'Tis the season for giving and many a handsome man finds himself searching for the perfect little sparkly gift for his special lady. The holiday season is quickly becoming known as engagement season as the chill in the air encourages snuggling up with your sweetie and that sprig of mistletoe makes for a wonderful spot under which to kneel... If you find yourself on either side of this holiday event (congratulations!), I've compiled a few things to remember while you begin planning your big day.
Find a rooftop and scream from it! In this day of social media and smart phones, the whole world could know that you've said yes before you've even had time to stare at your new ring! But be considerate of your family and closets friends, making sure to tell them personally before they happen to see it on your newsfeed...
The Date: this is a big one and the perfect place to start. You'll need a date before you can book your vendors or venues and I recommend having at least two, maybe even three options. Things to keep in mind when looking at your calendar : Does your potential date give you enough time to plan? Be considerate of your own schedule and that of your family's. Some options may seem super convenient while planning, but squeezing too much into a short period of time (graduation and wedding in one weekend), can leave you exhausted once it comes time to walk down the aisle. Considering a holiday weekend? Some holidays (Labor Day), give guests extra travel time but other popular dates (Valentine's Day weekend), might slim down your guest list. Honeymoon locations : the Caribbean is lovely but hurricane season might throw a last minute wrench in travel plans. Also, don't shy away from a Friday or Sunday option if you run into conflicts with your top Saturday choices.
Priorities : If your reception venue is available but your photographer and band are not, you might keep hunting for a place to party. It's helpful to know which vendors/venues you're willing to let go of and those which you can't compromise.
Book these first: If you'll be using a wedding planner, she's step one (and you most likely don't need to reference this list again). Once you have a few date options, set up appointments to tour your favorite ceremony/reception venues. Next, send out inquiries and set up meetings with your top two or three photographers and begin researching DJ's or bands. These first steps can feel overwhelming but it's important to lock the big decisions in early as folks book location/photographer/videographer/entertainment well in advance. I recommend that with every big decision you make, you celebrate with a fun one like cake-testing or dress-hunting!
Now, take this list and tuck it away in a folder until the New Year. That's right, don't rush off to your pinterest boards just yet -- CELEBRATE! Make it a priority to relish in this exciting time while you're surrounded with family. The bridesmaid dresses will get ordered, the linens will be chosen and the playlist selected, but right now, take advantage of snuggling up to your new fiancé with a cup of warm cocoa, soaking up every bit of each other. xo