Wow ~ huge congratulations to you both on your engagement! However it came about – a planned proposal or a spontaneous romantic moment – one thing’s for sure, now is a very exciting time. And once the dust settles and thoughts of wedding planning start to sink in, you’ll be be wondering, “what’s next?”
With so many possibilities and tasks ahead, it’s essential to have a plan. Thankfully, Sean’s here to take you through some of the steps which follow after saying “Yes” to the love of your life – and how SOS Entertainment can bring you the engagement party and wedding celebration of your dreams.
FIRST, CELEBRATE YOUR ENGAGEMENT
Your engagement is a time for celebration and joy. The first thing to do is take a moment to soak it all in, and then? It’s time to decide if you’re going to pass on the good news to family and friends and then celebrate with an engagement party, or whether to throw a ‘surprise’ party and reveal all at a special moment.
But whether you’d prefer an intimate dinner with your partner or a larger engagement party with family and friends, mark this milestone in a way that feels right for the both of you.
SHARING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
After telling your immediate family and closest friends – whether one to one or as a group surprise at your party – it’s time to go pubic! Social media can be a fun way to do this – especially if you have some brilliant photobooth photos to share the moment – instagrammers love this! And don’t forget to change your social media status if you haven’t already!
DISCUSS YOUR VISION
Before diving into wedding planning, have an honest and frank conversation with your partner about your individual and shared visions for the big day. Discuss key aspects like:
- Wedding Size and Style
You might let family preferences, budgets or other commitments – such as setting up home – help you decide on the right size and style of wedding for you. But whether an intimate gathering or a grand celebration, there’s plenty you (and your entertainment provider) can do to make it memorable.
- Budget and Financial Planning
About that budget – and those costs! Be open about budgets and how you’ll fund the wedding. Discuss your priorities, decide which elements are essentials and which would be extras you might be happy to forget if it means those non-negotiables will be spot on. Weddings bring endless options – from a variety of venues, different dining ideas and exciting entertainment packages, so an early heart-to-heart helps identify what you’d like to have on your wedding day – but be prepared to compromise too.
- Set a Budget
Establishing a budget isn’t just essential for knowing how much money is in the wedding fund – it also guides those final wedding decisions. Determine how much you’re willing and able to spend on your wedding, taking into account contributions and gifts-in-kind from families and friends.
As suggested, identify which elements of your wedding are most important to you both and decide on the aspects you’d be happy to compromise on or cut costs for. Also be sure to build in a contingency fund, to give you wiggle room for unexpected expenses that may arise along the way. Check out Sean’s blog of tips for setting a wedding budget you’ll actually stick to.
- Start to Consider Dates
Consider the time of year you’d like to get married and whether you have a specific location in mind. Flexibility might be needed one way or another – you might be flexible on the venue in order to get a dream wedding on Valentine’s Day or happy to have your day at any time of year in order to secure the perfect venue.
Remember, Sean’s couples who book him for an engagement party will automatically get extra discounts when booking SOS Entertainment for weddings too. It doesn’t matter if your wedding isn’t until a considerable time later – Sean always looks after his couples, as the new Mrs Martin explains …
With a budget in mind, it’s time to start researching. Get yourself a list of wedding websites, bridal magazines, and social media platforms to gather ideas and insights. Wedding fayres are also a great way to learn more about venues, providers, trends and themes so check for upcoming wedding events in your area.
- Explore Venue Options
There’s a huge variety of venues out there, so whether you want a family-friendly function room, classic country venue, rustic barn or local community hall there are lots of options. Pin down the area and start an online search for venues to visit, but ensure you have a rough idea of numbers and / or dates before contacting any venues. This way, you can rule out venues which are unsuitable or unavailable without wasting any time.
- Supplier Selection
Once your budget discussions have identified the elements you want to include, refine supplier lists and reach out to wedding suppliers. Read reviews, check portfolios, and schedule appointments or consultations to discuss your day. You can also check out wedding industry organisations and directories to identify their award-winning providers.
- Create a Guest List
Alongside all this, gather up names for your guest list. Start a rough draft that includes immediate family, close friends and essential relatives. This preliminary list is essential for knowing numbers with which to approach venues for initial quotes. However, keep in mind the list’s likely to need adjusting as you make final decisions (and compromises) on dates, venue and budget too.
- Get Inspired
Wedding planning is a creative process, and inspiration plays a significant role. Browse bridal magazines, wedding websites, and social media platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok or use Pinterest to collect ideas. Create mood boards or save images that resonate with the wedding you’d like to have. This visual inspiration will be invaluable and a great starting point when discussing ideas with suppliers and wedding planners.
NEED A WEDDING PLANNER?
If the prospect of planning your wedding seems overwhelming or you have the funds but not a lot of time, you might consider hiring a professional wedding planner. These experts have experience and knowledge for planning weddings of all sizes and styles. They can offer invaluable guidance, help you stay within budget, and ensure that your vision becomes a reality.
If you don’t want a planner but want free help and support, don’t forget that Sean’s a fully qualified wedding planner too. He includes many wedding planning services free for his couples booking wedding entertainment services – just ask.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY
It’s easy to get swept up in planning your engagement party and wedding, but it’s important to remember the romance as you go! Set aside time for date-nights and ‘anti-wedding planning’ times where couple-time rather than wedding planning is the priority!
Finally, remember that wedding planning is a part of your romantic journey, not just a date and a destination. Keep hold of this newly-engaged excitement and don’t let the to-do lists and endless event planning overshadow the fact you’re going to be celebrating your love and commitment.
By keeping the above in mind, you’ll be laying a solid foundation for your wedding planning process to follow. It’s a time to start thoughtful organisation, effective communication, and an appreciation for the magical milestones to come.