Congratulations on your engagement. You're in for a busy few months ahead but our top tip would be to ENJOY them. Don't stress overmuch, have a plan and you'll be just fine.
To help you along, here's a list of 20 things you should be doing now you're engaged to help the wedding planning go that bit more smoothly!
- Sit down with your fiancé and plan a realistic wedding budget. This is absolutely the first thing you should be doing as it will influence all your other decisions - such as when you get married, where, what you wear, how many guests you have, what you feed them ... etc. etc. Plus which, you don't want to overspend on your big day and start out married life over your head in debt - that's so not a good idea.
- Think about when you're going to get married. Bear in mind that if you opt for a summer Saturday many venues are going to be booked already - up to two years in advance. So be open minded and consider getting married midweek or out of season, when you're likely to get a better deal anyway.
- Think about where you're going to get married. How would a destination wedding suit you? It can be a lot more cost effective getting married in Italy and the weather is likely to be better too.
- Think about who you're going to ask to be your bridesmaids. Do you really want to have flowergirls or are you just going to opt for grown ups? Bear in mind that your best friend may not make the best chief bridesmaid - who has to be cool under pressure, organised, unflappable and reliable. Your best friend may be the life and soul of the party - but not be particularly soothing company as you're about to walk up the aisle.
- As soon as you have a wedding date set you need to be sending out your save the dates. Otherwise, it's a certainly that somebody special will have booked a holiday right in the middle of your wedding week.
- Think about the style of wedding photography you like. Reportage is fashionable but is it really you? Or are you a more traditional type? Look at various photographers, check their styles, ask for recommendations from friends and make sure you visit the photographer's website.
- Go and visit a few wedding dress shops - but after you've decided where you're going to get married and when. You don't want to be on a tropical beach wearing a heavy satin gown! Keep an open mind and try on what's suggested - which may be a dress that suits you better than what you thought you'd end up wearing.
- Start a Pinterest wedding board. Then visit wedding blogs and your favourite sites so you can pull together a moodboard of the style of wedding and ideas that you're interested in.
- Decide on whether you're going to have young children at your wedding or not. There are pros and cons to both. Sometimes the best option is to have children at the afternoon event and then have an adults-only evening party, with young children looked after by babysitters.
- Relax. The build up to your wedding is mean to be fun. Yes it will have its stresses but it's a good idea to work out now how you're going to deal with them. Maybe start yoga or Pilates? Fit in a swimming session? Exercise is a great destresser and will help you tone up before your big day.
Your thoughts? Any tips to add?