Engaged, Now What? - Littleton Wedding Planner

Here in Colorado, thinking about starting the process of planning a wedding can mean making some pretty quick decisions. This is especially true if you were newly engaged over the Holidays and hoping to get married in the summer!

The best Colorado wedding vendors often book up for prime dates a year or more in advance. If you dream of saying your vows on the mountain at a popular ski resort in June, it’s important to get started as soon as possible (or just relax and choose a date the following summer, even though I know it feels SO far away!)

Today I am writing about those first steps you should take when planning a wedding.


Engaged, now what?

Ok, so you’ve got the ring (and hopefully have made sure it’s insured, better safe than sorry!), you’ve got a partner in life, and you are ready to get started.

The biggest mistake couples make when starting the wedding planning process is not having a clear and shared vision of the end result.

A LOT of headaches can be avoided if no major decisions are made until you are both truly on the same page.

Three major things to agree on (I know these may seem simple, but you’d be surprised how many couples become frustrated right out of the gate!):

1. Time of year (Snowy winter? Spring with wildflowers? Hot summer afternoon at a farm? A cool spring day in the city?)

2. General location (a hotel wedding is VERY different than a private home wedding)

3. General guest count (Mom may want 200+, while you and your fiancee were hoping for just 40 or so. This final number can also GREATLY affect your venue choice!)

If you haven’t already bounced around some ideas, sit down with a notepad and hash it out. List out pros and cons if you have to, and check things off. You may find yourself letting go of ideas you always had, or adopting ideas you had not thought of!

Learning to compromise is a great step towards being great communicators in marriage.

Notice, I didn’t say anything yet about budget. Yes, budget is important, but it’s nearly impossible to be realistic with numbers if you don’t know yet how much things actually cost.

Many couples are hit with sticker shock, especially when it comes to things such as a the dress, flowers, and catering (all items that are easily underestimated!).

Once you have a clear vision and are on the same page about time of year, location type, and general guest count, it’s time to start looking at venues and dates.

Because you know that your dream venue together is say, some kind of historic estate in the summer, you can make a list of such venues and start touring them.

Avoid the classic mistake of becoming ‘venue poor’, this is what happens when you rush out and book a venue before realizing just how huge a percentage of your budget that you really just blew on it.

Many couples fall into this trap because they aren’t sure yet what they want (that’s ok too), and start touring venues to ‘get an idea’. Go for it, but keep a clear head!

There may be a perfectly great option just waiting for you, and because you have hopefully developed a more solid idea of what you want, you won’t waste too much time touring venues (and their sometimes high-pressure sales pitches) that won’t exactly fit your vision.

If you’ve gotten this far without a wedding planner, let’s chat!

(Pro tip, a good wedding planner can save you not only stress, but money too!).

You may also find this blog post I wrote helpful: what order to hire wedding vendors!



Let’s recap. Here are the FIRST steps to take when you are newly engaged and ready to plan the wedding:

Choose a time of year
Choose a venue/location type
Get a handle on the size of your guest list

Research venues and vendors and start nailing down a budget; once you’ve done that, it’s time to secure the venue and hire your vendors.

This process will help avoid making emotional decisions. A particular vendor may feel like a great idea when the sales pitch happens at a bridal show, or a dress may seem like a great idea when you fall in love before knowing what the venue will be like. Traps abound and as a wedding planner here in Colorado, I’m here to help you (either through my blog posts series or hands on help when you hire me to plan your wedding).

Once you have those pieces in place, it’s MUCH easier to plan a wedding without stress, disagreements, or frustrations. Nearly everything else falls under aesthetics; design, decor, overall feel, attire, and food.

Are you newly engaged and ready to get started planning the wedding of your dreams? Click below and I can help you not only nail down this amazing vision of yours, but make the actual day the best day of your life.

Wanda Bonner