He's popped the question, you've said yes, and now everyone has questions: have you set a date? where's the reception? who's catering? where are you getting your dress? Chances are you don't have the answers to half of the questions being thrown at you, and that's ok! Below is a timeline to help you keep you oganized and, more importantly, to help ease the stress of all the planning.
15 to 9 months before (depends on how long of an engagement you're having):
- Start a wedding folder. Put everything and anything that inspires you in here from pictures of dresses and cakes to scraps of fabric.
- Work out a budget. It's so important to know who's paying for what and how much everyone is contributing so you can know where to distribute funds (bigger dress and less food or more food and a less elaborate dress?)
- Decide who is going to be a part of your wedding party. Do you want an even number on both sides? Is his mom pressuring you to include his two female cousins? Decide who's in and who's out, and maybe figure a way to nicely tell your new mom-in-law that you're having your sorority sisters stand by you and not cousins that you've never met.
- Come up with a head count. Make lists of who's invited from both sides (get addresses). Remember that only 50-70% of invited guests will actually attend.
- Finalize a date and a venue. Are you having the ceremony and reception at the same place?
- Find an officiant. His uncle? your grandpa? your pastor? Make sure they know what's expected of them and that they tell you what they expect. (Will they be doing your pre-marital counseling?)
- Start researching photographers, music, florists, and caterers.
- Throw an engagement party! Enjoy this time with friends and family whether it's at a restaurant or someone's house and have some fun.