Engaged? Your First Wedding Planning To-Dos!

Congratulations, you’re getting married! Once the initial excitement and shock of first being engaged wears off you’ll be in the mindset to start making decisions. Here are the most important things you need to do to really kick off your wedding planning!

Set a Timetable

The minute you get engaged, everyone will be asking for your wedding date. But in reality, you won’t be able to set an exact date until some major decisions—like choosing (and booking) your venue—are made. So first, focus on determining a range of dates that’ll work for you. The average engagement lasts 15 months, but also think about what season you’d prefer, any major holidays or family events you’d like to avoid conflicting with, and how long you predict you’ll need to plan.

Set Your Budget

Sit down with your families and figure out how much everyone is contributing. This number will affect every decision and purchase you make, so be sure to work out your budget before you start planning.  Even if you’re uncomfortable bringing up the topic with family it’s better to get it out of the way early in the process so you have a realistic picture about what you can spend. There are many wedding budgeting tools and resources available online to help keep you organized and on track.

Draft a Guest List

As you begin to build your guest list, you’ll need to consider a number of factors. If you have a particular ceremony or reception site in mind, for instance, you’re going to be limited by how many people it can accommodate (you can’t squeeze 300 people into a lighthouse). Would you rather have quality one-on-one time with each guest or throw a once-in-a-lifetime party for all your friends and family? If mom and dad won’t budge about inviting throngs of friends and family, you’ll have to hear them out—especially if they’re footing a major part of the bill. Keep in mind that more guests mean higher prices, as catering costs are generally calculated on a per-head basis. So, in addition to location, your budget will have a big influence on the size of your guest list. Here’s some tips from theknot.com to help you create your guest list.

Consider a Planner

If you’re a super-busy couple, have demanding jobs or have big dreams for your wedding weekend, then you should hire a wedding planner to help you prepare your event from the engagement party to the honeymoon. You can also hire a part-time consultant to devise a wedding blueprint—including budget, schedule, and lists of good vendor and site choices—before you launch solo into the preparations. Another option is a day-of coordinator, who will make sure everything goes smoothly on your wedding day. At Merrime, we offer this option to our brides and would love to speak with you about your dream wedding! Please email us at adrienne@merrimebridal.com for information on these services!

Shop Dresses!

Some brides have a Pinterest account full of beautiful wedding gowns they have found and have envisioned for their big day. Other brides aren’t really sure what will look best on their body and wait until they begin trying on dresses to determine what style they like best. At Merrime we make sure that our brides can comfortably browse all of our gowns and try on as many styles as they wish during their appointment. We encourage brides to try on a variety of silhouettes to see how they feel in different cuts and different fabrics from the designers we carry, Alfred Angelo, Sophia Tolli and Chic Nostalgia.

We congratulate you on your engagement and would love to help you during this exciting time in your life! Feel free to come in and see us or reach out to make an appointment to shop for a dress!


Merrime Bride & Soirée
211 First Avenue West, Suite 101
Albany, OR 97321

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