Either you have been waiting for at least a year, impatiently, for him to finally pop the question, perhaps even giving a not-so-subtle ultimatum OR you have just been completely surprised and swept off your feet by the most romantic engagement ever – instagram worthy by all accounts. No matter how it happened you inevitably already feel the pressure of planning! Yikes! Where do you even start?! We feel you, and here is our take on how to break down the monster that is planning a wedding and ease some of the stress so you don’t end up making yourself completely crazy over something that should be enjoyable and memorable.

1. Take a deep breath.

Everything does not need to be planned immediately. Remind yourself to enjoy your engagement, you have your whole life to be married – to experience your relationship as a wife or a husband – but limited time to experience it as a fiancee – , enjoy this time and be grateful.

2. Pick a Date.

We know this is not as easy as it sounds so here are a few things to think about:
a. Determine if you want to have a date that holds sentimental value – this is an easy one, maybe a grandparents anniversary or the anniversary of the day you met.

b. If you don’t have a sentimental date determine the season you would like to get married – most important thing to think about is weather, if you want to have an outdoor ceremony you will want to do some research on average temperatures where you want to get married.

c. Once you have determined a season, it might be best to leave your date open. Often times it can be hard to get an exact date at the venue of your choice. You will have more flexibility with budget and booking if you go into a venue meeting with a few options for dates.

3. Make a Pinterest account.

Save posts on instagram, start to follow some of the venues in the location you want to get married. Social media interaction is a great way to learn more about the personality of a venue.

4. Narrow down to 2-4 venues you want to visit.

First reach out to the venue and ask for information on cost, availability for your date and tour information. Take a tour, get to know the venue, take a second tour if need be! If you are planning a destination wedding and can’t make it to the venues, ask for a video tour or a video conference meeting.

5. Choose a venue and relax for a minute!

It is best to book a venue 9-12 months before your date. Everything else can come later. You will feel like you have crossed a major “to-do” off your list once you have chosen a venue and this will give you a chance to take a breath. Spend some time with wedding magazines, wedding blogs and social media accounts to start deciding what you like for decor, flowers, dresses, catering and entertainment so you can go into future vendor meeting prepared with clear ideas about your expectations and wants.

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