Hopefully long before you and your fiancé officially got engaged you had some conversations about how you envision your future. Will you be buying a home in the suburbs? Renting an apartment in the city? Traveling around the world? Will you have children? Will one of you stay home full time with the kids? What are your future career goals and will they support the lives you want to lead? Having this conversation early and often will remind you about what's really important -- your life together.
Most newly engaged couples have no idea what a wedding costs. Before trying to settle on a budget number, spend some time day dreaming about your ideal wedding. Make sure you and your fiancé are on the same page, not about details like colors and location, but general number of guests, and overall feel of the wedding. Defining your dream wedding will help you research the costs.
Use websites like OneWed.com to help you research some of the costs associated with your dream wedding. Call vendors, and be honest that you're trying to get ballpark figures. Remember, this is not the time to get your heart set on specific ideas; you're just trying to get a good idea of what your dream might cost.
Now that you have some idea of the realities of your dream wedding, is it feasible? How much money do you have in savings? Are you willing to go into debt to pay for the wedding, and, if so, how long will it take you to pay off that debt? Will either family be helping to pay for the wedding? If others are helping to pay for the wedding, will they want a say in the decisions you make?
Once you have your budget number, you can start shopping for vendors and services in earnest. Remember though, nothing is set in stone until you sign a contract. Be flexible about what's most important to each of you, and schedule regular sessions to make sure everything is still on track.
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