Did you get engaged over the holidays? How wonderful, exciting, and romantic for you, and I’m sure you are reveling in each happy moment. But in the back of your mind you are thinking, “Yikes, what do I do first?”
Image: Rhett Sutphin via Flickr
Now, I am going to bypass the obvious-- tell your mother, tell your friends and family, glow merrily with happiness, celebrate with your new fiancé/fiancée, and drool over wedding magazines. This goes without saying. Assuming you have achieved all that, here is what to do next:
- Pick a wedding date – even if it is not firm. In truth, you have to pick a venue, ascertain the availability of an officiant, etc, but pick a range of dates that will work for you, and you have an answer for that question that will hit you from every angle: “When’s the wedding?” You can pin it down a little later, when you have found your officiant and venue.
- Create an overview of the style and feel you and your fiancé(e) want for your wedding. Just dream and talk it over… The Bahamas. The top of a mountain. A quiet country inn. A garden. A beach… Conservative or cutting edge? Just close friends and family or everyone and their dog?
- Consider the budget. How much will you (and can you) spend? This will take a little research, and the internet can help. Go to the big wedding sites for blogs on cost-per-head for your guests, wedding dress, cost of bands, wedding planners, and other vendors for the big day. Don’t forget to figure in the cost of the honeymoon to your budgeting!
- Find the right officiant for your ceremony. As a rabbi and interfaith officiant, this choice is close to my heart! The right officiant for you can make the day the emotional, connecting, exhilarating experience it should be. See my blog on “Choosing your officiant.”
- Choose your venue. I have been fortunate to officiate at some remarkable locations around New York and the tri-state area. I have formulated them into a list – CLICK HERE to see wonderful ideas from Long Island to the Finger Lakes, from the NY Botanical Gardens to the Plaza Hotel!
- Hire venders (band, caterer, etc)
- Choose your dress!
Through it all, be sure to regularly plan dates with your fiancé to enjoy the whole process. It should be fun! Remember, if it gets a little mad at times, that you’ve decided to spend your whole lives together! So celebrate!