#EngagementDiaries 2 // First 5 Things Every Bride To Be Should Do

Here we go! I finally got over the "we just got engaged" hump and was ready to jump right into planning the wedding of my DREAMS! So where does a newly engaged "bride to be" even start? These are the first 5 things I did, and what I recommend all brides do to begin the planning process. 

1. HIRE A PLANNER

I am a planner, so this step for me is a bit different. But honestly I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to hire a wedding planner. They just know so many things about weddings, and planning a wedding, that you might have never even thought of. It doesn't mean you have to hand over your wedding to someone, you still get to be heavily involved in decisions and design choices, but now you have an expert available at your fingertips (someone who knows where to go or who to call). I can't tell you how many brides I have seen who try to plan, design + coordinate their own wedding and end up in a ball of tears on the day of because it's just too much work. 

4. SET A BUDGET

No other step can happen until this one, because everything you want comes at a price. What Travis and I did was decide on a number that we could afford ourselves and decided to run with that for planning purposes. We didn't go to our parents because we both are the type of people who hate to ask people for things, if we want it we just get it and if we can't afford it we save until we can. So we decided that IF our parents offered us anything we could use what they were willing to give us for extra things that we maybe cut out of the budget because we thought we couldn't afford it on our own. Settling on a number we were both happy with was such a huge relief and really allowed us to start searching for the perfect vendors!

3. FIND A VENUE

This was the most exciting step for me, and something a wedding planner can really help you with. You want to find a place that compliments your style + taste, lines up with your budget, and really has that "wow" factor for you. It doesn't hurt to look at a lot of venues, but remember that places book up and if you have a specific date in mind you might need to act fast. Our venue only had 2 dates available in the month + year we wanted, which at the time was more than a year and a half away! It is safe to say that I was super stressed. Fun fact abut me, I am totally an impulsive shopper, and my fiancé is the complete opposite. I nearly had a breakdown when we were looking for our first house together because every place that I saw that I liked I wanted right away, and he needed to sleep on it, and the market was moving so quickly that by the next day it was gone before we could even really talk about it. But just like we felt when we both walked into the house that became our first home, as soon as we walked into The Doctors House in Klienburg we knew it was the venue for us. It is just so fitting with our taste and as soon as I walked in I could immediately visualize our day there. 

4. MAKE A DOWN PAYMENT ON YOUR VENUE AND SET A DATE!!

Once we talked it over and knew what venue we wanted it was time to pick a date. Like I said before, the venue we went with only had two weekends available for the month + year I wanted but luckily we got the exact weekend we hoped for. September 30th 2017 <3 

5. START A GUEST LIST

As soon as we had a date + a venue we were able to start mapping out a guest list. I have to say this was the WORST part of my wedding planning process so far. I could honestly do an entire other engagement diary entry on this topic alone. Do we invite cousins, does everyone get a date, how many "friends" do our parents get to invite. It didn't help that every time we talked to my mum (love her to pieces) she added another person to her "must have" list. I think we said "that's our final decision" like a hundred times. 

So there you have it! Five things off my check list and only a month or so into my engagement (and right in the middle of crazy wedding season mind you!) Woohoo! I think I will do my next diary entry on the secret drama behind making your guest list, so stay tuned for that next week! 

Thanks for listening to my #EngagementDiaries, until next time

xo

Shannon