaneous (business associates like lawyers, for example)
  • Plus one’s for any of the above

Review this list together and see how it feels. Are you both on the same page with the list you see? Are there any conversations that need to be had with parents about their requested guests? Do you feel that some of those individuals are courtesy invites rather than people who truly matter to you?

Ultimately there is no perfect formula to determine who makes the invite cut and who doesn’t. It is all based on individual scenarios, dynamics and priorities but remember, every single person you add to your list, adds additional wedding budget requirements, so choose wisely. 

3. Determine a Wedding Budget 

“Budget” can sound so restrictive so we prefer to call it a “wedding investment comfort level”.

Regardless of what you call it, it’s absolutely imperative that you discuss how much money you can and / or want to spend on your wedding memories.  

Rather than googling “what is an average wedding cost in Edmonton”, we recommend that you get in touch with a professional.

Find a wedding planner in your area to help you draft a realistic outline of what the wedding you want will actually cost… remember, that you already know your key priorities and guest list because you’ve completed # 1 & 2. 

If the estimate that the wedding planner provides you feels doable and comfortable for you, congratulations you are ready to start booking vendors! If not, have discussions together, and with the help of the wedding planner, determine which areas can be adjusted without giving up too much of our dream wedding wishes.

For assistance with drafting a budget, we offer hourly consultations which can be booked by getting in touch with us here (insert link). 

And now the fun part you’ve been waiting for! Once these 3 points have been completed it’s finally time to start assembling your wedding team. 

Bonus Point: 

To avoid disappointment, we recommend that you book these 3 wedding vendors first (those who can only accommodate one wedding per day): 

  1. Full Service Wedding Planner
  2. Venue
  3. Photographer 

Happy Wedding Planning!


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