Right now, most of our minds our focused on holiday shopping, baking, family get-togethers and snow. But for the lucky couples who popped (and responded) to the big question during the time of year that is dubbed “engagement season,” you are likely already anxious to start planning your dream day.
While your wedding day may seem so far off in the future, there are actually some critical decisions you need to make right now, especially if you plan to tie the knot during the summer months of 2015.
To help get you started, here are 5 “must-do’s” if you’re planning to say your “I Do’s” this summer!
- Size Up Your Guest List
The first thing you must get figured out before any other aspect of your wedding, is how many guests you plan to invite. Yes, this is more important than your venue or wedding date because the size of your reception will dictate your venue options, and your venue will dictate your available dates from which you may choose.
Start by creating a master list of names. Add anyone and everyone you may even remotely consider inviting (don’t forget plus ones). Then come back to it a day or two later with a fresh set of eyes – and realistic expectations – and begin narrowing down, or at least separating them into A and B lists.
- Secure a Venue
With a general estimate of the size of wedding you’re looking to plan, you are now ready to start scouting out venues. This big decision must be done early, especially for couples who get engaged in the winter and want to be married the next summer. People book venues early and if you have your eye set on a special location, you need to act fast. Know the general time frame in which you’d like to have your wedding (3-4 different dates, ideally) and be willing to be flexible in case your venue is booked on the date of your first choice.
- Set a Date
Now that you know the size of your guest list and you have your venue securely reserved, you can feel confident to set the official date. Get excited! This will be the date of your lifelong anniversary that you celebrate for many years to come. While it’s tempting to pick a combination of numbers that are meaningful to you, your date isn’t the most important part of your wedding. Stay flexible and keep in mind that any date you get married will be one of the most special days of your life!
- Send out Save the Dates
It’s time to start spreading the word to the guests you really want to have with you on your wedding day. A save the date card is the perfect way to make sure your family and friends mark your day on their calendars long before the formal invitation is mailed out. Keep in mind that once someone receives a save the date, it’s proper etiquette to also send them an invitation – even if you have a change of heart about the guest list months later. Therefore, only send a save the date to your A list and people you know you won’t change your mind about. Expert tip: your entire guest list does not need to receive one.
- Get Organized
Once you’ve checked these major to-do’s off your list, the final important thing to do right after your engagement, is to get yourself organized for the wedding planning process that will need to take place over the coming months. Go ahead and get a binder (it won’t automatically turn you into a bridezilla) and map out your remaining to-do’s and deadlines for each. This will give you a clear idea of when things need to place so that nothing sneaks up on you. This is one great stress saving hack for your wedding planning process!
What other questions do you have about planning a summer wedding? Ask our event experts by leaving a comment below!