Thursday, February 16, 2012

Top 5 Things to Do Once You Are Engaged


He finally proposed and you said, “yes.” Now What??

Most girls want to buy the dress or pick a wedding date, but the most prudent step would be to discuss my top 5 pieces to the wedding planning puzzle:

1). Budget: how much do you actually have to spend. Yes, it is time to talk about the un-sexy subjects of budget, withdrawal from savings, money management, and who else can help you pay for it.

2). Guest count: when making your list, please consider that most weddings, on the average, cost from $400-$800 per person (inclusive of food, beverage, tax gratuity, vendors, rentals, etc.). As a rule of thumb, your location (food, beverage and site) usually costs half of your overall budget. Select a location/food/beverage knowing that if you doubled the estimated costs, you can afford the rest of the costs like entertainment, photographer, planner/coordinator, videographer, stationery, officiant, flowers, rentals, lighting, beauty, etc. So before you start inviting people you work with and your neighbors, ask yourself, are they worth the average cost per person for your wedding day??

3). Consult with a professional: Since a professional planner (someone who has planned at least 200+ weddings with 10+ years of experience) usually gets married 20-30 times a year, they have much more buying leverage, insights, suggestions and patience than a family member, friend or co worker. Most professional planners will offer a complimentary 1 hour consultation at their office to discuss your vision, budget, needs and features of their company. Your planner would help you create your dream day with your budget and vision in mind.

4). Design ideas. Look through magazines (print or online) to get design ideas. This is a perfect way to be able to communicate your likes and dislikes to anyone you meet or hire to help you. NO one can be a mind reader; it is your job to share some bits and pieces to your planner, designer, florist, and/or venue. Often times, a few “tear sheets” from a magazine can do the trick.

5). Choose a ceremony experience. This is the most sacred part of your wedding day. Make sure you select a setting that makes both of your hearts sing. As you move into making many decisions and merging your full and busy lives together, it is important to honor each of your traditions, dreams and wedding ceremony “ideals”.

Much Gratitude,
Mary Dann-McNamee

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